Dysart Willis
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En Español : 919-747-3276
Arabic : 252-654-4852
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The Crime Of Googling

Users are just beginning to understand the information-gathering practices of companies like Google and Facebook. An ordinary online presence can reveal a person's income, buying habits, political affiliations, hobbies, susceptibility to marketing, associates and physical location. We all knowingly or unknowingly provide this information to companies that use it for their own gain.

Whether or not the public understands the power of this information, law enforcement certainly does. North Carolina police have requested several warrants in the last year seeking data from Google for all users in a certain area over a certain time period. While the initial data requested was anonymous, the information was filtered and used to request more information about specific users.

Expectation of privacy

U.S. laws concerning the right to privacy differ from those in many other countries. Outside of medical records, which receive special protection, most of the data that concerns us can be obtained by any interested party, including the government. While you may be careful about picking your "friends" on Facebook, anything you share basically becomes public information that can be used against you. It is generally a good idea to consider anything you do online as public knowledge.

When it comes to warrants like the ones sought by Raleigh police, it is inarguable that people who have nothing to do with criminal activity are swept up in the investigation. Just being in the wrong place at the wrong time can lead to your online activities being sifted through by law enforcement. If they find something of interest, you may find yourself charged based on a warrant that had nothing to do with you. As with any criminal charge, it is important to understand and question every piece of evidence against you and how it was collected.

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Our Results

  • Client was charged in federal court with the felony offense of being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm. After negotiation with the US Attorney's Office, the felony gun charge was dismissed and our client...

  • Our client was charged with statutory rape and faced mandatory registration as a sex offender if convicted. We were able to work with a forensic expert and the district attorney's office to negotiate a guilty plea..

  • Client charged with Felony Assault on a Police Officer, misdemeanor assault, and resisting an officer. After a jury trial where multiple police officers testified about the incident, our client was found not guilty ..

  • Client investigated by federal law enforcement for possessing child pornography. Ryan began representing the client during the investigation and ultimately the client was not charged with any crimes...

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Super Lawyers Board Certified Specialist | North Carolina State Bar | Federal / State Criminal Law
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