April 5, 2011 By Wallin & Klarich

If a suspect is in the midst of a criminal investigation, chances are that law enforcement has already scoured Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, MySpace and other social networking sites to search for incriminating evidence. Several hundred million people have active Facebook and MySpace accounts. Unlike traditional Web sites, where users are limited to passive viewing, social networking sites permit users to create personal profiles; post photographs, videos, and audio clips; write blog entries and status updates; send and receive private messages; and link to pages of others. Across the country, law enforcement agents and prosecutors are effectively mining these sites for inculpatory evidence.

A recently obtained document from the U.S. Department of Justice titled “Obtaining and Using Evidence From Social Networking Sites” highlights the utility of evidence from social networking sites for the prosecution. In the government’s view, the evidence can reveal personal communications, establish motives and personal relationships, provide location information, prove and disprove alibis, and establish a crime or criminal enterprise.

Social networking evidence may also constitute “instrumentalities or fruits of crime.” Through the use of subpoenas, search warrants, and undercover operations, law enforcement can easily obtain evidence from these sites, particularly given that many social networking companies readily cooperate with law enforcement.

In order to make sure that your rights are accurately and aggressively defended, you should contact the experienced Southern California criminal defense law firm of Wallin & Klarich. Our attorneys have been helping those accused of crimes for more than 30 years. Wallin & Klarich has the legal resources and knowledge to assist you in obtaining a successful outcome. Call Wallin & Klarich today at 888-280-6839 or visit www.wklaw.com to find out more about how we can help.

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