How a simple Google search can get you into jail

How a simple Google search can get you into jail

Lee Harbert, a San Francisco-based investment banker with a history of fines for driving under influence, almost got away with a deadly hit-and-run accident. On January 11, 2005, he killed 55-year-old Gurdeep Kaur with his Jaguar.

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The police thought they were looking for a burgundy Jaguar, instead of the banker’s black one. Plus Harbert had told the police he thought he had a deer and that was it. Until the police searched his computer. Gizmodo reports:

They found Google searches from a couple days after the accident like, “auto parts, auto dealers out-of-state; auto glass, Las Vegas; auto glass reporting requirements to law enforcement, auto theft,” according to the prosecutor. The coup de grace? He searched for “hit-and-run,” which he followed to a page about the hit-and-run he committed.


The judge sentenced him to three years in prison, Harbert appealed. For nothing, as it turns out his case was refused last week. If only he hadn’t grabbed the steering wheel while he was drunk…, or just left Google for what is was.

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