In our digital age, the influence of social media is undeniable. Social media is present in many aspects of our lives, so much so it is making an impact within the intricate workings of the criminal justice system.
How do we manage the influence of social media on criminal cases in Australia? How does it impact police investigations, and what is involved in the concept of 'trial by social media’?
Evidentiary Impact of Social Media
In recent years, social media platforms (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok) have managed to become major sources of evidentiary material.
What you post on your social media accounts can have far-reaching consequences, especially if you find yourself entangled in criminal proceedings.
Essentially, any content shared on social media has the potential to be investigated and used as evidence against you. This may include posts revealing an intent to commit a crime or corroborating witness statements.
For lawyers themselves, dealing with bundles of social media evidence has become a common challenge in the cases they handle. Unlike other forms of evidence, it is incredibly challenging to exclude social media content, as these platforms can be considered public domains. In essence, anything you post can and will be used as evidence if you are involved in a criminal act.
Trial by Social Media
‘Trial by social media’ refers to the excessive commentary and activity surrounding a case on social media platforms, primarily in high-profile criminal cases reported in the news. Many are unaware exactly how profound the ramifications of this can be.
This discourse surrounding a case can unduly influence public opinion about an accused individual - even before they step into the courtroom.
Juror Impact – Can Social Media Impact ‘The Right to a Fair Trial’?
Social media's impact on trials manifests in several ways:
While research on this issue in Australia is limited, prevalence of juror misconduct has been present in other countries, namely the UK, leading to retrials and overturned verdicts.
Juror misconduct online has the potential to undermine the fairness of a trial, making it a concerning aspect of the modern justice system.
Do You Need Legal Representation?
If you find yourself facing criminal charges and require legal representation, do not hesitate to reach out to our dedicated team at Creevey Horrell Lawyers.
We are here to provide you with the guidance and representation you need to navigate the complexities of the modern legal landscape.
Contact Creevey Horrell Criminal Lawyers
Based in Brisbane, Roma, Toowoomba, and Townsville.
Visit www.chcriminallawyers.com.au/contact-us to contact us today.