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Police: Instagram photo leads to drug charge for Louisiana teen

Many criminal cases involving drugs may seem to arise after some kind of prolonged investigation. Other charges may arise after a simple traffic stop where police claim to discover evidence of drugs. We have discussed these kinds of issues, as well as the idea of some kind of undercover sting that later leads to criminal drug charges.

However, use of the Internet has become a part of daily life for many people in Louisiana. You may be thinking: What does the Internet have to do with a drug offense?

A Patterson teenager is facing marijuana charges after law enforcement claims to have found pictures of pot posted on the popular social media site Instagram. Law enforcement says that the 17-year-old was one of a group of people sharing photographs online.

A detective with the St. Mary's Parish Sheriff's Office claims that the pot could be traced to a residence in Patterson. It is not clear from the media what information authorities say implicated the Patterson home. However, law enforcement says that the 17-year-old young woman was found to be in possession of marijuana when authorities went to the residence.

Marijuana laws all across the country have been under reconsideration in recent years. Louisiana lawmakers have bandied about ideas to change laws prohibiting simple pot possession charges. But, under current law, a charge for possession of marijuana can still bring about harsh consequences if a person is convicted of the offense.

It is important for people to remember that even in a simple possession case, a person suspected of an offense has constitutional rights. While many rights may be portrayed regularly in simple terms in the pop culture and TV crime dramas, these issues remain complex in a court of law. The law does not assume guilt when criminal charges are filed, and a person accused of an offense may benefit from not assuming guilt as well.

Source: The Advocate, "Photos of marijuana lead to Patterson girl's arrest," Sept. 4, 2013

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