04 September 2010

legal curiosities.

This past week, I had a fellow phone up to inquire as to the classification of the crime "Common Law Robbery" because it popped up on his employment background check many years after the fact as a now responsible adult.

It seems that many years ago as a foolish teenager, the guy was hangin' with his peeps when they happened upon a pizza guy and thought it would be funny to rough-up the pizza man and steal his pizza.

The much older and wiser man wanted to know if it was a felony or a misdemeanor? Well, as the boys were both out of the office and I am not an attorney, I had not a clue.

As it turns out, Common Law Robbery is a felony... and cannot be expunged from one's criminal record. So essentially, this poor guy has forever screwed himself due to the fact that he once kicked some pizza guy's ass and made off with a pie. --Not that I am condoning nor defending violence nor thievery but let's face it, just because our country says we're old enough to vote and go to war does not necessarily mean we possess the common sense to make intelligent decisions nor fully understand the consequences of our actions. We're not talking about rape or murder, it was a tussle and a pizza.

But here's the kicker... Had it been merely an assault - say, he kicked the pizza man's keister and did not take the pizza - he would have been charged with Simple Assault, which in North Carolina is a Class 2 Misdemeanor. The difference is the pizza.

For comparison, possession of one and a half ounces of marijuana or less is a Class 3 Misdemeanor, however, possession of the same marijuana and paraphernalia in which to consume/smoke it (i.e. bong, rolling papers, pipe, etc. - though I'm not clear if Brownie mix and baking supplies fall under the legal definition...) would win you a Class 1 Misdemeanor in the great state of NC. (For the record, speeding is a Class 2 Misdemeanor.)

A charge of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) kinda falls into it's own black hole of crime and punishment but I am told by The Husband, Esq that one fairs far better in the courts (and on one's criminal record) to be charged with possession of small amounts of illegal drugs and paraphernalia than driving after having consumed several legal alcoholic beverages. Go figure.

So I suppose the lesson we can derive from this little lecture is this:
  1. If you must partake of the herb, leave your pipe at home, and
  2. if you're gonna kick somebody's ass, don't take anything from them.
  3. And above all else, don't drink and drive.
Seriously, just don't. While driving drunk it may be good business for your local law firm, it's a really dumb thing to do. --Personally, I could care less if you have pot in your car, but the rest of us driving around out there appreciate your sobriety while you're on the road.

A public service message from yours truly. =)

"I've heard that while the show was on there were no reported crimes, or very few. When The Beatles were on Ed Sullivan, even the criminals had a rest for ten minutes."

...George Harrison

1 comment:

  1. Wow, and I thought pizza was expensive here. Oh well. You are so right tho. Kill someone and you will end up with seven years most times. Steal someones money and you're looking at lest ten years. This country is ass backwards at times.

    On and here is a little stat for you. 1 in every 10 drivers on the road are driving drunk. Yeah. It's that bad. In fact, here is some irony to order, I was on my way home from an AA meeting and this drunk, you could tell by the way he was driving, damn near drove into my back seat while on the freeway doing at least 70. He was doing 70. I was just lollygagging along at the limit. Scared the hell out of my and my passenger. Whoa buddy.