How Social Media Can Help or Hurt in Court

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Teens have been warned that what they post on Facebook, Myspace and other social websites can affect their chances at getting into college or landing a job. Now, judges and attorneys are using these online profiles in court, which could hurt or help.

Criminal defense lawyers sometimes consider reviewing social pages as important as reviewing medical and school records and other background information, according to the New York Law Journal.

Teens often post pictures of their wild exploits and share information through posts and comments. This kind of personal disclosure can undermine statements they make in court and lead to a longer sentence.

According to Ken Strutin, director of legal information services at the New York State Defenders Association, defense attorneys are also starting to use social profiles to help their clients. Kids also share remorse on their pages and friends or followers can provide a great deal of online support. Strutin documents cases in adult court where this has lead to more lenient sentencing.

For Strutin’s full report, click here.

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