Passion, Knowledge & Experience
I'm appearing in Livingston County Court again this morning, and one of the cases before the Court can serve as a reminder that things can always go from bad to worse if you let them.
"If you let them." The good news is that you can always turn things around. You don't have to make a bad situation worse.
In the case before the Court, a young man (under 21) was caught consuming alcohol in public. There was his first mistake, and it resulted in an 'ABC' violation (underage drinking is a violation of the law - not a crime). If this young man had kept his mouth shut, accepted the ticket and gone home, everything would have been okay. But he didn't.
Next, he is alleged to have exchanged words with an off-duty police officer, and... allegedly... he committed another act that resulted in a Public Lewdness charge. He just went from a violation-level 'ABC' charge to a B misdemeanor (Public Lewdness). B misdemeanors are a crime punishable by up to six months in jail, so the police arrested him. Here was the defendant's second opportunity to put the brakes on his growing problems. He didn't. (Allegedly.)
Instead of complying with the police when they attempted to arrest him, this young man allegedly fought back. Thus, the Resisting Arrest charge, which is an A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail. (Do you see how this keeps getting worse?)
Finally, when police finally had him cuffed and into the cruiser, this young man allegedly kicked out a window. As a result, he was charged with Criminal Mischief 3rd Degree, a felony punishable by up to four years in state prison.
So, in a very short period of time, this young man went from being charged with an ABC violation that he could have paid a small fine on, to a felony charge that landed him in jail with a $4,000 bail.
If you find yourself in a bad situation, don't make it worse. Don't give statements to police officers (you have the right to remain silent). If you are getting arrested, ask for a lawyer and let them arrest you peacefully - then call us. It's easier for us to help if you haven't sworn at police, exposed yourself in public, or caused damage to property. If you find yourself charged with a crime, contact The Militello Law Firm at (585) 485-0025 for a free telephone consultation and case evaluation.