Online Confessions of Criminal Acts

Posted by Stephen Garcia | Dec 14, 2017 | 0 Comments

Social media has become a big part of our daily lives. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't realize that what they post on their social media accounts is public. Even private information, such as chat histories, can be uncovered if a judge approves a motion to obtain the information.

A lot of people are finding that what they post can get them into a lot of trouble. For example, posting pictures of being at a party when you called in sick at work may not go over well with your boss. It's also incredibly unwise to post about crimes or legal cases in any capacity online as it could hurt your negotiating power in court.

Online Confessions Leading to Legal Issues

In one case, an individual confessed his guilt to killing a man while drinking and driving in a video he posted on social media. While this could be seen as a morally good thing to do, he did hurt his case in doing so.

While you might think that posting an admission of guilt is an honorable thing to do, it also puts your lawyer in a difficult position. The prosecutor can pursue the harshest sentence because the defendant already confessed. If the defendant didn't confess, his lawyer could have bargained, offering to get the defendant to plead guilty in return for a lighter sentence. This kind of bargaining power is gone when you have already admitted to your guilt online.

Another recent example is of the filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, who recently confessed to sexual misconduct online. He's not alone. Many people have admitted to misdeeds as a result of the #MeToo movement. By having done so, he leaves himself open to multiple potential lawsuits, which he'll have a hard time defending against.

Guilt and remorse may be morally admirable, but is it worth facing a harsh sentence for something you may have done in your past? Even when you seek forgiveness through a private channel, take care that your conversation is not being recorded. Hopefully, the person will be happy to resolve the issue outside of court, but it's best to be careful. And please remember that your attorney is not your confession booth.

If you're being charged with a crime or have committed a crime, don't admit guilt online. In fact, don't post anything about the charges at all. Speak to a professional lawyer about the best course of action. For professional legal advice, contact us at Garcia Law PLLC today.

About the Author

Stephen Garcia

Attorney Biography Before becoming an experienced trial lawyer, Stephen Garcia graduated from Arizona State University and then moved to New York City where he attended New York Law School. There, he began his formal training in criminal law, serving as a law clerk at the New York County Attorne...


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