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Thread: Caution about postings

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    Regular Member SFCRetired's Avatar
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    "Happiness is a warm shotgun!!"
    "I am neither a pessimist nor a cynic. I am, rather, a realist."
    "The most dangerous things I've ever encountered were a Second Lieutenant with a map and a compass and a Private who was bored and had time on his hands."

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    The jist of his detainment/arrest and the tragic loss of a friend and co-owner has already been publicized by the media. However, your advise is/will be well taken by many.

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    Good advice.

    If I may expand,

    I would also like to extend the no-posting advice to encounters about which you might only complain. Not just encounters where you are in legal trouble or might want to sue.

    Police monitor this forum. It is no stretch at all for an LEO in another jurisdiction to see your post here, and alert the police in your jurisdiction. See the Tony's incident FOIA release. A police officer e-mailed around the state seeking information on VCDL(the wrong group as it was OCDO.) This caution especially applies if you are in legal trouble or want to sue.

    As for encounters where you might want to only complain. Police can get early warning of your plans if you post here. At least one police department pre-emptively launched their own internal affairs investigation based on a bad encounter posted here. That department then used (twisted, in my opinion)FOIA law exceptions to withhold FOIA-requested records when the OCer went to gather evidence for his complaint. No sense in helping these people hide. It was the Alexandria Police Department, VA.

    If you have havea negative police encounter and want in-put, advice, and so forth, send a Private Message to someone from your state who youthinkseems trustworthy and reliable as to court opinions and statutes.

    "I don't want to make a formal complaint," you might say. OK. You might once you hear thein-put and advice. Realize, you wouldn't be asking for advice or in-put if you knew whether your rights were violated and to what extent. Once you realize the full extent, you may get really angry (justified), and change your mind about a formal complaint or lawsuit.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Regular Member SFCRetired's Avatar
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    "Happiness is a warm shotgun!!"
    "I am neither a pessimist nor a cynic. I am, rather, a realist."
    "The most dangerous things I've ever encountered were a Second Lieutenant with a map and a compass and a Private who was bored and had time on his hands."

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    I don't see any significant risk in posting information about your experiences unless you are going to incriminate yourself in a crime - almost all the stories posted here have to do with folks who think the authorities have violated their rights, not where the posters have comitted any crimes, and tha facts they post are already known to the authorities.

    Invocation of the NATO doctrine requires posting spot reports sharing information is good, adds value.

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    Mike wrote:
    I don't see any significant risk in posting information about your experiences unless you are going to incriminate yourself in a crime - almost all the stories posted here have to do with folks who think the authorities have violated their rights, not where the posters have comitted any crimes, and tha facts they post are already known to the authorities.

    Invocation of the NATO doctrine requires posting spot reports sharing information is good, adds value.
    I think it's somewhere in between. I didn't see thethread but would like to know what others are experiencing. Unless you're giving away incriminating info like date, time, place, who was involved or anything else that could be used in a court room then no worries.Write a good short story inspired by true events.

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    If you have not broken the law there is little to worry about.I doubt the police are going to be researching every short story we written on the internet. Short of rape and murder.

    Now if you have done something you feel is questionable you may want to keep it to yourself. Stuff posted on the internet will live on for a long time.

    There is a chance that a statement made here could be used if a victim complains you committed a crime against him or her.

    But in all honesty, what are the odds.

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    With my case my lawyer told the defense to look at this site as reference to my complaint. I provided the link to the thread. He read it and then forwarded it to the defense.We start depositions soon. That should be a good time. I think you can tell what happened with no issues. however u better not ever embellish the truth for the sake of a good story. It'll come back to bite u in the ass.

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    Mike wrote:
    SNIP unless you are going to incriminate yourself in a crime
    This is a good point that you bring up, Mike.

    We've had a couple situations where it was open to question whether the poster was reporting something that amounted to a violation of the law.

    One fella sweated a good bit. He was harassed at a traffic stop over a gun on his dash. He did not have a CHP, but he also had a newly purchased gun, bought just a little earlier that evening, in its box in a bag in the back seat. Only later, after carefully reviewing his states concealed weapon law did he find the exception for transporting to or from a place of purchase, unloaded and securely wrapped. He sweated agood bit until he found that, thinking he had incriminated himself by posting about the backseat gun on the forum.

