Social Media and Texting Can Land You Behind Bars
We all know that social media can get us into trouble if not used carefully. However, usually that trouble is with a spouse, parent, boss, or teacher, not law enforcement. Yet two Okaloosa County paramedics are facing jail time for some inappropriate photos they took of unconscious people while at work, as reported by NWF Daily News. If you have been arrested or are facing criminal charges, including a misdemeanor, for social media use of any kind, you need an experienced West Palm Beach attorney for immediate legal representation.
Paramedics Held Unconscious Patient’s Eyelids Open for Selfies
The two paramedics allegedly engaged in a “selfie war,” or more accurately a competition amongst themselves to take more selfies with intubated, sedated, or unconscious patients and send them to each other via text. Amongst those texts was one that suggested that they needed to “step up their game,” according to NY Daily News. The two took photos of themselves with 41 patients, amassing 101 photos and 64 videos with unconscious patients, including holding poses such as holding one patient’s eyelids open and taking a selfie with a woman whose breasts were exposed. Only three of the subjects consented to the selfies. The charges they face include multiple counts of interception and disclosure of oral communications as well as misdemeanor battery, charged because of the manual eyelid-opening photo. According to the State Attorney’s Office, “Because of the insensitivity shown by these individuals, we intend to prosecute them vigorously and intend to seek jail time.”
Interception and Disclosure of Oral Communications
Interception and disclosure of oral communications is punishable as a third degree felony, as per Florida statute 934.03, a statute that is often used for penalizing parties who illegally record phone calls or other wire information. Third degree felonies carry a maximum prison sentence of five years and up to a $2,000 fine.
Charged With a Crime? Stay Off the Internet and Social Media
If you have been charged with an offense, we strongly urge you to stay offline in regards to the allegations, as well as staying away from virtually all social media if we believe it to be necessary. Social media, particularly photos and texts, can be used to place you at a crime scene, show that you were in violation of your parole, or they can be used to dismantle your defense of where you were and who you were with. We encourage many of our clients, when it is appropriate, to stay off of social media throughout the criminal proceedings and to refrain from posting both past or even present photos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other forms of social media. There is too much at stake and it could mean that you end up spending more time behind bars than you would have otherwise.
Call the Experienced West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Team of the Skier Law Firm Today
Whether the offenses that you are charged with involve interception and disclosure of oral communications or something entirely different, the West Palm Beach attorneys of the Skier Law Firm are here to provide professional legal counsel. Call us today for help.