Anything You Say Or Tweet Will Be Used Against You in a Court of Law

It's no secret that millennials, like any other generation, like to drive fast in their first years as licensed drivers. We have an almost George Costanza-like desire to make good time from Point A to Point B. For many of us this obsession leads to speeding tickets or close calls with screeching brakes, but for 18-year-old Cody Hall, his obsession with speeding has allegedly ended in a fatal crash. According to police, Hall was going over 80miles per hour in a 40-mph zone and lost control of his vehicle, triking and killing Diana Hersevoort and injuring her husband Johannes Hersevoort.  Normally a tragedy like this would lead to the charge of vehicular manslaughter and in this case it did. That is, until police found Hall's history of bragging about his speeding on Twitter, and upgraded the charge to murder. These tweets seem to be enough to prove "implied malice," and this case is a startling reminder that social media isn't just a place for fun.

For the government to have upgraded the charge, prosecutors must believe they can prove "implied malice," which means they believe Hall "engaged in an intentional, unlawful act done with conscious disregard for the risk to human life." In order to make this case the prosecution is using tweets sent from an accounted registered to Hall, including those saying, "Drive fast live young," bragging about going 140 mph on Interstate 5, and "Someone come on a death ride with me !!!"  This information will be entered as a "pre-offense statement" as an effort to prove malice. In an effort to curb the damage Hall's Twitter account is no longer public. However, the damage is already done.  

It becomes obvious that Hall is aware of his speeding, and has taken enough pride in his violation that he openly tweets about it. He has an affinity for speeding. Now when you couple tweets of that nature alongside tweets about death rides, whether they are joking or not it shows that Hall is aware that speeding can have potentially fatal consequences. These tweets have increased Hall's charges, effectively changing the range of possible punishments from up to nine years in prison for manslaughter, to 15-to-life for the murder charge and an additional three years and eight months for the reckless-driving charge.

This case should be a red flag for our social-media-oriented generation. Just because the flashing blue and red lights aren't in your rear-view mirror doesn't mean all the information you've made public about what you've gotten away with won't be used against you. There's no statute of limitations on a confessed pattern. Actually, better yet, just don't break the law.  

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Mike Mulraney

Media Coordinator in New York State. University of Scranton '12. Former campaign advisor. Social media veteran of federal campaigns. Two-time College Republican President, Founding Member Young Americans for Liberty - University of Scranton Chapter, Former Op-Ed writer for The Aquinas and Save Jersey, former host of The Spectrum on 99.5 WUSR FM.

MORE FROM

Employees are getting microchips put in their hands at this US company

They cost $300 a piece, but this U.S. company is about to foot the bill for any employee who signs up.

NASA’s working on quieter supersonic flight, which it wants to help commercialize

What if you could spend less time on a plane to get where you're going?

3 reasons why you shouldn’t have fallen for Elon Musk’s hyperloop plans

Musk claims the hyperloop will take us from New York to D.C. in under 30 minutes, but where's the proof?

Why it’s crucial for Californians to turn off their lights during the upcoming solar eclipse

Officials are hoping residents can offset major energy losses by keeping the lights off.

You can help NASA with your solar eclipse observations on Aug. 21

You'll be an eclipse scientist.

Scientists are pretty sure that deep inside the moon, there’s water

The explosive story of water on the moon.

Employees are getting microchips put in their hands at this US company

They cost $300 a piece, but this U.S. company is about to foot the bill for any employee who signs up.

NASA’s working on quieter supersonic flight, which it wants to help commercialize

What if you could spend less time on a plane to get where you're going?

3 reasons why you shouldn’t have fallen for Elon Musk’s hyperloop plans

Musk claims the hyperloop will take us from New York to D.C. in under 30 minutes, but where's the proof?

Why it’s crucial for Californians to turn off their lights during the upcoming solar eclipse

Officials are hoping residents can offset major energy losses by keeping the lights off.

You can help NASA with your solar eclipse observations on Aug. 21

You'll be an eclipse scientist.

Scientists are pretty sure that deep inside the moon, there’s water

The explosive story of water on the moon.