Law enforcement officials are deciding the impact of private Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr accounts that may possibly indict someone in a sex crime case in Denver, Jefferson, or Arapahoe County. The right to privacy and the effect of social media is a very real issue as courts try to find the balance of respecting our guaranteed right to privacy from police and crimes alluded to in personal social media accounts.
This issue was brought to the forefront in Douglas, Adams, Larimer, and Weld County after a math teacher was let go of her job in the Cherry Creek School District. She was fired following an investigation into a series of what was determined to be inappropriate “tweets” to a personal Twitter account. While the teacher has not been accused of any sex offenses such as Sexual Assault on a Child in a Position of Trust (CRS 18-3-405.3) or Indecent Exposure (CRS 18-7-302), some are wondering if her personal twitter account should have been relevant at all in her firing.
Our constitutions seek to protect personal privacy. While the teacher was possibly out of line with several of her “tweets” which included drug references, possible relationships with students, and indecent pictures of herself, she was entitled to a separation between her personal and professional life. A new law addressing private or personal social media accounts could have saved the teacher her job and may lead to civil restitution if is put in place.
Social media is a valuable tool, but our law office cannot stress enough the potential consequences of advertising any kind of questionable or blatantly illegal behavior over social media. Everyone needs to understand that the internet is public. Nothing should be considered private in social media. While it may be exciting to allude to or brag about criminal activity via Social Media, beware that police are trolling the internet and are looking for evidence against you. Do not give them any reason to question you about illegal activity.
If police indict you for a crime that may have come to their attention because of some form of social media, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at the O'Malley Law Office at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.
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