Social Media and Your Annapolis Criminal CaseMillions of people use platforms like Facebook, X, Instagram, and TikTok to share personal moments, opinions, and updates. While social media can be a great way to stay connected, it can also have serious implications if you are facing criminal charges. Today I’d like to talk about the effects of social media on your case and provide practical advice on how to deal with these platforms wisely during legal proceedings.

Social media can be a double-edged sword in your Annapolis criminal case. On one hand, it can be a valuable tool for gathering evidence, corroborating alibis, and highlighting inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case. On the other hand, it can also provide a treasure trove of information for prosecutors looking to build a case against you. Here are some key ways social media can affect your case:

  • Evidence collection: Social media posts, messages, and photos can be used as evidence in court. Prosecutors often scour social media profiles to find incriminating statements, photos, or videos that can be used against defendants.
  • Alibis and corroboration: Conversely, social media can also be used to support your defense. Check-ins, timestamps, and geolocation data can help establish an alibi or corroborate your version of events.
  • Character evidence: Social media activity can be used to paint a picture of your character. Posts that reflect negatively on your behavior or attitudes can be used by the prosecution to sway a judge or jury.
  • Witness testimony: Social media can also influence potential witnesses. Posts related to the case might affect their perceptions or statements, either helping or harming your defense.

Social media best practices for Annapolis defendants

If you are facing criminal charges, you should understand how to use social media responsibly. Here are some best practices to follow:

  • Limit social media use: The safest approach is to limit your use of social media while your case is ongoing. Consider taking a break from posting and interacting online until your case is resolved.
  • Adjust privacy settings: Ensure your social media accounts are set to the highest privacy settings. This can help restrict access to your posts and limit the potential for prosecutors to find incriminating information.
  • Think before you post: Avoid posting anything that could be interpreted negatively or used against you. This includes comments about your case, your whereabouts, your activities, and any interactions with others involved in the case.
  • Avoid discussing the case: Do not discuss the details of your case on social media. This includes direct mentions of the case, indirect references, and any opinions about the legal process or involved parties.
  • Monitor tagged posts: Be mindful of what others post about you. Ask friends and family to avoid tagging you in posts, especially those that could be misconstrued or used against you.

Famous examples of social media being used against the accused

To illustrate the effect of social media on criminal cases, let’s look at some real-world examples:

  • The Casey Anthony case: In the high-profile case of Casey Anthony, social media played a significant role. Photos and posts from MySpace were scrutinized, with the prosecution using them to argue about her character and behavior. The defense, however, was able to contextualize and counter these interpretations.
  • The Aaron Hernandez case: Former NFL player Aaron Hernandez’s social media activity was also heavily analyzed during his trial. Photos and posts were used to establish his whereabouts and connections, influencing the jury’s perception of him.

My tips for navigating specific platforms

Different social media platforms have different features and potential pitfalls. Here’s how to navigate some of the most popular ones:


  • Use strict privacy settings to limit who can see your posts.
  • Be cautious with status updates, comments, and likes.
  • Avoid joining groups or events related to your case.

X (Twitter):

  • Set your account to private to control who can see your tweets.
  • Refrain from tweeting about your case or anything related to it.
  • Be mindful of retweets and likes, as they can reflect your opinions.


  • Make your account private and review your followers.
  • Avoid posting photos or stories that could be misinterpreted.
  • Monitor tagged photos and ask friends to avoid tagging you in posts.


  • Keep your account private and limit followers to trusted individuals.
  • Avoid posting videos that could be used against you.
  • Be cautious about engaging with trends or challenges that could be seen negatively.


  • While LinkedIn is more professional, it’s still important to be cautious.
  • Avoid discussing your case or legal troubles in posts or messages.
  • Be mindful of connections and interactions that could be scrutinized.

It’s important to understand the legal implications of social media use during a criminal case:

  • Admissibility of evidence: Social media evidence can be admissible in court if it is relevant and authentic. However, its admissibility can be challenged based on how it was obtained and its relevance to the case.
  • Privacy expectations: While you may have privacy settings in place, there is a limited expectation of privacy on social media. This means that posts can potentially be accessed and used by the prosecution, even if they are set to private.
  • Subpoenas and warrants: Prosecutors can obtain subpoenas or warrants to access your social media accounts. This allows them to gather evidence directly from the platform, including deleted posts and private messages.

How an Annapolis criminal defense lawyer like me can help you

As your Annapolis criminal defense attorney, I will protect your rights and provide the best possible defense. This includes advising you on the use of social media. Here’s how I can help:

  • Reviewing social media activity: I can review your social media activity to identify any potential issues and advise you on how to address them. This may include asking you to delete certain posts or deactivate your accounts temporarily.
  • Gathering evidence: I will look for social media evidence that supports your defense. This could include alibi evidence, witness statements, or posts that contradict the prosecution’s case.
  • Challenging prosecution evidence: If the prosecution presents social media evidence against you, I will challenge its admissibility and relevance. This includes questioning the authenticity and context of the evidence.
  • Advising on social media conduct: I can provide ongoing advice on how to conduct yourself on social media during the course of your case. This includes regular check-ins to ensure you’re not inadvertently harming your defense.

Remember, social media is a powerful tool that can significantly affect your criminal case, both positively and negatively. By understanding the potential risks and following best practices, you can protect yourself and your defense. Remember, the safest course of action is to limit your social media use and always think before you post. At Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law, I am here to guide you through this process, ensuring that your rights are protected and your defense is as strong as possible. Complete our contact form or call our Annapolis or Ellicott City offices to set up your initial consultation today.

And remember — Keep Calm, and Call Drew.