Being arrested, charged and tried for driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be a humiliating, painful and alienating experience. Like people all over the world and in every possible occupation, you may be drawn to social media. However, you place yourself, your driving privileges and your future at risk every time you log on. If you are the subject of an ongoing criminal proceeding, please read on, then contact an experienced Allegheny County DUI lawyer to learn what you should know about avoiding social media during the DUI court process in Pennsylvania.
Why should you not use social media during a DUI court process in Pennsylvania?
People from all walks of life are drawn to one social media account or another, be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok or some less popular platform. Even though these apps are all fabulous means of communicating with people with similar interests anywhere on the planet, our firm would be remiss if we did not inform you that once law enforcement opens an investigation into your alleged misconduct, the investigators will monitor your social media accounts to see if you post anything that may contradict your statements and assertions.
How might using social media hurt you during the Pennsylvania DUI court process?
For those facing charges for DWI or DUI, social media pose many potential risks, such as:
- Your profile is not private: The police and prosecutor may search your public social media sites at various times during your criminal case to look for evidence that can help them prove your guilt. Even if you have changed your settings to private, police and prosecutors may still obtain your social media history. A judge can also issue a subpoena that gives them access to this information.
- No post is ever truly deleted: You, like many people charged with DUI, may attempt to delete prior incriminating posts. However, the police may obtain a subpoena allowing them to recover this information directly from the social media company. In addition, the fact that you deleted the posts may be considered intentional and may result in you receiving a harsher penalty if you sustain a conviction.
- Location information: The police can obtain cell phone data to determine the time and location of your cells, texts and postings on social media. All of this evidence could be used to create a timeline of where you were before your DUI arrest to help prove that you were consuming alcohol or that you drank more than you claim.
- Damage to your personal image: Photos and videos of you engaging in less-than-responsible behavior, even if it is from when you are not driving might alter the perception of your performance behind the wheel. For example, if you are accused of drunk driving and posted several pictures from a drunken escapade in your free time, that may reflect poorly during a criminal review.
Even if you do not regularly use social media, you face an uphill battle if you are being investigated. That is why you should not hesitate to give us a call today.
Contact Our Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer
The Law Office of George Heym focuses exclusively on DUI defense. George Heym is a former Allegheny County DUI prosecutor with an understanding of both sides of a DUI case, notable litigation experience, and relationships with local courts. Contact our firm to fight for your rights.