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Social Media and Criminal Law unite

Facebook isn’t only for pictures of your friends’ kids or status updates on your particular mood or your relationship. It can also be used to help law enforcement. Should you be careful the next time you “check-in”? Maybe. Not exactly in this case.

Over in Marion County, FL, Sheriff’s Office detectives got some help from an unusual source when it came time to identifying a burglary suspect. In less than four hours after posting security photos and video on their Facebook page, detectives were able to identify the suspect, and obtain a warrant. Apparently they have a ton of Facebook friends.

The video confirmed that the suspect had tattoos on his left forearm, which helped investigators identify him. The suspect was wearing a camouflage shirt and what appeared to be a towel on his head. According to the homeowner, the burglary happened between 8:40-8:55 a.m., May 5, 2014. The photos show the suspect walking away with a edge trimmer. Additionally, the suspect took a chainsaw from the home.

People need to assume that they are being videotaped at all times. More and more suspects are being caught thanks to not only video footage, but social media as well. Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media are becoming great assets to law enforcement. 

Social media can also help defense attorneys. For some lawyers, exploring the world of social media seems necessary. Thanks to it, the way to handle or investigate criminal defense cases has changed forever. Lawyers are now embracing the technology because it can save their clients. 

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