March 12, 2012 By Wallin & Klarich

As any good criminal defense attorney can tell you, it doesn’t take much to get arrested for a parole violation. So if you are going to commit a crime while on parole, no matter how petty it may seem, don’t post the evidence on your girlfriend’s Facebook page.

Once again, the social media website has led to the downfall of a not so clever criminal – this time in Florida. A 21-year-old South Florida man who was already on parole for petty theft posted a picture of himself on his girlfriend’s facebook page of him holding the nameplate of a judge that he had stolen from his office door. The nameplate was valued at $40, which would typically be considered a misdemeanor petty theft. But because the offender was already on parole for the same crime, he is being charged with a felony.

In California, a person with a prior petty theft conviction can also be charged with a felony if they commit the petty theft again. If convicted a person faces up to 3 years in county jail. In this instance, a good theft defense attorney could probably plead this case down to a misdemeanor.

What was most likely considered to be a harmless prank by the defendant in this case has quickly snowballed into an extremely serious matter. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. Not everyone posts those mistakes on Facebook as undeniable evidence of their guilt however. It would seem as though so long as social media exists there will always be criminals bragging about their crimes online. We’re sure that local law enforcement is perfectly fine with that as well.

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