Abels & Annes

Chicago car accident lawyers note impact of Facebook photos on DUI homicide case

A 20-year-old Campton Hills woman was fitted with an alcohol-monitoring ankle bracelet on Thursday after pictures of her partying with college students appeared on Facebook as she awaits trial on charges of reckless homicide and aggravated DUI stemming from a July 2007 South Elgin crash that killed a motorcyclist.

The car accident attorneys and personal injury and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes follow the impact of social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. Such evidence is increasingly relied upon by law enforcement and more and more attorneys are attempting to get it admitted into the courtroom.

The defendant had been ordered not to consume alcohol or be around people who were drinking. But South Elgin police found the photos of the accused, who attends college in Ohio, drinking with friends.

“It appears the defendant is having a grand old time drinking tequila,” Judge Thomas Mueller was quoted as saying in the Chicago Tribune.

Assistant State’s Attorney Steve Sims argued for the monitor, telling the court the defendant had previously violated her bail by failing to report by phone to the county court services department.

The defense attorney argued against the bracelet, saying it would hold his client up to scorn.

The judge cited with prosecutors, quoting the caption of one of the Facebook photos: “Erika passed out in bed. Ha. Ha.”

The Tribune quoted Jennifer Grasz, a spokeswoman for careerbuilder.com, who said the defendant’s situation shows the dangers of posting questionable material online.

“Once you post something online, it’s online for an unlimited amount of time,” Grasz said.