Social media services like Facebook, Twitter, and other various blogging platforms have changed the way(s) in which Americans interact and present themselves. The ability to instantly, and from almost anywhere, share one’s experiences and opinions has brought about a level of connectivity not only with family and friends but with the entire World Wide Web that was unheard up until recently.
However, this ability to share one’s exploits with the world can also land users in trouble. As more people sign up for Facebook everyday both in New Jersey and across all of America, those with accounts should be careful about what they choose to post online. Bragging or offensive posts can often net criticism from one’s acquaintances and even employer(s). It can, in some cases, lead to jail time.
Earlier this week an 18-year-old man from Astoria, Oregon was arrested and jailed after a post on his personal Facebook account bragging about driving drunk lead officers to his home. The post, which read “Drivin drunk…classic. 😉 but to whoever’s vehicle i hit i am sorry. :P” [sic] was brought to the attention of local police officers by those who read it on the man’s profile.
Having already investigated the scene of a hit-and-run in which two vehicles were significantly damaged only hours earlier, officers arrived at the man’s home with serious suspicion. Upon investigating the man’s vehicle, damage present elided with the two other cars and vehicle debris found at the scene fit the man’s tail light and bumper cover.
The 18-year-old was arrested and taken to the county’s local jail. Two counts of failing to perform the duties of a driver were filed against the man, although a DUI or DWI would have been likely had officers caught the man drunk driving at the time of the collision.
When posting personal exploits to Facebook, users everywhere should exercise caution over what they opt to reveal. If social media, eyewitness account, or direct police investigation leads to a criminal charge, the help of a criminal defense attorney will prove essential. Working with a lawyer, suspects can better their chance of receiving either dismissed or reduced charges and a brighter outlook for the future.
Source: Daily Astorian, “Facebook post lands Astoria man in jail,” Chelsea Gorrow, Jan. 3, 2013
Drunk driving and other traffic-related crimes can press defendants with serious potential consequences. For more information on how to approach such allegations, contact our Monmouth County criminal defense page.