A compelling recent example how social media accounts can be mined for evidence in legal proceedings comes from Pleasanton. The case is a criminal matter in which a charge of vehicular manslaughter was upgraded to a homicide charge after police investigators uncovered tweets from the defendant bragging about his love of reckless driving.
Defendant Cody Hall was originally arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving after the car he was driving struck and killed a woman bicyclist. He was released on bail but is now being held without bail after the police upgraded the charge to second-degree murder.
The San Francisco Chronicle cited local police authorities in its August 14 article on the upgraded criminal charges, stating: “An analysis of Hall’s driving record and pattern – along with Twitter posts in which he talked about how fast he liked to drive – factored into upgrading the case to murder.”
Mr. Hall’s Twitter account included posts such as, “Drive fast live young” and, “Someone come on a death ride with me !!!”
Bay Area police intend to use the Twitter posts and other evidence of his past driving patterns to prove second-degree murder, which requires the prosecution to prove that the driver “engaged in an intentional, unlawful act done with conscious disregard for the risk to human life.”
Posts on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and other social media accounts can be used in civil cases, too, including personal injury lawsuits. As experienced personal injury litigators, the attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg include investigation into relevant social media accounts in every case we handle. We know how to find relevant posts, including both incriminating and exculpatory statements, and we have faced and overcome the evidentiary challenges of introducing such social media statements as valid evidence.
Contact Weber & Nierenberg
Review of pertinent social media accounts is only one step in our thorough investigations on behalf of our personal injury clients. If you are looking for a San Francisco Bay Area personal injury lawyer, contact us for a free initial consultation. Call our office toll free at 1-866-288-6010 or send us an e-mail to set up an appointment.