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Bay Area Criminal Defense Blog

Before You Snap That Selfie, Make Sure You Aren't Incriminating Yourself

Posted by Lynn Gorelick | Jan 27, 2016 | 0 Comments

The selfie phenomenon has been around for a few years now, and shows no signs of slowing. A “selfie,” or taking a picture of yourself from your own phone was named as the word of the year in 2013 by the Oxford English Dictionary, was the inspiration for a dance song, and has spawned the much despised selfie-stick, which acts as an arm extension for greater range of self-centered photos. For some unlucky criminals, an incriminating selfie may lead the police to their door.

A young man in is now being sought by the police in California after an alleged home burglary. In the early morning hours of July 2nd, a suspect entered a home in Venice through an unlocked door. Three people were home, but asleep at the time. The man apparently took an iPhone and accidentally started the video function, which caught a video selfie of the suspect, before fleeing with the stolen phone.

After the owner of the phone discovered it missing, they were able to remotely access the phone, and passed the video along to police. The victim was not too impressed with the suspect's video skills, reportedly saying, “you don't want the ‘breaking into someone's house, getting the surveillance camera' selfie. That's a bad selfie.”

The Los Angeles Police Department issued a news release and a copy of the video, asking for the public to contact them with any information. If the man is caught, he could be facing felony burglary charges, with up to 6 years in state prison.

A man in England who was convicted for burglary may be using photos of himself to taunt police after he was accidentally released. Ryan Byrne was serving time for robbery, burglary and theft. He was released in error, but took his time on the run to pose in photos in front of a police car, and drinking a pint in a bar. Again, the police have released the photo and are looking for the public's assistance in locating the man.

It is not only theft suspects who appear on the wrong side of an incriminating photo. The police have used selfies showing illegal drugs to track down suspects. A 20-year-old in Sicklerville had posted a number of photos of himself with marijuana plants on Instagram. When police began investigating, they found Connor Kennedy tending to seven marijuana plants at an abandoned house. He was later arrested.

Again, American criminals and British criminals have more in common that the English language. A young marijuana grower in Devon, England was so proud of his cannabis growing skills that he took a picture of himself in front of the illicit garden. Police saw the photo, and tracked down Richard Edmunds to find the marijuana plants, lighting equipment, and a stash of cash. He ended up spending 20 months in jail for his activities.

If a photo landed you behind bars, you still have rights, and the right lawyer will fight for you. At the Gorelick Law Offices, attorney Lynn Gorelick has dedicated her legal career to defending people facing a DUI and other criminal charges in the East Bay. With more than 30 years of criminal defense experience, Lynn Gorelick will conduct an in-depth investigation, including obtaining all video and audio evidence. Call the local East Bay DUI defense attorney who understands how to get your DUI or other criminal charges reduced or dismissed.

About the Author

Lynn Gorelick

Lynn Gorelick has been an attorney for 30 years. She is the Attorney Lynn Gorelick is the President of the California DUI Lawyers Association and a Faculty and Sustaining member of the National College of DUI Defense.

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