Defendants on the Web

This is an interesting read:
Web networking photos come back to bite defendants.

The issue of myspace or facebook pages, etc., comes up more often in private practice than it does as a public defender. Matter of fact, literally just this morning I got an email invite on my work address to be a facebook "friend" from one of my clients. I assume she invited her entire email list, and her criminal defense lawyer happened to be on that list.

Perhaps not coincidentally, we had dealt with the issue early in the case that this particular client had admitted to the theft of which she was accused on her myspace page.

The client denied the theft to me, and later denied the online admission to me, until the prosecutor presented me with a print-out of the myspace entry which read, basically, "Ha ha, I stole that shit from that bitch, she'll never see it again."

Both my client and "that bitch" were somewhat shady characters, neither particularly known for their truthfulness or reliability. The prosecutor told me that the office would have probably declined to prosecute the case at all had they not had that key admission.

So, let this be a lesson to the defense lawyers and defendants out there.

6 comments:

  1. I had clients get in trouble for this in criminal court and immigration court - I don't know WHY they do such silly things (well, I do) but it's so frustrating when you'd have a decent case but for them putting it all out there.

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  2. I've had three myspace cases in private practice so far: two restraining orders, one criminal case where the defendant spilled his guts. Other than a confession to the cops, how do the opposing attorneys get around the hearsay angle? Mine couldn't and the cases were dismissed. (The criminal case was dismissed because of an argument between the DA and the cops!)

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  3. That's true said. They should be ashamed of their act. The officers would must have taken some serious step to meet this matter. This will be a good lesson for all.

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  4. The client denied the theft to me, and later denied the online admission to me, until the prosecutor presented me with a print-out of the myspace entry which read, basically, "Ha ha, I stole that shit from that bitch, she'll never see it again

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  5. Yesterday I had a sentencing where part of the evidence was the codefendant's sister making comments on myspace about my client being a snitch .. the judge made a comment about how he tells his kids to be careful of myspace.

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