Friday, September 6, 2013

Ithaca Lawyer The Dangers of Social Media and Your New York DWI Case

So easy to take and post stuff from

Twitter, Face book, Instagram, Pinterest, Stumble, etc., etc. My four kids (they are actually pretty big or old now) tell me to get with it. Hey dad, you SHOULD insert the verb "      " on FB, or whatever. I usually see their latest tattoo, car, or boyfriend/girlfriend, or party photo online before I hear from them. Too many places to follow or look IMO. I get more texts than calls or even emails. This is true not only from my kids but my clients as well. If you are facing a criminal charge that involves drugs and/or alcohol then I think you should be concerned about your social media.

The Dangers of Social Media 

First, what you put out there (online) is NOT yours. Personal does not equal private or secret. Even if it is "private," It is NOT private. It is owned and controlled by the site. If you read through their agreement, and they all have agreements, it says nothing is truly yours anymore. All of your stuff becomes truly public when posted. It's called "social" for a reason.

Second, it can be used or held against you at a later date. You want to hold yourself out as a responsible, sensible, mature, bright, and safe person in a civil or criminal Court, or with an insurance company, or with a DA (prosecutor)? Their investigation may reveal you in a different light? Remember many famous politicians, Olympians, athletes, and public figures have been taken down by online media. They will look at you online, some more than others, depending upon the severity (seriousness) of the case or the charges.

 Anyone you know? from

Pictures of them partying, smoking, drinking, drugging, and sexing in private and public have destroyed careers, marriages, and employment. A picture or two minute video can say a lot about you. Whether it is a true or accurate portrayal is another question entirely. If you are asking for leniency or credibility or money damages or anything else you need to show up with "clean hands." This is called "Laches" under the law.

Lastly, if you have a DWI or other criminal case, your arrest and charges are public. Your private behavior is now going to be a potential issue. Your private life is no longer private when it can affect other people negatively. If the Judge and/or the DA (District Attorney) in your case feel you are being dishonest about your drinking and/or drug use (abuse) they are now part of your life. As much as you may feel it is unfair for them to get into your personal life, if they see or feel you are moving in a bad direction (pattern) then they will feel that close supervision and monitoring (PROBATION) is in order.

Pictures and/or videos of your awesome weed (high THC content), bragging about your hangovers, your ability to hold bong hits and guzzle shots, or your showing up to school or work wasted is not going to paint you in a great light.

Think twice before posting anything online especially if you have any drug and/or alcohol charges pending.

Lawrence (Larry) Newman, D.C., Esq.

Doctor of Chiropractic
Attorney and Counselor at Law


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