Everyone likes to believe they live in a country that promotes freedom of speech but does this apply to what we post online?
Many internet forums and social media platforms are free to access and use. More often than not they are used to share positive information and rarely are threats against individuals posted on these sites. However, from time to time individuals post threats against others ranging from just being verbally abusive to intent to commit murder. Typically, people are free to post whatever they want to any audience they choose but under Florida law there are some kinds of online speech that can lead to prosecution.
What constitutes online crimes?
Those that are sent by electronic communication of any type whether open to public view or not which threatens to kill or commit bodily injury to a named person or group are classified as a second degree felony whether the communication has been signed or is anonymous even if it is unlikely the intention would be carried out.
Posting a false report
It is a second degree felony to post a false report online, which includes Individuals threatening to use a firearm when no such weapon is present, the planting or placing of a bomb or other explosive that could cause fatalities.
Intellectual property violation
You can be committing a crime if you post a movie online which was recently released.
This is when a sexually explicit image of somebody is posted without their consent.
It is an offense under Florida Law to post any individual’s private information without getting permission first. This includes numbers on credit cards and social security numbers.
At the moment, the use of hate speech is protected under the 1st Amendment. However, if there is any indication that a threat is embedded in the hate speech the person is no longer protected under the law. You should also watch your language as you don’t know who else is looking at your social media page like your employer. It could cost you your job.
The spreading of rumors
If you don’t like someone and you post negative comments or rumors about the individual you will unlikely face criminal prosecution. However, if what you say seems threatening this is another matter and you could be investigated. If you are wrongly defaming someone that person may choose to sue you for defamation. So whatever you say online could lead to an undesirable conclusion.
If you have been involved in any type of illegal activity and haven’t yet been caught but you choose to post your activities online, don’t be surprised if a law enforcer comes knocking on your door. You have in fact opened yourself to an easy prosecution by law enforcement agencies.
If you think you have been arrested for an online post that you believe is not illegal you will need an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney to uphold your rights. Any criminal activity taking place in Florida attracts some of the harshest penalties in the country and should be avoided at all costs. Call Miami criminal defense attorney, Albert Quirantes Esq., at 305-644-1800.
Albert Quirantes: Your Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer & DUI Lawyer
For over 30 years, Miami criminal defense attorney Albert M. Quirantes has been aggressively and zealously defending the rights of those accused of felony and misdemeanor crimesthroughout South Florida. With his dedicated team, reasonable legal fees, and a well-earned reputation for challenging prosecutors at every turn, he has protected over 8,000 clients during some of the roughest times of their lives.
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If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: (305) 644-1800 or visit our homepage www.CriminalDefendant.com for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.