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Can Social Media Get Me Arrested?

Posted on in DUI Defense

Illinois DUI lawyerSocial media can connect you to friends, jobs, DIY project ideas, and both fake and real news. But can it get you arrested? For two men in the Chicago area, the answer was “yes.”

Social Media Distraction Contributes to Aggravated DUI Charge

A 23-year-old Berwyn man had a little too much going on as he drove through the Cook County suburb of Lyons during the evening rush hour on Monday, October 9, 2017. Speeding through an intersection, he crashed into a work van carrying two men in their 60s, killing both. The responding police officers found the deadly driver still sitting in his car with earphones plugged in and, on his lap, a cellphone opened to a social media app. While hospitalized for his crash-related injuries, the Berwyn man was found to have both marijuana and cocaine in his system. Do you think he posted about his arrest on charges of Aggravated DUI and Reckless Homicide? Perhaps he used his social media skills to find a good criminaldefense attorney. As of March, 2018, he is still in residence at the Cook County Jail, where a judge ordered him held without bail.

YouTube Video Helps Police Identify Dangerous Motorcyclist

There’s no Illinois law against wearing a helmet-cam while riding your motorcycle. And no regulation against posting those videos on YouTube. But if you tape yourself committing multiple traffic violations and fleeing a police officer to boot, you might want to think twice before you post that video. You could end up arrested and charged with multiple felonies, like the not-so-smart 23-year-old in our next cautionary tale.

The trouble began on Randall Road in St. Charles, Illinois, on June 26, 2017. A police officer stopped behind the motorcyclist at a red light. Having noticed several violations on the part of the motorcyclist, including no license plate and failure to signal a turn, the police officer exited his car and walked toward the motorcycle. Seeing the officer approaching, the motorcyclist took off, running two red lights and reaching a peak speed of more than double the road’s speed limit.

For safety reasons, the police didn’t chase down the motorcyclist at the time of the incident. The officer mentioned above never even saw the biker’s face and had no way to determine the biker’s identity since, as noted earlier, the bike had no license plate. So how were the police able to locate and arrest this biker?

All the action was caught by the manic motorcyclist’s helmet-cam, which he boldly posted on YouTube under the title “Bikers vs. Cops.” On July 3, the police department received an email with links to the YouTube video as well as a Facebook page and Instagram account. The police were able to connect the dots, and the motorcyclist was arrested at his home a few days later.

Don’t Mix Social Media and Driving

When you’re caught up in the always-on, social-sharing lifestyle, it can feel physically painful to ignore your smartphone and focus solely on driving. But no one wants to hear about your arrest for distracted, drunk, or drugged driving. Take a lesson from these two jail inmates. Put down the phone when you drive.

DUI Defense Attorneys in the Oak Brook, Illinois Area

If you’ve made the mistake of driving distracted or impaired, you can’t just hit “delete post” or tweet an apology. You need an experienced DuPage County DUI defense attorney on your side, skilled in both pre-trial negotiation and courtroom litigation. The attorneys at McMahon Law Office will aggressively defend you from start to finish. For a free consultation, call 630-953-4400.

 

SOURCES:

https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/man-charged-with-dui-in-double-fatal-lyons-crash/

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-fatal-lyons-crash-dui-charges-20171221-story.html

https://www.stcharlesil.gov/news/2017/07/06/arrest-reckless-motorcyclist-based-youtube-video

http://kanecountyconnects.com/2017/07/motorcyclists-helmet-cam-youtube-video-leads-to-charges-of-fleeing-police/

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