Recently, an Oregon teen by the name of Jacob Cox-Brown posted an incriminating statement on Facebook. His Facebook post read: “Drivin drunk…classic 😉 but to whoever’s vehicle I hit I am sorry :P.” There is an important lesson to be learned here, and that is, to think twice before you write something down, whether it be on paper or on the internet via a social media website like Facebook.
This young man is facing two counts of failing to perform the duties of a driver due to his comments on Facebook. He might have escaped punishment had he not admitted to his actions online. Perhaps instead, he said nothing at all. Imagine, he had just told someone he was involved in a hit and run instead of writing his confession down. It is much harder to prove that someone is guilty of a crime based on what they said to another person. The case would have been much harder to follow up on based upon the statement of another person. But, in this case, the Facebook post gave the police a legitimate lead because it came directly from the teen himself and it wasn’t long before they discovered the damage on the suspect’s car matched the damage to the victim’s car. Although there may still be evidence against him without his confession on Facebook, there would be less, which could mean the difference between a guilty and not guilty verdict.
The details about the case against Jacob Cox-Brown can be found here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/04/jacob-cox-brown-facebook-post-drunk-driving_n_2410163.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmaing6%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk1%26pLid%3D253245
Likewise, many are communicating via web services such as Facebook and Twitter; more so than they are communicating in person. This has made it so much easier to have an action filed against you for something you said that was defamatory about another person. If you watch court TV shows at all, like Judge Mathis or Judge Judy, you have probably heard a defamation action. In order to be successful in a defamation suit, one must show that the communication is a defamatory statement which is typically an untrue, derogatory statement and essentially damaged to your reputation In most defamation case, you must prove actual damage. This tort cause of action is a heavily litigated cause of action in the civil litigation arena. Now, much of this is due to popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
So, as you can see, your written comments whether it is regarding a crime you were involved in or whether it is about someone you don’t like, can be used against you in a court of law. If you are facing a criminal or civil lawsuit due to your comments that were posted on Facebook or Twitter, you will want to contact an attorney immediately to discuss your defenses. Contact Myrtle Beach attorney Daniel Selwa today.