Law Office of Tim Powers
Law enforcement officials are increasingly turning to social media networks
to help fight crime, according to a recent study discussed in a CNBC article.
Four out of five police investigators have admitted to using social media
in their efforts to catch criminals, according to a fascinating survey
conducted by LexisNexis.
The websites used most frequently in police officers' efforts to level
criminal chargesagainst suspects include Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, sources say.
The increase in the use of social media networks is due to a common trait
among criminals: many of them now use websites like Facebook and Twitter
to organize and plan potential crimes.
In addition, criminals who aren't aware of just how public social media
information is, often reveal the nature and extent of their crimes on
According to Haywood Talcove, the CEO of Government Solutions, police officers
are using social media networks as a "tool" because they are
just "as valuable as a police cruiser or a handgun."
Talcove also told reporters that criminals frequently display evidence
of crimes they commit because criminals, just like newlyweds or your high
school friends with new babies, "have the same desire to share and
As a result of this compulsion to share, police officers are often able
to gather information on crimes through tweets, Facebook posts, pictures,
and other ubiquitous elements of social media.
Interestingly though, while law enforcement officials are spending a remarkable
amount of time surfing the web for evidence of crimes, more than 80 percent
of these officials have no formal training in how to mine the websites
In the words of Susan Crandall, one of the leaders of the LexisNexis study,
police officers are often taking their own anecdotal knowledge about social
networks and simply "teaching themselves on the job."
Still, despite this lack of training, police officers do not seem to be
running afoul of the Constitution, as the evidence obtained through social
media is upheld in 87 percent of the cases where it is challenged, sources say.
So, as criminals continue to turn to social media to plan and boast about
their crimes, more and more
criminal defense attorneys will likely represent clients who are behind bars after foolishly posting
evidence of a crime on a common website.
And things could soon get worse for criminals. According to Crandall, law
enforcement officials' use of social media is just "at the beginning
of reaching its full potential."
If you are seeking aggressive criminal representation by an experienced
criminal defense attorney for your Denton County criminal case or arrest
in Denton County, contact the offices of Tim Powers today. There is no
charge or obligation for the initial consultation. 940.580.2899.
*Tim Powers is an attorney licensed to practice law by the Supreme Court
of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For
legal advice about any specific legal question you should directly consult