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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:shock:

:jail:

So, my wife and I go to lunch together. She wants to look in these little stores full of over-priced foo-foo boring stuff, and I am being nice, so I go along. This is Atlanta, though, so I am packing, of course.

We decide to eat at a little sandwich shop nearby with an outdoor seating area. We go inside, order, and, as I am getting ready to pay, what do I see?

A little refrigerator with with a glass door behind which are bottles of beer and wine!

#-o

:banghead:

So, I nonchalantly pay the lady, and we go outside to sit and eat. I nervously look around, thinking nobody had noticed.

Several minutes later, as we are eating, I notice two police officers walking through the parking lot, picking a path through the cars more or less in our general direction. The adrenaline starts to trickle. Nothing major, just a trickle, surely they are looking for someone or something else.

Then I notice them scanning the restaurant. They are halfway across the parking lot now. A little more adrenaline begins to flow.

Three-fourths of the way across the parking lot, one of the officers looks right at me. I notice his direction change from a point off to my left to my exact direction. The other officer follows.

The patio on which we are eating has steps covering the entire length. They can climb up the steps anywhere along them, but they have turned at an angle to come up the steps directly where I am sitting.

I quickly begin thinking of excuses!

I want to blurt out, "But I didn't know they serve alcohol!" Or, "I came outside when I saw it!"

Instead I bite my tongue. My heart is racing, and the adrenaline is in full dump mode as the officers ascend the stairs and now are less then three steps from me!

:help:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
They went in and got something to eat.

My wife nudged me and said, "See, if the police can afford to eat here, it is not too expensive."

"Huh?" I responded. My heart was still racing.

Whew!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
mzmtg, is that a defense?

I once walked out of a building and out into a parade that I did not know was taking place? Would that defense work?

Must a judge not let the case go to the jury if I can prove I did not know they sold beer and wine until after I paid?

This is not the first time I have failed to know whether a restaurant serves alcohol until after I walked in.

If you had never been to a Chili's or something similar, is there any way to know before walking in whether they serve alcohol?

Shouldn't one at least know he is violating a malum prohibitum law before carting him off to jail?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
viper32cm said:
I have no idea how Georgia treats the mistake doctrine (but I do know that Georgia is a common law jurisdiction and not an MPC jurisdiction).
Me, either.

viper32cm said:
I think I'm getting this right, but I only got a B in criminal law, so please no one take this one way or the other as to reality in Georgia.

And as always I am not a lawyer, and even when I do become one I won't be a criminal lawyer.
I got the highest grade in the criminal law class, I think- if not I came in second, but I am not a criminal lawyer and find some of it just terribly confusing. A lot of the case law really seems driven by a desirable outcome to the judge rather than applying any rule of law.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks jrm! But you forgot to quote the entire thing!

16-3-5.
A person shall not be found guilty of a crime if the act or omission to act constituting the crime was induced by a misapprehension of fact which, if true, would have justified the act or omission, unless, of course, he hangs around on the patio like a dummy long after the misapprehension of fact was dispelled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Re: 16-3-5

"M.P. would then be subject to cross-examination about why he knew, or should have known, that alcohol was served there."

Oh, boy! A chance to get the jury on my side against Mr. Prosecutor is all that would be! :D

Questions like:

Wasn't the cooler containing the booze in plain sight from where you entered the restaurant?

No, Mr. Prosecutor. I already said it was in the corner and not noticeable until you pay. Didn't you visit the site of the restaurant before trying to prosecute me and put me in jail? What kind of prosecutor are you, anyway?

Objection, your honor, I . . .

That's ok, your honor, I withdraw my answer about what kind of prosecutor he is. I am sure under other circumstances he is a good one. My short answer is that no, it was not visible as you walk in, and had he visited the site he would know that.

[Resuming] Didn't the front door have a sign that said "No I.D., No Alcohol-- It's The Law"?

[Laughing] No! It wasn't a convenience store! [Laughing] It was an overpriced sandwich shop, although my wife thinks the prices are just fine.

[Flustered] Isn't it true that at least three other tables within sight of yours were occupied by people consuming alcoholic beverages, with those beverages on the table in front of them for everyone to see?

I saw not a single person drinking any kind of alcoholic beverage, and there are no tables inside, just a counter, but then, you haven't bothered to visit the restaurant, have you, Mr. Prosecutor?

[A little louder and more desparate, with redness in the face] Isn't there a "Miller Light" neon sign in the hallway leading to the bathrooms?"

Um, I have never seen the bathrooms - I frankly don't even know if there are any, but there are no neon signs of any kind. As I said, it was "overpriced," and neon and "overpriced" do not usually go together.

