Many people use social networking websites to keep tabs on friends, share pictures of a night out or just update friends and family about the everyday and seemingly mundane aspects of our life. However, it should be remembered that the Internet is a public forum, no matter what we believe our privacy settings to be. Even though our statements are aimed at a small few, our posts could possibly be seen by anyone ranging from employers and school faculty to lawyers and police.
Man’s Post Leads to Arrest
After 10 years of eluding capture, a California man wanted for violating parole was caught in Montana because of a Facebook posting. After making comments about the harvest and the weather, he innocently answered the question of where he was located, probably not giving the response a second thought.
California police, after being tipped to the information, contacted Montana police, who then arrested the man with no incident.
New Police Tool
Many police agencies are using social networking websites as just another tool of the trade. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Atlanta police use social networking websites to track gang members and find child pornographers, among other uses. Some departments have begun searching social networking websites as part of their everyday job routine, looking for information on suspects, parolees, victims, witnesses and other people involved in cases.
If you have been arrested for or are suspected of committing a crime, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. An attorney will protect your rights and help you understand the penalties that you face, giving you the knowledge you need to make the most informed decisions possible.