Incriminating Yourself on Instagramby Attorney Carlos Gamino on 06/10/14
People have been getting themselves into hot water through social media since it’s been around. Just think back to the early days of MySpace, when spouses and significant others first started breaking up over flirty exchanges; fast-forward to now, when employers are snooping on public profiles to get the dirt on their workers (and people are still breaking up over pictures, comments and messages). Even people who use Instagram aren’t immune – just a few months ago, a Florida man wound up with 142 felony charges for posting some morally questionable selfies.
As a Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer, I talk to a lot of people who have incriminated themselves without knowing they were doing it – so where do they all go wrong?
Posting Photos of Illegal Activity
In the case of Dupree Johnson, he Instagrammed a handful of photos that depicted him breaking the law. It’s safe to say that the last thing you want floating around is a picture that incriminates you in a crime… and it’s common sense not to put dozens of them on social media sites yourself. Those pictures led police to search Johnson’s home, where they found a stolen Tec-9, $250,000 in stolen jewelry and more (hence the 142 felony counts).
Thinking a Private Profile is Really Private
No matter how private we like to think our social media sites are, the truth is, nothing you put online is private. What if police get a warrant to search your phone, which you’ve used to post on Facebook? What if investigators have sent you friend requests using fake profiles? What if someone you know and trust takes screenshots of your posts and sends them to authorities?
You just never know who’s looking, so do yourself a favor: don’t share incriminating photos or make self-condemning statements on social media. If you’ve found yourself in hot water because of something on a social media site, get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer in Milwaukee right away – it could make a big difference in the outcome of your case.