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A Facebook Confession? Social Media Postings as Possible Evidence

Late last December 2016, a young woman had been arrested on a number of charges--driving with a suspended license, driving without insurance and with defective equipment, and marijuana possession. She posted bond from jail and was released the same day. What's unusual is what she did next.

As a part of the Collinsville Police Department's weekly series, "Monday Morning Mugshots," her mugshot had been posted on their Facebook page. The following day, this comment, seeming from her Facebook account, was made under the photo:

"This is so messed up, every single one of those charges are going to be dropped. Those dirty, lazy (cops) have nothing better to do then [sic] charge ME with a joint roach even though if I lived in a different state because I have epilepsy, I wouldn't of [sic] gotten in trouble."

This may go without saying, but the first thing you'll want to do if you are ever charged with any crime is to remember your rights via the Miranda Warning:

"You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?"

Your Miranda Rights are important because they protect you from possible self-incrimination. In this case, this woman had already posted bond and been released. She presumably already knew her legal rights while under arrest. At this point, she'd be waiting for her day in court and had hopefully already sought some legal representation. It's very unusual (and unwise) to be looking up your mugshot on Facebook and commenting on it while having a case pending against you.

There are a couple of issues to consider, with the first being that it's not entirely clear if the woman actually posted this comment. Maybe as a joke, someone could have used her Facebook account, posing as her. With that in mind, then, it's also unclear if this confession would be admissible as evidence.

If you're under arrest and charged with any crime, it's important to say as little as possible to police and to quickly secure the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

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