Tag Archive: TruTV


What’s in the Hands of One is in the Hands of All

Episode #207 of the truTV network show “Over the Limit” airing on Sunday, October 17th began with the statement, “Whether it is drinking too much, driving too fast, or partying too hard, these trouble makers are all ‘Over the Limit.’” This show follows police officers as they confront individuals who are intoxicated, in possession of narcotics, acting out of control, disturbing public peace, and/or breaking the law.

South Carolina hand gun law governs the first offense at issue in this episode. Under this law, the penalty for illegal possession of a firearm is a $5000 fine or up to 5 years in prison. The second offense of simple possession of marijuana is governed by the South Carolina Code under Section 44-53-370(d)(4). The penalty for a first time offender of a charge of simple possession of marijuana is a fine of up to $5000 or 30 days in jail. A person’s driver’s license is also automatically suspended as a result of the charge for simple possession of marijuana. Any person that is in possession of a firearm during the commission of another crime faces the possibility of additional time in prison, in addition to the penalty for the illegal act. Since the men in this episode are charged with possession of illegal narcotics as well as the illegal firearm charge, they are facing enhanced penalties and fines.

Drug possession is shown by proving that someone had actual or constructive possession of the illegal objects. Actual possession is when the object is found in someone’s hand or pocket. Constructive possession is when the object is found in the same room, car, or location as the suspect. In this case, the men who are not guilty of the criminal charges of possession should come forward and offer proof that they are not responsible for the drugs or the gun. The fact that none of the men would tell police who possessed the objects is the reason they were all subsequently arrested. However, it is likely that only one of the 5 men is responsible for the illegal weapon and likely that they are all not guilty for purchasing and possessing the marijuana that was found inside the car.

Lawyers for each of the 5 men involved in this incident should advise their clients to disclose the truth about who possessed the illegal objects leading up to the criminal charges. After discovering who is responsible for the drugs and the gun, a lawyer could get some of the charges dropped for the persons not actually guilty of these crimes of possession.

The fact that none of the men would disclose to police on the night of the arrest the truth about who was the guilty party shows that they were not cooperating with efforts of police. The penalties for the persons found guilty of possessing the drugs and the gun will be analyzed by a more favorable judge if these men cooperate with law enforcement and admit to the charges they are facing. First time offenders of the charge of simple possession of marijuana are eligible to apply for a conditional discharge program under §44-53-450 of the South Carolina Code. If a judge grants application to this program, the person charged will have to participate in regular drug testing and any other requirements set forth by the court. After successful completion of this program, the charges may be dismissed and the criminal’s record may be eligible for expungement. A favorable judge may also subject the defendant to mandatory hours of community service as a requirement for completion of the expungement process. Unless the men begin to cooperate and admit who is guilty of the charges, some of them will be facing penalties that are not deserved. It is in the interest of the men involved to disclose the identity of the person responsible for the presence of the illegal goods. It is likely that a judge will analyze the penalties of these men with agitation and harshness if she is aware that they refused to disclose the truth surrounding the arrests. It hardly seems worth it for each of the men to suffer conviction for a crime they may not have committed simply in an attempt to avoid “ratting out” some of their friends.

 

Tap Dancing Naked Man Goes “Over the Limit”

The truTV network show “Over the Limit” follows police officers as they confront individuals who are either intoxicated, in possession of narcotics, acting out of control, disturbing public peace, and/or breaking the law.

In episode #206 that aired on Sunday, October 10th, police in the city of Savannah, Georgia respond to a call reporting that a man is naked in public. The neighbors of a man named Willie call police after witnessing him running around his backyard completely nude. When police arrive at the man’s house, he is standing behind an air-conditioning unit in his backyard claiming that he was not naked. It is clear in the footage from the episode that this man is not wearing any clothes and is indeed completely naked from head to toe. Due to this ridiculous denial, the police begin to suspect that Willie is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Willie denies being under the influence and continues to claim that he is not naked. As this is occurring, Willie’s nephew, who also lives at the residence with Willie, enters the backyard. The police inform the nephew about his uncle’s behavior. The nephew then admits to the police that the man is “his crazy uncle Willie” and that he does odd things like this all the time. The police and the nephew join forces at this point to convince Willie to put on some clothes. Willie agrees and grabs clothes that are hanging up in the backyard. The police notice that Willie is putting on the jacket and pants of a black formal tuxedo. Willie explains that this is his “super-fly suit” and then begins to tap dance around the backyard wearing the suit. Due to the hilarity of this situation and to Willie’s jovial demeanor, the police only issue him a warning and leave without writing him up for any violations.

