An appeals court recently upheld the conviction of a man whose arrest began with a bad shot. His bad aim led to a confrontation with police which landed him with a 60 day jail sentence. The story goes to show that not all criminal charges are the result of a planned or morally questionable motive.
According to the Baltimore Sun, the defendant in this case was walking along Market Street in Frederick when he threw a newspaper to his friend. He missed, hitting a patrol car instead. The officer in the car exited the vehicle and that’s when things went bad.
The officer reported that when he confronted the paper boy he became loud and confrontational, yelling obscenities and causing a scene. He was eventually convicted of resisting arrest and failing to obey the order of the police. His sentence: 60 days in jail.
His attorney appealed the conviction on the grounds that he was simply exercising his right to free speech. The court determined it was the defendant’s volume that caused the problem, not the content of his speech. Apparently, the confrontation was loud enough to cause patrons of a local bar to come outside and watch.
Also at issue was the right a person has under Maryland law to “offer reasonable resistance to an unlawful arrest”. However, once the arrest was deemed lawful and not in violation of the defendant’s first Amendment rights, this argument failed to hold water.
This case is a good example of how things aren’t as clear cut when they are dissected in a court of law. The law is a very precise thing. In order to be charged and convicted of a crime and for that conviction to be upheld, it must adhere to every letter of the law and not violate your rights.
It also shows how a defense lawyer can often find many opportunities to challenge the rulings made, whether your ultimate conviction or the simple admissibility of evidence and testimony. An aggressive defense attorney will analyze your case and ensure they are leaving no stone unturned.
Whether you are facing charges like possession of a controlled substance and believe the evidence was seized in an illegal search or if you are up against charges of disorderly conduct for a misunderstanding with police, I can help.
Contact our lawyers today for a free consultation and evaluation of your case.