Salem, VA asked in Criminal Law for Virginia

Q: I’m now a chp holder, I’m worried if I ever have to use self defense that my Facebook isn’t flattering what do I do?

I hear prosecutors will do anything to hold you accountable for a criminal violating my rights and threaten my life and go as far as using my Facebook to prove that I’m not a perfect example of what a human specimen is supposed to be instead of focusing on the career criminal makes me more scared to fight for my life in court than my actual life now that I’m older see things different even if it wasn’t that long ago what do I do? As far as preventative maintenance I guess you could call it just delete Facebook and no longer be a user and say 5 years down the road can it be inadmissible because that’s no longer my character or what do I do? Do I need to delete every unflattering post?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jennifer Alettia French
Jennifer Alettia French
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Roanoke, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: Self defense in Virginia is a complex affirmative defense. The facts surrounding the incident will be paramount in whether or not such a defense is successful. Social media posts might be detrimental to such a defense if they show that the actions taken were potentially planned in advance, or a prior negative relationship with the alleged victim, or even that such a defense might have been contrived in advance of the conduct itself.

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