Although this video clip on “Over the Limit” is humorous due to the ridiculous behavior of this crazy naked man, it is illegal in the State of Georgia to be naked in public and this man could have been arrested. In the Official Code of Georgia, Title 16-6-8 governs the law of public indecency. Under this statute, “a person commits the offense of public indecency when he or she performs any of the following acts in a public place: 1. An act of sexual intercourse; 2. A lewd exposure of the sexual organs; 3. A lewd appearance in a state of partial or complete nudity; or 4. A lewd caress or indecent fondling of the body of another person.” A person convicted of violating this law for the first time will be punished for a misdemeanor. However, upon subsequent convictions for public indecency, a person will be guilty of a felony and sentenced to serve between 1 and 5 years in prison.

Willie could have been convicted for violating Georgia’s public indecency law because he appeared in a state of partial or complete nudity in a place that the public could see him. Willie could argue that he has a right to be nude on his own private property. However, the neighbors could  see him running around his backyard naked and that behavior would be considered a “lewd appearance” in a public place. If Willie had been arrested, Willie’s lawyer could argue that he should not be convicted due to mental incapacity. In order to prove this Willie would have to get medical and psychological evaluations that support this contention. If these evaluations show he is not of sound mind, the lawyer could submit it as evidence that he should not be held responsible for his actions. If Willie wants to continue to parade around in the nude, it is advisable for him to do so within the privacy of his home and not outside for others to see.

Operating a Boat While Intoxicated Will Land You in Jail

The truTV network show “Over the Limit” follows police officers as they confront individuals who are either intoxicated, in possession of narcotics, acting out of control, disturbing public peace, and/or breaking the law. Episode #204 of this series aired on Sunday, September 26th and was packed with its typical law-breaking “over the limit” miscreants.

In this episode, New Jersey state police pull over a man for recklessly operating his boat on a river that is a well- known hot spot for weekend partiers. After pulling up next to the boat, police notice a large number of its passengers consuming alcohol. The officers become suspicious of the boat operator’s sobriety and notice that his eyes are blood shot, glossy, and indicative of alcohol consumption. The police escort the man into their boat where they begin to perform several sobriety tests. The first test is to make the man recite and write the alphabet, his name, the date and the time. The next tests are a series of hand-eye coordination exercises. After performing these tests, the officers inform the driver that he has failed all of them. The police then ask the man to blow into a breathalyzer machine. At first, the man refuses, but after learning he will immediately be brought to jail if he refuses, he agrees to the breath test. The driver of the boat’s Blood Alcohol Count (B.A.C.) registers on the machine as a .177%, over two times the legal limit of .08% in the state of New Jersey. As a result, the boat operator is arrested for Boating While Intoxicated (BWI), is handcuffed, and transported by boat to jail.

In New Jersey, boating laws are governed by New Jersey Statute Title 12, Chapter 7 and are enforced under the authority of the New Jersey State Police Marine Services Bureau. Specifically, the crime of BWI is regulated by N.J.S.A. 12: 7-46, “operating or permitting another to operate vessel under influence of alcohol or drug; penalties; satisfaction of screening, evaluation, referral and program requirements.” This statute states that no person shall operate or permit another to operate a vessel on New Jersey waters with a B.A.C. of .08% or more by weight of alcohol. The statute further explains the penalties for a person who commits this offense and distinguishes between first, second, and third offenders.

This episode of “Over the Limit” did not disclose whether the driver of the boat has been convicted of driving under the influence prior to this arrest. However, for purposes of this analysis, let’s assume that it was his first offense since the show failed to mention any prior violations. Under New Jersey boating law, penalties for a first offense BWI are different depending on the B.A.C. of the driver. Under NJSA 12: 7-46 (a)(1)(i), if the B.A.C. is .08% or higher but less than a .10%, the violator will be subject to a fine between $250 and $400, will lose his privilege to operate a vessel on New Jersey waters for one year after the date of conviction, and will lose his privilege to operate a motor vehicle for a period of 3 months. Since the driver of the boat in this episode has a B.A.C. of .177% and is higher than a .10%, his offense would be subject to the next set of penalties listed under NJSA 12: 7-46 (a)(1)(ii). Under this statute, a violator will be subject to a fine between $300 and $500, will lose the privilege to operate a water vessel in the state for one year, and will forfeit the privilege to operate a motor vehicle for a period between 7 and 12 months. In addition to these penalties, a person convicted of a BWI may also have to pay several fees and participate in an intoxicated driver’s program. Failure to follow these requirements set forth by New Jersey state law would subject the offender to possible jail time and increased fees.

Many people do not realize that DWI laws and penalties apply to the operation of water vehicles. Boating activities often involve alcohol and drivers and passengers can be subject to a ticket or arrest for BWI. State and local authorities are serious about stopping the combination of boating and alcohol and operators of water vehicles should be just as conscious of BWI offenses as motor vehicle drivers are of DWI offenses.

 




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