This is by far the most common phone call that I receive in the fall, and usually during or after a football weekend. I hear from alumni who were back in town visiting, doctors, lawyers, moms, dads, fans of the opposing team, and people of every age, race and occupation. It all begins with the same phone call or email:
“This is ___________, I received a ticket for open container in Ann Arbor. I was tailgating/walking around with friends/going from one house to another, and the police stopped me, and told me I can’t walk around with a beer”. The client then sometimes tells me they are from out of town, and they need to be in court in 10-14 days, and they don’t know what to do. The first thing I tell this client is that this ticket is a misdemeanor crime, and they need to call a timeout. Some potential clients are looking to get it over with as soon as possible; I tell these clients that if they plead guilty they will have a criminal record. Many people are shocked as this offense doesn’t seem like a big deal or back home this isn’t against the law. It’s a huge wake-up call, and usually puts the client into panic mode.
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