Five ways to stay out of trouble in the New Year:
Happy New Year!! I hope you have a prosperous, peaceful one. It is no one’s goal to get arrested and charged with a criminal offense in ANY year, and to that effect I am going to give you five ways you can avoid an arrest this year:
1. Do not drive with marijuana in your car:
I do not suggest being a heavy user of marijuana. It is not the best path to prosperity and productivity. However, if you are going to use marijuana in any quantity, keep it at your home, locked away safely. Driving with it is a very bad idea because the scent of marijuana gives a police officer probable cause to search your car and/or prolong the detention long enough to call a K9 to do a sniff-search. If the marijuana is found, you will be charged with possession of marijuana. If you must drive with it, limit the times you do this and only do it when it cannot be avoided. When you drive with it, keep it an air tight container out of view, or even invest in a portable vacuum sealer to seal it up before driving. NEVER SMOKE MARIJUANA IN YOUR CAR.
2. Always have a safe ride home after drinking:
If you are going to drink alcohol away from your home, always, always arrange for a sober (completely sober – not just “not that drunk”) ride home. Take a cab, have a designated driver, take a ride share, or take a means of public transportation. Arrests for DWI are increasing nationwide, and even if you are not truly intoxicated and have only consumed a limited amount of alcohol, it is an arduous undertaking to beat a DWI. It is also expensive.
3. Do not gamble at shoplifting:
You may not get caught every single time if you are a habitual shoplifter. But you will get caught eventually. Shoplifting charges are embarrassing, a pain to dispose of, and will disqualify you from many, many jobs.
4. Do not drink to the point of oblivion in public:
Public intoxication arrests are common. If you get very intoxicated and start causing a scene around a police officer, or if you are intoxicated and cannot seem to find your way home, you will probably get arrested for public intox. APD uses these as a “end the situation” type of arrest – if they don’t know what else to do with you but they have to figure out something because you can’t stay out on the street due to your intoxication – they will take you to jail for Public Intoxication.
5. Do not stay in toxic relationships:
If you are in a toxic, dangerous relationship – GET OUT. Do it as soon as you can safely. Yelling, verbal abuse and emotional abuse will lead to physical abuse and this will lead to intervention by the system. Even if you call the police because you are the one being abused, it is not always the case that the police arrest the right person. Sometimes they mistake defensive injuries as the primary injuries and arrest the person that was the actual victim. If you need resources, call the Domestic Violence Hotline.
I hope that all my clients, my potential clients, and their friends and family can have a peaceful year this year and stay out of the system. It is so time and resource consuming to get arrested over and over again, so be smart and employ these strategies above so you can stay free this year.
Happy New Year from Stefanie Collins Attorney at Law.