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Can you be arrested for texting about drug use?

You send a text to one of your friends over the weekend, telling him or her that you're using drugs.

Forget for a moment if the text was truthful or not. Maybe it was just an inside joke. Maybe you were making it up just to brag because you knew your friend would be impressed. Maybe not. Is it illegal to send a text message about illegal activity, such as using drugs? Could you get arrested?

You won't likely get arrested for that alone. In fact, many experts believe that one text message isn't even enough for the police to pull a warrant to search your house or your vehicle. They can't take you to court with that single text message and get a conviction, and, if they can't get a warrant, they're not going to find any more evidence.

The trouble comes if you get wrapped up in an investigation and that text message links you to a crime.

For instance, maybe your friend was selling drugs. You didn't know it, but he or she was being investigated by the police. They had a warrant and access to your friend's phone. They saw the text, and now they believe that your friend sold the drugs to you.

Now you could be involved. They may start digging deeper to see how much you knew or if you did anything that went beyond drug use, like selling them yourself. They may also just try to get you to testify against your friend, using you as a witness in the larger case.

Overall, it's typically not wise to text about illegal activity. Written messages form a paper trail, and, in the right situation, it may be used against you. If you do wind up getting arrested, make sure you know all of your legal options.

Source: FindLaw, "Is It Illegal to Text About Drug Use?," Ceylan Pumphrey, Feb. 27, 2018

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