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Alleged Drunk Driver Leads Police Right to Her Location

A Florida woman “baffled” veteran police officers when she “live-streamed” herself driving drunk. The woman is alleged to have used the smartphone “app” Periscope (which allows users to upload a live-stream video to the internet that other individuals can see) to document her drunk-driving experience. The woman is accused of stating she was “super drunk . . . I am really drunk . . . I am super drunk right now in a place that I really don’t want to be.” Using landmarks that were visible in the woman’s video, police were able to locate the woman and she was eventually arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Your Smartphone Can Be Your Worst Enemy

It is amazing how much technology has changed in such a short amount of time. Many people carry smartphones with them and use applications and programs to document and record nearly every facet of their daily lives. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter allow users to inform others about the user’s thoughts and/or whereabouts in real time, fitness or mapping applications can pinpoint the user’s location at any given moment, and even pictures taken using a smartphone can document the time and location at which the picture was taken. Unfortunately, if you committed a crime all of this information can find its way into law enforcement hands if you are not careful. Your alibi defense that you were somewhere else when a crime happened can be destroyed if police are able to open your fitness app and see where you really were at the time of the crime.

Can I Protect the Information in My Smartphone?

You do have a privacy interest in the contents of your cellular telephone and any apps you may have loaded onto your smartphone. This requires law enforcement officers to obtain a search warrant based on probable cause before they would be able to attempt to access your cell phone. There is an important exception to this warrant requirement, however: consent. That is, if you give officers consent to search your phone, or tell them that they can view your cell phone’s content, then you are relieving law enforcement officers of their obligation to show a judge that probable cause exists to believe a crime has been committed and that evidence related to the crime might be found on your cell phone.

Once officers obtain consent or a search warrant for your cellular phone, officers may then attempt to access the phone and its contents. You are not under any legal obligation at any time to provide any password to law enforcement officers.

Contact a South Florida Criminal Defense Attorney

When you are arrested and/or charged with a crime, contact experienced and skilled Miami criminal defense attorney Jeffrey S. Weiner right away. You can waive or give up important legal rights and harm or hinder your defense to your criminal charges if you act without first consulting with an attorney. Contact Jeffrey S. Weiner today and seek his assistance and expertise by calling (305) 670-9919.

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