Q: Can you be prosecuted for a privately sent video of you using drugs found on a friends cell phone?
A friend (buddy 1) of mine goes to turn himself into jail and has his phone. The cops later search it and find old videos of him and another friend (buddy 2) blowing out bong rips that were sent to one another, privately. Can the cops charge my friend (buddy 2) with anything?
This took place in Minnesota and as far as I know no charges have been filed.
Unlikely that Buddy #2 would be charged.
If Buddy #2 was some sort of accomplice to the crime that Buddy #1 turned himself in for or was part of a conspiracy with Buddy #2, or the two were part of a drug conspiracy, then yeah, possibly. It also depends on how old the videos are (statute of limitations for drug charges is generally 3 years). It would also depend on what the underlying reason was for searching Buddy #1's phone. For instance, if they just happened to come across these private videos of Buddy #2 blowing out "bong rips" when searching Buddy #1's phone for something totally unrelated, I would suspect Buddy #2 would not be charged. They would also have to prove that whatever was in the bong was an illicit controlled substance, when it could very well have just been water tobacco or cannabis.
So long story short, Buddy #2 probably will not be charged, but it is difficult to say without more context. Best to consult with a defense attorney and provide the full context for a concrete answer. Good luck!
A: "Old videos" of a person smoking something in a water pipe, alone, would not be enough to charge a crime. But it could possibly inspire police to investigate further (in an effort to get enough evidence to charge a crime). Therefore, it would make sense to prepare for that, prepare to not supply evidence, prepare not to say anything, etc. This person may want to discuss with a criminal defense lawyer for that reason.
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