25 Suggestions To Keep You Out Of Jail

…or, If they’re not your pants; check the pockets.

I’ve developed an overwhelming desire to offer a little advice to so many innocent, average citizens who seem to find themselves in difficult situations that I believe are completely preventable by following a little common sense.

This is a slight diversion from my typical posts, but I believe still falls in my wheelhouse as I try to help less fortunate souls struggling to get by.

Here are a few pointers and a little advice to help you get through the day without being on TV in an embarrassing predicament trying to explain yourself to law enforcement officers.

  1. Don’t drive a car that doesn’t belong to you until you give it a thorough cleaning, even if you were apparently given permission. These cars tend to always have handguns and illegal drugs in them, sometimes in plain sight. Pay attention.
  2. If you are a female, make sure you leave the house/restaurant/school/party with your own purse. Other females seem to carry illegal drugs, guns, and other stolen items in their purses and you don’t want to get caught with them by accident.
  3. For men, make sure you take a spare pair of pants with you when you visit friends. Other men seem to keep illegal drugs, guns or stolen wallets in their pants and you don’t want to get caught wearing them.
  4. If you do need to borrow pants, always check the pockets before leaving the location you are borrowing them from. See above for why this is a good idea.
  5. Likewise, give the pockets of any borrowed jacket a quick once-over before wearing it for the same reason.
  6. Backpacks; same advice.
  7. If you find yourself accidentally driving someone else’s car while wearing someone else’s pants or carrying someone else’s purse, try to obey the traffic laws. It seems that if you might have questionable items with you because you didn’t follow the above advice; it would make sense not to draw undue attention to yourself.
  8. When you purchase a car for $50, it’s probably stolen.
  9. When a friend who is jobless tells you that you can take their car and drive it around for as long as you want and they don’t need it back, it’s probably stolen.
  10. Just because the bike is sitting by a tree with a lock around it, it doesn’t mean the owner wanted you to go get it and bring it to them behind the Walmart.
  11. Same advice if the bike happens to not have a lock on it.
  12. Same advice if the bike is actually a car and the key is a screwdriver instead of an actual key.
  13. If you had your license suspended or revoked by accident and you have the paperwork at home to prove it, you still shouldn’t drive until it’s fixed.
  14. If your license is really suspended or revoked, it’s probably for a good reason and you really need to find another way to get around.
  15. If you do have a driver’s license, you are supposed to have that in your pocket when you drive. It doesn’t do any good to leave it at home where it is safe.
  16. We live in an age of computers and internet. Your name and your fingerprints are available even if you don’t want to provide them.
  17. You also need to have car insurance to drive a car. It’s the law everywhere and has been for a long time. Acting surprised that you need insurance won’t get you out of a ticket or keep your car (or your “friends” car) from being towed.
  18. Although I am sure you have a heart of gold, it is likely not a good idea to pick up a young lady who sticks their head in your window at a stop light and asks you if you want “to go on a date”. She is not just lonely and she will want to charge you some money for “helping” her.
  19. Parks that close at dusk are not a good place to go and smoke pot and drink beer. The police tend to drive through those places to look for people who smoke pot and drink beer in closed parks.
  20. If you are asked if it’s OK to search your vehicle and you decline; you are telling the officer that there is probably something in it that shouldn’t be there. Yes, they will find it. Honesty goes a long way in making everyone’s life a little easier. No, you are not smarter at hiding it than they are at finding it, especially when it comes to the nose of a dog.
  21. Everyone ever asked if they were drinking always says they only had two beers. I’m not sure why this is such a universal answer, but at least try to be more creative when they ask you.
  22. There is no law that says you cannot be videotaped while in public. There are cameras in stores, at stoplights, on light poles, dash cams, and body cams. When you are in public, you agree to be filmed by default. Your permission is not needed for that video to show up on YouTube or TV.
  23. Unless you are a lawyer, don’t try to play one with the police. It’s their job to know the law, so they study it. You typically do not. Laws are not based on what you “feel” is right or wrong. Sorry if you don’t think that is fair.
  24. No one needs to read you your rights unless you are being questioned as a suspect in a crime. You do not need to know your rights when being questioned as a witness. Please see number 23 above.
  25. Finally, the more angry and defensive you get when you are pulled over for any reason, the more likely you are going to get a ticket or end up in handcuffs. The more polite and civil you act, the greater the chance everyone leaves happy, every time. Promise.

Please feel free to comment and leave additional advice I may have missed below. Consider it a way to contribute to society in a positive way, even if it’s just for today.

I take pictures & write stories. Sometimes I get paid. A perpetual student of life who gets lost on purpose. Clap. Hit Follow. Come along for the ride.

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