    If you do post a police encounter, I suggestmaking very sure you weren't violating some law the officer didn't recognize was being violated at the time. Police not knowing the gun laws can conceiveably cut both ways.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Citizen wrote:
    Mike wrote:
    SNIP unless you are going to incriminate yourself in a crime
    This is a good point that you bring up, Mike.

    We've had a couple situations where it was open to question whether the poster was reporting something that amounted to a violation of the law.

    One fella sweated a good bit. He was harassed at a traffic stop over a gun on his dash. He did not have a CHP, but he also had a newly purchased gun, bought just a little earlier that evening, in its box in a bag in the back seat. Only later, after carefully reviewing his states concealed weapon law did he find the exception for transporting to or from a place of purchase, unloaded and securely wrapped. He sweated agood bit until he found that, thinking he had incriminated himself by posting about the backseat gun on the forum.

    If you do post a police encounter, I suggestmaking very sure you weren't violating some law the officer didn't recognize was being violated at the time. Police not knowing the gun laws can conceiveably cut both ways.
    True,

    But even in the example you provided the poster could NOT be charged with a crime. The officer may have seen a "box" but the poster was still in possession so there would beno evidence.

    You cannot be charged someone with a crime based on a story you have written alone. The officer will have to have some evidence to prove the story was true.

    Now it would be different if the officer found the gun, took it, and the poster admitted on the internetto knowing it was illegal but took a chance. He could not argue in court that he was unaware and get off based on ignorance.

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    Devils Advocate wrote:
    If you have not broken the law there is little to worry about.SNIP

    :quirkyReally?

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    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    I say we stop telling other people what they should or shouldn't post.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

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    VAopencarry wrote:
    I say we stop telling other people what they should or shouldn't post.
    Hypocrite!



    I'm kidding, of course :P

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    Tomahawk wrote:
    Devils Advocate wrote:
    If you have not broken the law there is little to worry about.┬*SNIP
    ┬*

    :quirky┬*Really?
    I have to say that I agree with the import of the rhetorical question, "Really?"; the belief that "If you have not broken the law there is little to worry about" is romantic idealism, in my opinion. First off, what human has not "broken the law" - most of the time, people aren't even aware they have done so. In Virginia, for example, it's a class-one misdemeanor to leave stuff on other people's property, it's another to post matter in the public right of way without permission from the Virginia Department of Highways, and it's a third to attach matter to telephone poles or highway signs. So when a person puts up a "yard sale" sign on a telephone pole that's in someone else's front yard, but within the right of way, they're guilty of three different offenses for which they could get a maximum punishment of three years in jail plus fines of $7,500. But they do it all the time. Oblivious. I guarantee you that if I wanted to "get" you, and did some superficial investigation, I could find some crime you've committed recently that could wind you up in jail. And it's really just because the state's criminal code and the federal are just too big for anyone to understand, much less obey.

    Secondly, someone who wants to put the screws to you doesn't need actual guilt to manipulate the system into getting you put away. And even if you're found "not guilty" at trial, it will have cost you a year out of your life and between six and twenty thousand dollars in legal fees, on average. You don't realize how guilty you can be made to appear from statements that are innocent, or even well-meaning. I saw a guy convicted of obstruction of justice in a Fairfax County, Virginia Circuit Court by a jury, because he had advised a witness (who happened to be the cops' "confidential informant") that he should "do the right thing" by testifying at the trial of the defendant.

    Otto Von Bismarck, the Chancellor of Germany (and really, the creator of the modern state of Germany) in the late 1800's, said, "Those who love the law and sausages should not observe the process by which either is made." I suggest that goes for law enforcement as well as the legislative process.

    So, 1) everybody has something to hide, something they don't want known, and something that they feel is none of the police department's business; 2) everyone is guilty of something, or can be made to look that way; and 3) if someone tells you that you should reveal all so that you won't look guilty by trying to hide something, ask yourself why do they need to know what they're asking about - and if they're asking using that line of manipulative psychology, you should be thinking that they're trying to generate probable cause to arrest you based on your statements, and that you should be calling your lawyer. (The requirement for "Miranda" warnings only arises after you're under full custodial arrest.)
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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    VAopencarry wrote:
    I say we stop telling other people what they should or shouldn't post.
    No one's trying to order anyone else to do, or not do, anything. You post whatever you want to. But when someone gives you good advice and you have problems because you fail to take it, well, as I told my kids when they were growing up, you're much better off learning from other people's mistakes rather than your own.

