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St. Petersburg, FL 33702
Watch our video to better understand the ramifications of talking about your cases after your arrest.
While your criminal charge is pending, avoiding publicity after arrest is essential. You can achieve this by carefully monitoring your behavior and statements. Anything you do or say could later be reported to the court and used:
When facing criminal charges, you should only speak about the facts of your case to your attorney. Statements given to your attorney are protected under the attorney client privilege and can never be used against you. However, this privilege does not apply if you tell somebody else the same information. Even though you may fully trust your family and friends, any conversations between you and them are not privileged communications. As a result, your conversations with them could possibly be used against you in court. Making statements to family or friends could therefore place them in a delicate position and subject them to being called as a witness against you.
If you tell your story to a third party it could also end up in the local newspaper or appear in other forms of media. Hundreds of people are arrested each day. Just because you were arrested, doesn’t mean your case will be the focus of a Tampa Bay Times article. To the contrary, the sheer number of Pinellas County arrests makes the job of sifting out news worthy stories a daunting task for newspaper reporters. Click Here to view Pinellas County Jail Online Inmate Inquiry Page. The news media is therefore very dependant upon both anonymous and identified tipsters to bring an interesting recent arrest to their attention. Telling your story to someone other than your lawyer only invites trouble.
Many users of MySpace, Facebook, online blogs, or other online social websites, mistakenly believe that their site is private. However, state prosecutors have increasingly been using incriminating statements on these sites to help convict defendants or seek an enhanced sentence after trial. There have been several cases where defendants have left their guard down and confessed online to committing a crime. Others have detailed their methods of initially avoiding arrest or posted pictures of the crime scene. These indiscretions led, of course, to easy convictions for the prosecutor.
Law enforcement officers are aggressively searching privately restricted areas of the internet for incriminating evidence through the use of a search warrant. Young adults are the most likely candidates to post such information online. Many teenagers have been caught posting pictures of underage drinking and illegal drug use. Users often believe that only their “invited” peers can view the information they have posted. However, law enforcement agencies have repeatedly proven this not to be the case. Don’t make your case worse by posting information about you or your pending criminal matter. This is an area of communication critical to avoiding publicity after arrest. You should resist sharing such information as it could greatly assist law enforcement and the Pinellas County State Attorney’s Office in securing a conviction or a lengthier sentence. Remaining quiet about your case also affords your attorney greater lattitude in explaining or mitigating your conduct to the judge.
We can not only discuss the facts of your case and appropriate defenses, but also counsel you on steps to avoiding publicity after your arrest. If you have been charged with a criminal offense in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, or other areas of Pinellas County, we can help! Our office can assist you in dealing with the legal challenges and your practical concerns associated with this difficult time.