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Think Before Posting

What possible harm could come from a college student posting to Facebook photos of a party she attended? In the case of Erika Scoliere, a 20-year-old charged in a fatal DUI crash, the party pictures mean she now has to wear an alcohol-monitoring device at all times. July 01, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ — Think Before Posting

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What possible harm could come from a college student posting to Facebook photos of a party she attended? In the case of Erika Scoliere, a 20-year-old charged in a fatal DUI crash, the party pictures mean she now has to wear an alcohol-monitoring device at all times.

After the photos of her drinking tequila were shown to a judge, the Campton Hills resident was fitted with a monitoring device on her ankle. Scoliere is awaiting trial on a reckless homicide charge after a July 2007 collision left a motorcyclist dead. When she was granted bail, a condition of her release was that she not consume alcohol or be with people consuming alcohol.

Though her attorney argued that the device, which detects alcohol via perspiration, would invite public scorn, the judge said Scoliere must wear the bracelet regardless.

Accompanied by her parents, Scoliere left the courtroom in tears.

Law enforcement officials and prosecutors are increasingly paying attention to Facebook accounts and other social networking sites as part of their investigations.

A Wisconsin man also learned that it’s unwise to post incriminating photos on Facebook. Dane County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Cody J. Redenius, 20, after a posted photo showed him holding a shotgun.

While that would ordinarily be a harmless photo, Redenius was under a domestic abuse restraining order prohibiting him from possessing a firearm. His ex-girlfriend informed investigators of the photo on his Facebook account. They arrested him at his home, where they found the loaded shotgun.

It’s unwise to post incriminating photos to Facebook or elsewhere on the Internet, but incriminating statements, even if they’re made as jokes, can likewise have serious consequences. The Lisle Police Department arrested a 15-year-old Lisle High School student for posting threatening statements on his Facebook page.

Police were notified that the student had posted statements about a "need" for domestic terrorism at his school. He also stated that he was considering committing a random killing.

He faces two misdemeanor charges and must now wear a home detention ankle bracelet monitoring his movements. Police say they must take all such threats seriously, no matter how they may have been intended.

For many teenagers and young adults, Facebook has become an extension of their private lives. Stories that were once shared confidentially through telephone calls and social gatherings are now memorialized publicly, with little regard for the potential consequences.

Unfortunately, these consequences can be severe and long-lasting. Accordingly, it is important that users of online social networking sites protect themselves. Think twice before posting anything, but particularly before posting potentially incriminating evidence.

Article provided by Albert L. Wysocki, A Professional Corporation
 Visit us at http://www.albertwysocki.com


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