We often get questions from people who are confused by the application of Packingham (the SCOTUS decision that said Government cannot restrict access to social media) to their situation.

To simplify:

  • Packingham benefits people NOT ON PROBATION/SUPERVISED RELEASE. If you are on probation, a restriction on social media/internet access CAN be imposed.

  • Packingham DOES NOT prevent a private business (ie: Social Media platform) from restricting your access to their platform.

This past week, the Florida 1st DCA (appellate court) did a good job of clarifying the rule for us.in Burnsed v. Florida Commission on Offender Review.

“The law at issue in Packingham applied to sex offenders who had finished serving their sentences, and a violation of the statute was a felony offense. In contrast, the prohibition at issue in the present case was a condition of Petitioner’s conditional release. Federal courts have declined to find that the reasoning in Packingham applies to conditions of supervised release. See United States v. Carson, 924 F.3d 467, 473 (8th Cir. 2019) (citing cases). “

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