    "...fools despise wisdom and instruction." (Proverbs, 1:6), but they make lots of work for lawyers. So, my friend, spout off as much as your little heart desires.
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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    it's a third to attach matter to telephone poles or highway signs.
    When I was working with the power company a friend of mine was climbing a pole and his hooks hit the head of a nail that had been left from a yard sale sign. He fell and broke his leg. Although this seems like a very trivial law there is a very distinct and good reason for it. I will admit that it is broken quite frequently by otherwise law abiding citizens but there are also many many cases of this causing injuries and cost to companies having to remove the left over nails.

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    Tomahawk wrote:
    Devils Advocate wrote:
    If you have not broken the law there is little to worry about.SNIP

    :quirkyReally?
    Yeah, tell that to Dan. How many thousands of his own dollars has he had to use to "prove" he didn't break a law.

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    It was my experience/observation that the courts are too busy with the volume of cases to assign LEOs or prosecutors to monitor on-line postings unless it were some big sensational media case or unless computers or on-line content were an aspect of thecrime they're investigating. I had to go to hearings that did nothing else but schedule future hearings, so I'm not impressed with their efficiency.

    That said, you still never want to say or write anything even remotely capable of being decontextualized as some inculpatory admission. Neither would you want to show your hand early if you are going to trial, say. There's nothing to stop someone from reporting something you said or wrote (possibly inaccurately) even if the authorities can't be bothered to check up on these things themselves.

    When in doubt, shut up. I do understand the impulse to complain of outrageous treatment and miscarriages of justice, but you are well advised to wait and argue the particulars of your case in court. There's nothing wrong with keeping people informed of the status of a case or just discussing legal definitions/statutory language/case law generally. The inevitable free advise you'll get is usually worth just that, though.

    -ljp

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    hsmith wrote:
    Tomahawk wrote:
    Devils Advocate wrote:
    If you have not broken the law there is little to worry about.SNIP

    :quirkyReally?
    Yeah, tell that to Dan. How many thousands of his own dollars has he had to use to "prove" he didn't break a law.
    Hell, tell it to the Duke lacross team.
    --- Gun control: The theory that 110lb. women have the "right" to fistfight with 210lb. rapists.

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    "Happiness is a warm shotgun!!"
    "I am neither a pessimist nor a cynic. I am, rather, a realist."
    "The most dangerous things I've ever encountered were a Second Lieutenant with a map and a compass and a Private who was bored and had time on his hands."

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    user wrote:
    Tomahawk wrote:
    Devils Advocate wrote:
    If you have not broken the law there is little to worry about.SNIP
    :quirkyReally?
    I have to say that I agree with the import of the rhetorical question, "Really?"; the belief that "If you have not broken the law there is little to worry about" is romantic idealism, in my opinion.
    +1 User and Tomahawk.

    The very existence of the Bill of Rights belies Devils Advocate's statement.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Legba wrote:
    It was my experience/observation that the courts are too busy with the volume of cases to assign LEOs or prosecutors to monitor on-line postings unless it were some big sensational media case or unless computers or on-line content were an aspect of thecrime they're investigating. I had to go to hearings that did nothing else but schedule future hearings, so I'm not impressed with their efficiency.
    True, they probably don't bother actively monitoring message boards.

    The problem comes when you've been arrested for something and they show up at your house with a fishing warrant and cart your computer off to see what you've been up to; the websites you frequent, etc. If they bother to investigate in any depth, everything you write here will turn up.

    Extreme cases aside, it's just good personal security practice to keep in mind that everything you do on the internet is probably out there on some server's hard drive and, as far as you know, can never be erased.

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    Founder's Club Member Jim675's Avatar
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    In general, do LEO read up on the internet postings of those they've cited that day? Probably not.

    On the other hand, if you start with an an officer who is aggressive enough to illegally stop an OCer, stubborn enough not to seek clarification, and then add some fear of the consequences and that could be plenty of motivation for a little fishing on their own time.


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