It is said often and it should be repeated frequently: what you post on social media can get you in trouble with the law. As our West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers know, there is very little that you can expect to do privately on the internet.
Just this past week, two Fort Pierce residents were arrested after Florida law enforcement officers became aware of a questionable and disturbing photo they had posted on Facebook.
The photo of a tied-up alligator, which the couple posted to Facebook in April, was recently brought to the attention of law enforcement officers, who eventually arrested the couple for having hunted the 7-foot alligator without a permit.
According to the Palm Beach Post, when investigators obtained pictures of the two Fort Pierce residents — Chasity Barrett and Guy Bennett — holding the alligator, the two individuals were arrested. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, it is at this point unknown whether Barrett and Bennett actually killed the alligator. However, as our West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers at Leifert & Leifert understand, neighbors of the two people arrested say that the couple likely decapitated the alligator.
In an arrest affidavit, reports show, a friend of Guy Bennett told authorities that Bennett said, “I’m going to saw his head off … He won’t live long,” speaking about the alligator. A spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission noted that the skull of the alligator was found buried in Bennett’s yard (within the Ridgecrest Trailer Park).
Animal cruelty is wrong and nobody should engage in the practice. Further, publishing photos of your wrongdoing and telling others about your illegal plans simply serve to draw attention to the offenses you’ve committed. The State of Florida is home to a great many species given the Sunshine State’s often flat and swampy terrain. There are many laws in our state which are designed to protect these species; when hunting them is legal, permits are issued and must be obtained prior to the carrying-out of such hunting activities.
As our West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers know, there are two key takeaways from this story: (i) be cautious about what you post on social media because you never know whether or not it might make its way in front of a law enforcement department and (ii) don’t torture or otherwise injure animals or other living creatures or hunt them without a proper permit.
If you have any questions about this or any other criminal defense issue, or if you have been arrested for or charged with a crime in Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade County, please contact our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert by calling 1-888-5-DEFEND (1-888-533-3363) to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to assisting you.