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Fast & Dirty
2009 Forester XT 4 speed auto
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4,050 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A situation:

If someone were to post doing something illegal on this forum or any other forum and an officer of the court (police officer, judge etc) were to read the thread could he/she be charged using the information he/she posted on a forum?

Also, what would come of the forum if they posted it?

I ask only out of curiousity. I am a member of other forums (I know you are shocked to read this about me. :biggrin:) and find it interesting how quick people are to admit to doing something illegal on a forum. Yes, the offense they admit to is NOT murder but an offense none the less.

I welcome the debate. :banana:
 

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Registered
1997 Legacy GT
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122 Posts
I would think that the offending individual would absolutely be able to be prosecuted...

Of course, depends on the crime and the statute of limitations....
 

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The Sub kit guy
2005 Forester X & XT VF39
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13,100 Posts
Yes it can be used against you.

My wife is a probation officer and has a guy on her case load that got busted via the internet. He has posted some pix of some paintball stuff for sale on a forum, and had a small marijauna grow operation visible in the background. Someone reported him to the police with links to the pix and the guy got busted.

Another guy on her caseload videotaped himself vandalizing his ex's car, and he posted it up to show how "tough" he was and that people shouldn't mess with him. He had a restaining order previous to that incident and the video was use as grounds for violation of probation, and he lost his probation and had to serve the remaining 89 days on his sentence.
 

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NA No more! :(
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8,529 Posts
There was an incident where some kid bashed someone and a police officer got offended, tracked down the kid's myspace page, saw that the kid had pics of his own marijuana operation in addition to pics of his car with uncensored license plates, and the kid got arrested lol.

So yeah, it can happen.
 

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2015 Outback Limited
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1,542 Posts
Yes it can be used against you.

My wife is a probation officer and has a guy on her case load that got busted via the internet. He has posted some pix of some paintball stuff for sale on a forum, and had a small marijauna grow operation visible in the background. Someone reported him to the police with links to the pix and the guy got busted.

Another guy on her caseload videotaped himself vandalizing his ex's car, and he posted it up to show how "tough" he was and that people shouldn't mess with him. He had a restaining order previous to that incident and the video was use as grounds for violation of probation, and he lost his probation and had to serve the remaining 89 days on his sentence.
I would think that these would be the exception due to the fact that there is photo and video evidence in the case. If someone was simply admitting to a crime, I think it would be more difficult to prove due to the fact that you can't prove that person actually typed it. That's how I see it anyways.
 

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NA No more! :(
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When you want to incriminate someone via the internet, it is better to let them incriminate themselves. Act like a friend, and then chew them up and spit them out.
 

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Fast & Dirty
2009 Forester XT 4 speed auto
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4,050 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
^ good point.

The key to my question is simply admitting to a crime (no video proof, you-tube etc) enough to get you arrested or questioned by police and could they use your post against you?

I would think so but I am no lawyer.

Funny examples sea-scooby. :)
 

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Usually you need more to go on. A simple admission is a good lead, but not enough to get someone planted in a cell unless it is something really bad because of the follow up investigation required.

LINK US :D
 

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Premium Member
2009 Outback XT-B 5MT
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10,409 Posts
It depends on what you are talking about.

If someone is trying to sell marajuana on a forum, sure I bet that could be used.

If you are talking about something that happened to your car while doubling the speed limit, probably would be of no use.

However, not necessarily illegal, forums have been used for other things. I had a friend who crashed her WRX wagon the day before a rally-cross. So, in a rented Focus from enterprise she changed her cass, raced the car, and called it a day. The pics got posted online, and someone reported the event to Enterprise. They traced the plate, found the renter, and banned her from ever renting at Enterprise again.

In any case, I doubt it could be used as primary evidence, but simply supporting evidence at best. In the case of the picture of the grow-house, I'm sure that wasn't proof enough to violate probation, but was certainly grounds to issue a warrant to search the premesis.

What you say on the internet CAN be used against you in your job status though. Everyone knows the story of the girl who posted how much she hated her boss as her Facebook status... only to remember too late that she had befriended her boss... She was publicly fired, or so the story goes.
 

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Super Moderator
2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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17,887 Posts
Admissible evidence or not, something like that gives you name recognition with the authorities. Not a good situation to find yourself in. It could easily give them reason to dig deeper than they usually would.
 

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1998 Forester
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602 Posts
^ good point.

The key to my question is simply admitting to a crime (no video proof, you-tube etc) enough to get you arrested or questioned by police and could they use your post against you?

I would think so but I am no lawyer.

Funny examples sea-scooby. :)
Theoretically, yes...but only if some task force was setup and they were specifically looking for evidence of some type of crime. The reality is that every nanosecond someone on the net is admitting to something. It would be impossible to investigate even 1/1,000,000 of things people claim to do. I would expect only in the case of child endangerment, large drug shipment, or a terrorist plan would it even raise any eyebrows.
 

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2017 2.5i Touring (CDN) CVT
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121 Posts
I am no lawyer, but as a guess it would be similar to overhearing a conversation. The police would still have to investigate, but could use it as an initial "tip" - I doubt a person could be arrested only based on them saying that they have done a dirty deed.
 

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Premium Member
12 Premium 5-speed
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4,733 Posts
I once killed a man. Believe me?

<waiting for the cops to bust down my door>

I can type anything on here, limited only by the forum filters and my imagination. And the mods / admins can delete or edit whatever I enter. I can understand a forum post leading to an investigation but can't imagine that by using only posts would it be possible to get a guilty verdict.
 

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2009 Forester XT Limited
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1,545 Posts
I am no lawyer but I would think not. If something was posted in writing it would be hard to prove what person actually wrote it. I would think that an attorney for the individual can simply say...."well he was at work/public place/ or anywhere and walked away from his computer and someone typed it in, or even that his/her user id and password may have been compromised, without the knowledge of my client and they did not know it was going on. Circumstantial evidence may prompt an investigation but if it is a single statement I would think no one would prosecute.
Attorneys can argue anything and if left at it long enough they can get people to believe what they want them to believe. Just look at the Health care bill! :crazy:
 

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Registered
2005 Impreza RS Wagon Auto
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3,683 Posts
We are safe nowhere...they are watching...


LOL, anyways yes they can. I remember a viral thread where a kid was complaining that a cop wrote him a ticket for going too slow when he was going like 80 in a 30. He complained on some forum, cop posted on the thread saying he printed it out and will be using it court...so in short it is a good enough source to get in you in some kind of trouble.

On that note. Legalize weed. :biggrin:
 
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