When is Posting to Social Media a Crime?
The internet has been revolutionary and has allowed people to connect to others in a way that has never been seen before in human history. One of the most common ways people use to connect with others is through social media. While the majority of social media posts revolve around people posting pictures and videos of their lives, there are times when a person could face criminal charges due to what they post. As such, it is crucial that all social media users understand when they are protected while posting to these platforms, and when they may face criminal charges.
Generally speaking, most posts on social media are considered to be free speech. Under the right to free speech that all Americans enjoy, a person is often protected for what they post to social media, even if others do not agree with it, or some consider the posting distasteful. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that speech on the internet is protected, just as if someone said the same thing to another person to their face. However, there are limitations on a person’s right to free speech, and it is important that everyone knows what those are.
Under Florida law, it is illegal to make a written threat to cause bodily harm or kill another person or their family members. Even when a person never intended to carry out the threat, the prosecution will still pursue online threats quite aggressively, and will charge anyone they find in violation of Florida law. Making written threats is a second-degree felony, with a harsh sentence of up to 15 years in prison for those convicted.
Making False Reports
Making a false report is also considered a second-degree felony, meaning that the penalties are just as harsh for those convicted. A false report online may include intentionally deceiving a person about the violent use of bombs, firearms, dynamite, deadly explosives, or a weapon of mass destruction.
Also known as revenge porn, Florida law states that it is a crime to post sexually explicit images of another person online without their consent. Even when the original video or image was taken with the subject’s permission, posting it to social media is considered a crime if the subject did not provide their consent. In instances in which the subject of an image or video is a minor, a person could face charges for child pornography along with sexual cyber-harassment charges.
Facing Charges? Our Orlando Criminal Defense Lawyers can Help
Millions of people post to social media platforms every day and in most instances, this content is fairly innocent. However, sometimes it can lead to criminal consequences. If you are facing charges for something you posted to social media, our Orlando criminal defense lawyers at O’Mara Law Group can help. Our experienced attorneys know the defenses available in these cases and how to use them effectively to give you the best chance of retaining your freedom. Call us today at (407) 634-6604 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys.