Electronic communication has changed the way law enforcement does its job and the way crimes are investigated and evidence gathered. One man in Indiana found out the downside of technology, particularly with regard to texting, when he is said to have sent a text message allegedly to the wrong person. The text resulted in the man being accused of drug crimes.
The 34-year-old man purportedly sent a text in error to an off-duty patrolman. Apparently, the officer didn't recognize the number but noted that the text seemed to be about drug activity. The patrolman responded to the text by arranging for a meeting with the sender.
The man who sent the text met with the patrolman at a park, per the meeting arranged at the officer's request. The man was arrested at the scene of the meeting. A passenger in the man's vehicle told the police the man was selling prescription medication. The accused man now faces felony drug charges.
When it comes to drug crimes, the circumstances under which meetings are arranged and evidence is discussed and exchanged can play a major role in what type of charges may result. In Indiana, felony drug charges can result in jail time, high fines and other criminal consequences -- but only if and when a criminal conviction is obtained. Every aspect of the encounters between the patrolman and the accused man will likely be scrutinized by defense counsel, including the electronic communications. The burden of proof remains with the prosecution, and no conviction may be returned against the man without competent and relevant proof that meets the strict requirements of our criminal justice system.