Though many of us use social media sites to share interesting news about our days and keep in touch with friends and family, one young man’s revelation about his night’s activities have resulted in criminal charges. The 18-year-old man made his Facebook status “Drivin drunk … classsic 😉 but to whoever’s vehicle i hit i am sorry. :P” As a result, though he had to that point been getting away with his crime, he was charged.
There had been a hit-and-run crash that night, and the tip from the young man’s friend got the police moving in the right direction. The police went to the young man’s house, and found a vehicle which matched the damage done to the two vehicles that had been side-swiped. He has since been charged with a motor vehicle offense in two counts of failure to perform the duties of a driver.
His immature bragging on social media resulted in his arrest, and now, his name in the media. Not only was he caught for his crime and charged, his reputation will be damaged as a result of a split-second decision.
People accused of crimes are entitled to a vigorous defense of their rights, even in cases that seem as clear cut as this one. Though his vehicle did match the damage from the accident, he was not charged with drunk driving. His claim to have been on social media is not evidence enough for the charges, and there is no way to know whether or not he was bragging about something true or something he’d made up.
Criminal charges are not something to be taken lightly, even in cases like this one. What is put out on social media can result in serious consequences, and be used in court as evidence in some cases.
Source: The Daily Astorian, “Facebook posts lands Astoria man in jail,” Chelsea Gorrow, Jan. 3, 2013