Getting arrested is never funny – at least not to the person being arrested. How not funny it will be depends on whether you are charged under criminal law or civil. This video is a humorous look at how not to get arrested.
Most people with common sense would know better than to do what he’s doing in the video. But even if you’ve done absolutely nothing wrong, it is still possible to end up on the wrong side of the law. Sometimes all it takes is being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Any arrest is going to be embarrassing because one of the first things that happens is that your photograph will be taken. Most likely before you can even process out without any delays, it will be plastered on dozens of sites on the internet. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to prevent that from happening unless you can talk your way out of having your photograph taken in the first place. Law enforcement wastes no time sharing your photos with companies that publish it online.
Your nightmare is only just starting. How bad it will get depends on why you were arrested. Criminal offences can be more serious than civil crimes – but either can land you behind bars.
Difference between civil and criminal law
While murder and assault are obviously criminal offences, other issues that can lead to your arrest are not so clear. One of the most common reasons for arrest is check fraud. Owing someone money was originally considered a civil matter, but states in the U.S. have criminalized bad checks. District Attorneys can issue warrants against those who have uncleared checks – even if they did not write them.
Anyone who has one of your checks can print out a blank duplicate on their printer and forge your name to it. If the information they use is for a checking account you no longer have and you’ve moved, you may not receive the notice.
Imagine your surprise when a minor traffic stop uncovers a warrant for your arrest and you are immediately carted off to jail.
Retaining an attorney is best when charged with any offence. Be sure to choose an attorney who specializes in the relevant type of law. For example, if you need a criminal attorney, you would choose lawyers such as the law firm of http://www.primelawyers.com.au/ who specialize in Australian criminal law. If you cannot afford one, a public defender will be appointed for criminal cases. You’re on your own if you need an attorney for a civil case.
The only thing most people know about civil forfeiture is the advertisements they’ve seen when the property seized is auctioned off. What they need to know is that your cash, vehicle or property can be seized without you being charged with anything. Forbes has reported traffic stops raking in millions of dollars.
The Washington Post reports:
“Thousands of people have been forced to fight legal battles that can last more than a year to get their money back.”
Few can afford the legal battles to recover their property, so many walk away from their cash, cars and possessions.
Different Legal Systems
Keep in mind while traveling that laws can differ by states within a country and even more between countries. The United States, Britain, and Australia have similar legal systems, but they aren’t identical. Gun ownership laws are much more stringent in the U.K. and Australia. The U.S. has traditionally protected gun rights, although they are continually under threat.
In Australia you can be arrested for having a knife in your possession. In the U.K. you can carry a folding pocket knife under 3″ long. Some types of knives such as switchblades are prohibited in the U.S., but many can be legally carried. Americans commonly wear or carry pocket knives that are technically legal.
Other countries can be far more Draconian. Twenty or so countries apply capital punishment for what would be minor possession charges in other countries. When traveling, be sure to check the laws of all countries you travel to as well as any you travel through. Be particularly careful in the 5 Worst Capital Punishment Countries.
None of us are immune from legal problems. There are crazy laws still on the books around the world. These 7 Absurd Lawsuits of the Past 5 Years You’ll Shake Your Head At are just an example. It wouldn’t hurt to research attorneys now so you’ll know who to call should you ever need one. You may not be in any shape to do that when you’re stressed out over an arrest.