Kickstarter, Indiegogo and GoFundMe are all useful fundraising tools for those looking to create a new product, support a charitable cause or who need a little help. But some people approach these sites with less noble ambitions and these questionable campaigns could end up not only getting these people in trouble with the police, but could also provide evidence against them in court. San Marcos criminal lawyers urge people to use their brains before starting crowdfunding campaigns.
In a very notable story recently, two teens were arrested in Arizona after attempting to use GoFundMe to raise money for the ammunition needed to shoot up their high school. Police were first tipped off by a third teen who heard the boys discussing their plans, but it seems likely that they still would have been stopped before the tragedy became a reality without that tip as someone was bound to report the online fundraising campaign. There was no question about the meaning of their page either as it specifically detailed the need for funds to purchase ammunition in order to do a school shooting. One of the boys also filed the serial number off of his gun.
The GoFundMe page has since been taken down and no one donated to it while it was live. The teens have since been charged with interference or disruption of an educational institution and conspiracy to commit terrorism. Fallbrook violent crimes lawyers agree they may have been able to fight the charges somewhat successfully if the only evidence against them was the third boy’s testimony and the seizure of the gun with a damaged serial number. However, the details on the GoFundMe page will provide ample evidence to back up the other boy’s testimony.
Obviously almost everyone will be glad that these boys were caught before they started shooting at other teens in their school, but the situation is a good reminder of why you should never post information related to a criminal activity online -even if it’s something as comparatively mild as posting videos of pranks you’ve played on your kids. Escondido criminal attorneys believe people need to be more mindful of what they do online, especially in a world where at least one person has even been charged with a crime for simply deleting his browsing history.
If you have been accused of any crime and believe your online activity may hurt your case, be sure to discuss this information with your lawyer. You can schedule a free initial consultation with top Rancho Bernardo defense attorney Peter M. Liss by calling (760) 643-4050.
Creative Commons image by Olgierd Rudak