Whether a case is “big” or “small”, it is always scary to be charged with a crime. This is especially true when the person being charged has never been in any kind of trouble. Thankfully, a recent client of mine who found himself charged with his first criminal offense will have his case dismissed after a 90 day period.
My client was working as a parking attendant at a surface lot in Detroit. The lot was full, which usually means that the lot cannot take any more money for cars. However, in this case, the owner of the lot got a little greedy and started telling his attendants to show people where to park on the street…but STILL take money from them. Understandably it is illegal to charge people for parking on a public street. All lot owners know this. My client, who was working for the owner, did not know this. And, when he directed an undercover officer to park in the street for $10, he was charged with the offense.
Thankfully, I was able to sit-down with a very reasonably attorney for the City of Detroit, and negotiated an agreement where my client would pay a small fine and his charges would be dismissed and the case would be thrown out.
Even though my client didn’t know that his actions were against the law, he was still charged with a crime. These types of charges are called “strict liability” offenses and you can be convicted of them even if you didn’t know your actions were against the law. This will be the subject of my next blog.