Social Media Playing a Larger Role in Criminal Cases
In recent years, many people have been practically broadcasting their lives online. Social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and more provide outlets for individuals to share their thoughts, post photos, make important announcements, and brag about their accomplishments. Lately, however, several headlines have demonstrated that use of social media is playing a role in criminal investigations and cases.
Woman sentenced to 24 years for DUI after Tweeting
In early May, 22-year-old Kayla Mendoza received a prison sentence of 24 years in a Broward County court for a DUI that resulted in the death of two young girls. Prior to driving the wrong way on the Sawgrass Expressway, Mendoza had tweeted the phrase “2 Drunk 2 Care.” Mendoza’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was reportedly approximately two times the legal limit of 0.08 percent after the crash. Prosecutors used this tweet to demonstrate to the court that Mendoza had knowingly driven after she was impaired and had disregarded the fact that she was a risk to others. Though Mendoza faced a maximum penalty of 30 years, a judge sentenced her to 24 years after she pleaded guilty a few months ago.
Alleged cell phone thief identified by “selfies”
By now, almost everyone is familiar with the “selfie,” as photos that individuals take of themselves on cell phones are posted all over social media sites on the Internet. One young man from Arizona may soon regret taking recent selfies as they were used to identify him as a possible suspect in a theft crime. A woman claimed her iPhone was stolen a few weeks ago and then photos began appearing in her iCloud account, some of which were selfies. The woman then posted a selfie to Facebook and, after thousands of shares, someone identified the man in the selfie. Police then apprehended the man from the photos, who happened to work at the place where the phone was reported stolen. Though media did not report any charges had been issued, they likely will be issued in the near future.
These are only two of many recent examples of the ever-growing role that social media is playing in criminal cases.
Call a Boca Raton criminal defense lawyer to discuss your case today
If you have been arrested or are suspected of a crime, it should go without saying that you should never make any statements on social media in relation to your situation. Anything you say will likely be found by law enforcement authorities and spun to be used against you–even if you never committed any crime. Not only should you stay away from social media but you should also not delay in contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney for help with your case as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you communicate with law enforcement and can advise you of what you should and should not do to improve your chances of avoiding wrongful conviction. Please call the Boca Raton law office of Lavalle Brown & Ronan at 888-646-1315 to find out how we can assist in your case today.