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Facebook can lead to criminal charges

Americans live in a very digital world. Everyone carries a cellphone and many engage in online social networking, including Facebook. With so much of our lives conducted online, it is common for individuals to document everything in text. Everything is tracked and stored in various online systems.

As a result, officers in Oregon are using online footprints to gather evidence in criminal cases. This is very convenient, as a person can be marked at a particular spot and particular time, making some investigations easier.

However, individuals should be cautious about their online activity. One may think that information is private (among family members and close friends); but, everything posted could be viewed by the public and even criminal investigators.

For example, in 2013, an Oregon motorist clipped two cars while driving under the influence of alcohol. After crashing into the vehicles, the driver left the scene and traveled back to his home.

For some reason (perhaps, related to inebriation), the motorist decided to post about his whereabouts on the Facebook social media network. The driver announced to his 600 friends that he had recently hit two vehicles under the influence of alcohol.

It did not take long before local investigators received a phone call and Facebook message regarding the driver's status update. Ultimately, officers met the suspect at his home and he was arrested shortly after. The driver's vehicle also revealed evidence of the hit-and-run accidents.

Many individuals do not understand the level of presence that Oregon officers have on online social media networks. When a person posts something online, it is practically permanent. Moreover, it does not take much for such messages to come into the hands of authorities.

This story can serve as a reminder. In a world where Americans are addicted and attached to electronics and engaged in online activity, an investigation for driving under the influence can easily evolve from somewhere other than the road. It could be a picture on Instagram, a message on Twitter or a Facebook posting.

If you face drunk driving charges, you may benefit from having a seasoned criminal defense attorney by your side. In the digital age, it is much easier for investigators to gather evidence. For this reason, it does not take much to bring criminal allegations against someone - even if they are false. To learn more about the details of your matter, speak to a legal professional in your area.

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