Facebook, MySpace, Social Media
|Tampa Criminal Defense
“We should be asking every client if they have a social network account, and if so, to cease and desist using it immediately.”
Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney saw reports of a news article in the National Law Journal (NLJ) suggesting that people use information about clients on Facebook and MySpace as mitigating evidence. One Federal Defense Attorney suggested, “We should be asking every client if they have a social network account, and if so, to cease and desist using it immediately.”
The defense attorney also suggested, “It is also a good idea, if they have one of these accounts, to get access to it, just as you would get school, psych and medical records. You may learn something about the client that he didn’t tell you, which could give a good lead for other mitigation, or alert you to potentially damaging info that you may need to address.”
Finally an experienced federal defense attorney noted, “The [NLJ] article’s suggestion that defendants use Facebook as a “sentencing advocacy tool” by contacting all of their “friends” seems nothing short of reckless.” The attorney continued, “[T]here is arguably little value to the positive comments posted by 1000 friends who don’t really know the client either, and probably have gotten their facts from the client. Having a client post anything about his or her case anywhere is ill-advised as that information could be used against the client by the probation office or prosecutors if a friend provides it to them.“
I agree with our source.