"Why did you want to take a gun into that place?"

I have carried a gun with me every day for the last 17 years. When I stopped being a police officer I felt naked without one, having been required to carry a firearm everywhere for 12 years as a part of my job.

[Jury nodding in agreement and smiling]

"Who were you planning on shooting with your gun?"

Uh, [laughing] no, what kind of crazy question is that?

Objection, nonresponsive

Your honor, he is accusing me of planning a murder. [Face like this :roll: ]

Sustained.

"Don't you trust the police to protect you?"

Certainly not! Like I said, I was one for 12 years, and I know they cannot be everywhere. They typically show up to take a report after the crime is committed. It is up to every one of you [pointing to the jury with a friendly face] to take responsibility for your self, just like you might keep a fire alarm or fire extinguisher in spite of the fact that there is a fire department.

"Why do you think you can carry a gun when the rest of the regular citizens cannot?"

Oh, but they can! Assuming you good people [again, looking at the jury] are not criminals [smiling as I stress the word to make it sound ridiculous] you can get a firearms license and carry a firearm if you felt the need to. I never harassed law abiding citizens carrying a firearm when I was a police officer. [Wink].

Silence.

Mr. Prosecutor, do you have anymore questions of this witness?

Uh, just a moment your honor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Re: Fun Cases

gunsmoker said:
Did you get to do this to defense attorneys when they would cross-examine you about your cases you made as an officer?
Well, there have been several who were sure they had tripped me up . . .

Q. [Loudly] So you admit that you failed to run any of the standardized field sobriety tests on my client?

A. Yes, after she ran into the curb while I was trying to pull her over and then stumbled and fell down when I asked her out of the car, I frankly did not think it was safe to do so!

Of course, the court had already heard how she had her child in the car and was driving around oblivious to the fact that she had already run into something else and was driving around on a naked steel rim, sparks flying from the wheel as she dug grooves into the blacktop! Yes, it takes a dedicated and sharp officer to pick up on subtle clues like this!

I am sure she paid up front for the defense.

The court did not hear that this was the second time I had arrested the same person for the same offense, although the judge got to see her record (which had more arrests for the same offense) at sentencing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
The only times I could ever get an actual laugh out of a jury were the two times defense attorneys would make comments full of mock outrage at what must be my lying:

So, that is your testimony?

Um, yes, I just said it, and I am under oath, so [smile] that is my testimony.

[Silence, followed by audible jury chuckling].

I was always waiting for a follow up that would nail me, but in neither case did the lawyer have a follow up. It is not much good to ask a question like that unless you have something with which to nail the officer. The jury is waiting for the attorney to do something after he grabs their attention, and then: Nothing.

:roll:
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Seeing these guys in action was one of the things that convinced me I could probably get through law school . . .


:wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Broadside Bob said:
As I remember the story, the cop gave the guy A LOT of grief, threatened to arrest him etc., but in the end just threw him out of the bar and let him keep his gun.

Obviously, it would depend on the cop, but I'd hope most would forgive an honest brain fart from a law abiding citizen.
Sure, but you might also get the cop who arrested a guy for carrying in McDonald's!
:shock:
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
jeepsterwannabe said:
When i was in new mexico, every place that sold alcohol had good sized signs displayed about the establishment declaring that they sold alcohol and handguns were prohibited on the premises. they were issued by the state it seemed...
I think that law has been repealed, but at least you know it is off limits if there is a warning sign.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Given the situation in the original post, should I have immediately notified the officers I was carrying and asked them what to do with the weapon? :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
qre2457 said:
Question: Did there come a point where you noticed alcohol was being served by the drink?

Response: Yes

Question: What did you do?
Response: Left.

Question: When you say, "Left," what you really mean is that you sat down and ate, right?

Response: Well, I went directly outside, and when these officers approached, I immediately "notifie[d] a law enforcement officer or other person employed to provide security for a public gathering of the presence of such item as soon as possible after learning of its presence" so that I could "surrender[] or secure[] such item as directed by the law enforcement officer or other person employed to provide security for a public gathering," but that moron over there, [pointing to the officer], just slapped the cuffs on me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Macktee said:
We found a really nice restaurant within easy walking distance and had lunch there a couple of times.

The first day, we were seated between two tables of Tybee Island's finest. On one side, three patrol cops in full kit. On the other, two higher ranking guys in polo shirts. All five had radios on the tables.

. . . impressive leather-bound, printed on parchment paper menu. I was looking it over and on the last couple of pages found the "Special Martini Menu".......... Oh CWAP!!!

Fortunately, I didn't print.
Criminal! :jail:
 
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