When Social Media Can Land You In Handcuffs

Posted On: April 29th, 2016 by Bradley J. Groene

Social media has become an integral part of day to day life, but you may not realize that there can be severe legal consequences for what you post. An extreme example of that became national news a few months ago when an Ohio man, Dustin Rittgers, posted a Facebook video of himself driving in the rain while drinking whiskey.

When one of his friends expressed concern, he went on to post, “I am a good driver don’t worry.” Then a few minutes later posted again on Facebook bragging about his distracted driving, “I gots one finger on the steering wheel facebooking and it’s raining smh I am good. I am a pro.” Rittgers was arrested a short time later and was charged with a number of offenses including operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) and having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle. Since all of his Facebook posting was public, the video and Facebook posts will be admissible evidence against him.

But social media posts can be more of a danger than just evidence of a crime, your social media postings can actually be the crime. In April 2015 two Ohio teens were charged with inducing panic based on material that they posted on social media sites like Instagram. The postings were deemed “alarming material” and included photos showing an assault rifle, a photo from a scene at Columbine High School, even video reenacting a shooting. Both teens wound up pleading guilty to charges of inducing panic, with one of them sentenced to four years in prison.

Those are just two local examples of a growing trend nationwide. So when you decide to post something on social media, remember that the negative consequences of that post could wind up being much more serious than a bit of embarrassment between friends.

How a Cincinnati Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

If your social media post has created legal problems for you, or if you are facing charges for any other reason, you want an experienced criminal defense attorney who has represented clients on a wide range of charges and can handle even the most unusual cases.

Attorney Brad Groene with the firm Luftman, Heck & Associates is a Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer who has represented hundreds clients over the years and has worked hard to achieve the best possible outcome no matter the situation. Contact Luftman, Heck & Associates to get the help that you need. Call (513) 338-1890 to set up a free and confidential consultation.