While most of us can remember momentary lapses of common sense that made us wonder what on earth we were thinking, it is doubtful that these lapses have resulted in criminal convictions. However, for a select few, a momentary lapse in judgment led to convictions for some truly absurd behavior.
Facebook Calling Card
Two men were convicted of armed robbery in Calima, Colombia last May after they decided to rent computer time at an Internet café. Instead of paying for the time used, however, they pulled guns and took all the money from the register before departing. When police were called in, they found that one of the men had failed to log off of his Facebook account, thus providing the officers with all the necessary information to trace the criminals to an address, where they were arrested.
In a similar misuse of social media, a teen in Oregon posted a Facebook status in which he described himself as having been driving drunk and having also hit at least one other vehicle. When the post was reported to local police a day later, authorities were able to confirm that damage to the teen’s car matched damage to two other nearby cars, and he was arrested on two counts of failure to perform the duties of a driver. Because of the time lapse between the incident and the arrest, officers were not able to charge the teen with drunk driving.
Such a Thing as Too Much Honesty
Early in 2012, Dominick Pelletier was convicted on one count of child pornography as a direct result of his comments made to two FBI agents back in 2008 when he was attempting to obtain a job with the FBI. During his job interview, he mentioned that he had done research on child pornography during graduate school. Instead of stopping there, though, he continued by telling the agents that he still had child pornography on his home computer and that he had also created child pornography by filming himself having sexual relations with an underage female. After all was said and done, Pelletier still thought he had a shot at the position with the FBI.
Oh, the Irony
The image of the poor college student has been around for decades, with students even selling back their used textbooks for a fraction of their original cost for much-needed cash. Apparently, one Kentucky gentleman last July decided to skip the part about buying and using the textbook first and jumped right to stealing a textbook from one college bookstore and attempting to sell it back to a rival bookstore. Unfortunately for him, he was caught on camera at both stores but still thought he could unload the text prior to it being reported stolen. Maybe next time he should pay a little more attention to the content of the textbook he chose, entitled “Resolving Ethical Issues.”
While absurd crimes are nothing new, today’s technology opens up possibilities for whole new areas of ineptitude for spur-of-the-moment crimes. The next time you find yourself wondering what you were thinking in a particular situation, just remind yourself that it could have been a lot worse.
This article was written together with Robert Tritter, an avid legal blogger who writes articles across the web. He writes this on behalf of Hutton & Wilson, your number one choice when seeking for a Criminal Defense attorney in Pasadena. Make sure to check out their website for more information and see why they’re the best!