If someone posts on an on-line social site regarding a criminal investigation, how do they avoid libel and jeopardizing the case?

UPDATED: Dec 28, 2010

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Dec 28, 2010Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If someone posts on an on-line social site regarding a criminal investigation, how do they avoid libel and jeopardizing the case?

I had a friend who was beaten badly by the owner and some employees of a local restaurant/bar. His friends have started a Facebook page to boycott the business, but they are not sure what they can legally say without jeopardizing his case. Since the people who started the page are not directly involved in the incident or the investigation in any way, is there anything legally that they cannot say? Can the victim be held responsible for the comments and such on the page?

Asked on December 28, 2010 under Criminal Law, Arkansas


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Although it is admirable that they want to support their friend, they should really re-think posting anything on line about the incident or the business until such time as the investigation has been completed, the charges filed and possibly the conclusion of the matter.  Posting the facts as they unfold and are discussed by the police is fine.  Giving their opinion can also be fine.  Yes, there are free speech protections and all that but his case should take priority.  Swaying public opinion may not be the best in getting a fair and impartial jury as well and you need that to insure that justice is had here.  Support can be had in many different ways.  Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption