While most users’ Instagram pages consist of snapshots of gourmet meals, tropical vacations, and #nofilter selfies, other individuals have instead gone with a potentially incriminating approach that could be admitted as evidence against them in a court of law. The following examples explain why you need to be careful what you post on social media, because it could lead to facing serious legal consequences.
How an Instagram Post Sent a Minor to Jail
Recently, a juvenile’s conviction on two counts of possessing firearms was affirmed by a state appellate court based on a photo the teen had posted to his Instagram account. The juvenile lawyers argued that the images, which depicted the teen wielding multiple guns in a room with camouflage curtains, should not be admitted as evidence because there was no way to verify their authenticity.
The unanimous ruling, however, concluded that the images could be used as evidence. The reason for this ruling was due to the fact that the images were captured from a cell phone that was found at the scene of the crime and appeared on the defendant’s Instagram account. Additionally, the court reasoned that the clothes the defendant was wearing and his location upon arrest matched what was depicted in the Instagram photo.1
This is not the first time a defendant’s social media activity has gotten them into hot water in criminal courts.
In 2013, a police officer in San Francisco came across photos of a 17-year-old, brandishing a weapon in his room. The 17-year-old was also on probation. Soon thereafter, the officer conducted a probation search of the defendant’s home where two identical handguns were located. The defendant was standing in the same room and again wearing the same clothes as depicted in the Instagram photos which was enough evidence to convict the minor.2
Call the Criminal Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
It is important to always think twice before posting something on social media for the world to see. Not only can it affect your career, your family and your safety, it can also be used against you and potentially be the reason you are convicted of a crime. If you or someone you love has been accused of criminal activity, the defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are here to help. Our skilled criminal defense attorneys have been successfully defending our clients facing criminal charges for over 30 years. Let us help you now.
Our offices are located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, so there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Contact our offices today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.