Thursday, September 19, 2013

Nothing Is Private Anymore



One Bad Tweet Could Land You In Jail

Photo Credit Flickr.com

According to MahaloLearnMore.com "In January 2012, Youtube was hitting over 4 billion views a day, more than double the number of daily views they had just 18 months prior. According to its press statistics, YouTube receives approximately 800 million unique visitors each month, with more than 4 billion hours of video watched monthly. In terms of social media, Facebook users watch 500 years of YouTube videos daily.

One of the reasons for Youtube's popularity is that it makes everyone a filmmaker; anyone at all can create a user account and upload to youtube, and anyone with internet access can watch video content for free, with or without a login."

Singers have gotten their big break, anamials have made us laugh and we can look up how to do almost anything on Youtube.  And now Youtube can be used as evidence in criminal charges. 

Social Media is the newest form of criminal evidence. Information gleaned from Facebook postings and other social media communications have been allowed as evidence, providing a judge believes the information is directly relevant to a case and not a blatant violation of someone’s privacy. Even if you are not knowingly the subject of a criminal investigation you should be aware that your Facebook postings are not private. Obviously whoever you have “friended” is privy to your postings depending on your privacy levels. Any of these people may easily take a screen shot of any posting you make. The same is true for text messages. The textee can take a screen shot of your text message and it is no longer yours to control. Postings on other social media networks such as Twitter are similarly subject to criminal prosecution if the content is deemed threatening or otherwise suspected to be of a criminal nature.

Last week USA TODAY reported the following story about Matthew Cordle who confessed to vehicular homicide on You Tube. To see the entire article and view the confession click here.

Matthew Cordle, 22, admits getting drunk and driving the wrong way on I-670 near Columbus, crashing into a jeep and killing its driver.

"My name is Mathew Cordle and on June 22, 2013, I hit and killed Vincent Canzani," Cordle says in the video posted Friday. "This video will act as my confession. When i get charged, I will plead guilty and take full responsibility for everything I've done to Vincent and his family... I won't dishoner Vincent's memory by lying about what happened."

Cordle says in the video that after the crash he spoke with "some high-powered attorneys" who told him that it might be possible to get his blood test thrown out. He said they told him of "about similar cases where the drivers got off. "All I would have to do is lie. I won't go down that path."

Photo Cridit Flickr.com
Canzani's ex-wife, Cheryl Oates, told fox6now.comthat Cordle's remorse appeared genuine and that she was encouraged that he took responsibility for his actions. Still, the mother of two sons said she felt Cordle should spend some time in prison. "It's gut-wrenching coming from a mother looking at that young boy, and he just doesn't understand the damage that he did," she told the website.

George Breitmayer III, a Columbus lawyer representing Cordle, told The Columbus Dispatch that he was unaware his client was posting the confession. "This video he released demonstrates his character, bravery and integrity, and I know he fully intends to cooperate with law enforcement and Franklin County prosecutors throughout the course of any future criminal proceedings," Breitmayer told the Dispatch. Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien told the Dispatch he watched Cordle's video three times. "It's the most compelling video I think I have seen. He strikes me as remorseful and sincere," O'Brien said.

O'Brien said he will ask grand jurors on Monday to indict Cordle on a charge of aggravated vehicular homicide. The second-degree felony carries a prison sentence of two to eight years.
O'Brien told fox6now that the video has not influenced him to recommend a lighter sentence.
"We had a case against him based on the evidence as I know it before the video was filmed," he told the website.

Breitmayer said the video was not posted in an effort to gain a shorter prison sentence. On the recording, Cordle says he "can't bring Mr. Canzani back. I can't erase what I've done," but says "I beg you, and I say the word beg specifically, I'm begging you, please don't drink and drive."
John Bacon, USA TODAY

When you are in need of a criminal defence attorney, in Bergen County, New Jersey, Aretsky & Aretsky Attorneys at Law are equiped to defend you. They have successfully prevented charges from being filed, negotiated for lesser charges, and obtained acquittals in a wide range of criminal defense matters. From cases involving DUIs, traffic violations and driving while suspended, to cases involving drug offenses, shoplifting, and assaults, their criminal defense attorneys have the skill, experience, and tenacity necessary to secure positive outcomes for their clients. Aretsky & Aretsky Attornenys can be reached at the Ridgewood Office 257 E. Ridgewood Ave., Suite 303 Ridgewood, NJ 07450, Phone: 201-445-5856 or http://www.aretsky-law.com/http://www.aretsky-law.com/.

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