Lehto’s Law: You can be arrested over a Facebook post

By | January 12, 2019

“Depending on what state you are in, and it does actually happen.”

In this video, Steve Lehto discusses a story in the New York Times; a fellow named Robert Freeze who in New Hampshire received a traffic citation he disagreed with. So he went online to the comments page of a newspaper and wrote his opinion: that “the cop who gave the ticket was a ‘dirty cop’, and that the police chief was a coward”

It turns out that in New Hampshire; there is a criminal law against libel, and “half the states in America have laws that make libel a crime, and prosecutions still happen “, such that if someone writes things about you that you don’t like, there is a potential to have the person arrested. So if you are a police officer, and you feel someone’s libeled or slandered you: you can just arrest the person, since they’ve broken the law, according to you.

“about 25 people charged with violating NH’s law from 2017 – 2019 according to the ACLU, and a law professor at UCLA, Eugene Volokh who studies this, says: about 20 prosecutions a year around the nation, many leading to convictions — for criminal slander or libel”

In Mr. Freeze’s case, when he was arrested for statements made against the police — that prosecution was dismissed after the prosecutor expressed doubts about the constitutionality of the man criticizing the police and the police making the arrest.

“Bad Mouth a cop, and the cop can arrest you for bad mouthing him?” (Apparently so)

You Can Be Arrested for Something You Wrote on Facebook - Lehto's Law Ep. 5.56
You Can Be Arrested for Something You Wrote on Facebook - Lehto's Law Ep. 5.56

In this video, Steve Lehto discusses people being arrested based on defamatory statements written online.

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