Tales from the Brown Desk – Episode 20 – Expungements & Florida Man
Weekly Criminal Law Podcast, Tales from the Brown Desk, brought to you by Rigney Law LLC. Tales from the Brown Desk is a free flowing conversation involving two foul-mouthed attorneys. It may include graphic descriptions of sexual activity, violence, and traffic law. It may not be suitable for children. Listener discretion advised.
Episode 20 continues and finishes our series – A Walk Through the Criminal Justice System in Indiana. In this episode, Indianapolis criminal defense attorneys Jacob Rigney and Kassi Rigney will walk us laypeople through expungements and how to expunge a criminal record. And of course, the latest Florida Man news.
Jacob Rigney – It’s Friday Afternoon. We’ve locked the door because I’ve been at work since 4:45 a.m and I don’t want to lawyer anymore, and also because it’s time for another edition of our weekly podcast Tales From the Brown Desk. I’m Jake Rigney of Rigney Law LLC. With me as usual as my law partner, wife, and probably the last person I’ll ever have sex with, Kassi Rigney. The poor soul tasked with pointing our legal attack dog brains at the next morsel of yummy law meat is Teri Ulm. That joke is too complicated, but it did have a good payoff, didn’t it? It took a minute. Friendly reminder, Tales From the Brown Desk is a free-flowing conversation involving two foul-mouthed attorneys. It may include graphic descriptions of sexual activity violence and me saying that things are really weird. It may not be suitable for children, Ronald McDonald, Burger King, Carl’s Jr., Carl Senior, Carls III. Seriously, that name confuses the hell out of me. It’s Carl’s son who is also named Carl, but if that’s who owns the joint, shouldn’t it be Carl Jr.’s.
Teri Ulm – Yes.
Jacob Rigney – Am I crazy? Anyhow. Listener discretion is advised. Here’s Teri.
Teri Ulm – Hello, everyone! Hi, Jake. How are you today?
Jacob Rigney – I am, uh… I’m tired. Yeah. Been a long week. Long four day week.
Teri Ulm – Yeah. Coming to work at four something?
Jacob Rigney – Well, to be fair, today I started work at 4:45 a.m. at home, and then left at 6:30 to drive to Grant County. But I was sitting there working on the couch at 4:45 in the morning. So that that counts, right?
Teri Ulm – Definitely. Definitely. Hi, Kassi. How are you?
Kassi Rigney – Hi Teri. I’m good. How are you?
Edwards v. Indiana – Update to Episode 19 of Tales from the Brown Desk
Teri Ulm – I’m good. Thanks. So, today we’re going to continue our series: A Walk Through the Criminal Justice system in Indiana. Last week we talked about appealing a sentence and post-conviction relief, and this week we’re going to continue our adventure through the swamp and take the next step which I believe is expungement. But before we continue our journey we have some comments which stem from last week’s episode.
Jacob Rigney – Oh, right. Right. Yeah. I completely forgot I told you I had to do this, and now I’ve probably forgotten half of what I was gonna say. So, corrections from last week. I need to do a couple corrections. Okay. I talked about a U.S Supreme Court case that my boss worked on, and when I was listening to the edit afterward I realized I made several mistakes about it. But we went ahead and ran it anyway, for a reason. We ran it to to show lawyers don’t always know what they’re talking about. Just because I have a podcast and a law degree from like 16 years ago on my wall. 16 years of experience doesn’t mean I always know what I’m talking about.
Kassi Rigney – Bastard. You’re not supposed to tell them that.
Jacob Rigney – Well. I didn’t say. Oh wait. Yeah I did. Okay. Well sorry. The cat’s out of the bag. We don’t always know what we’re talking about. Sometimes we’re just taking educated guesses at it. Here’s what I now know. So that case, it was not Robinson. His name was Ahmad Edwards. It was Edwards v. Indiana that went to the U.S. Supreme Court. He was not charged with murder. He was charged with attempted murder and found guilty. But some of the other things I said, most of the other things I said about it were true. He was mentally ill. He sought to represent himself, and the court essentially wouldn’t let him do that. And, the holding that I explained was also correct. The Supreme Court did say that there is a different standard for allowing somebody to represent themselves than there is for competency to stand trial. So, the court can make a person take a lawyer, even if they’re competent to stand trial,and they want to represent themselves, but they’ve got mental illness issues. The descent written by Scalia in his sort of classic let the people do what they want, let the wolves come and eat them. He basically said that the majority was wrong, and that they should just let crazy people represent themselves, because otherwise it’s not their defense. That was his explanation. It’s not their defense if you make them take a lawyer they don’t want.
Teri Ulm – Wow.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. That’s true I guess, but their defense is objectively worse than a lawyer’s defense. At least with a rational layperson you can argue that they might know their case better than their lawyer and have a better sense of how to try it than their lawyer does. It’s not a very good argument, but you could at least make that argument. But with a person suffering from serious mental illness, that’s just silly. But, Justice Scalia, rest in peace, probably never tried a case in a trial court. So, he wouldn’t necessarily think about it that way. Anyhow. Sorry. Thank you, Teri.
Teri Ulm – You’re welcome. Did you have any other things you wanted to add about that last episode or does that cover it?
Jacob Rigney – No. That’s it. That’s all the mistakes I made.
Teri Ulm – Okay. I’m keeping a tally here.
Jacob Rigney – I think that was all the mistakes I made, and I wanted to issue that correction because technically this is almost a little bit like journalism, so we’re going to hold ourselves to minimum journalistic standards when we screw up. We’re going to admit it. My bad.
What Does Expungement Mean?
Teri Ulm – All right. Now on to expungements. What does expungement mean?
Kassi Rigney – Well, an expungement is sealing a conviction from public disclosure. The reason why I say it that way, is because that your record doesn’t go away. The feds, the court, and the police can still see it. But for jobs purposes, a private or a public employee, whatever would search and it would appear that it did not exist. Assuming it was a misdemeanor or the level 6 or D felony.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah it’s an expungement order is essentially a court order telling everyone who works for the government to pretend that that didn’t happen, or not to tell anyone else about it. And so they’re not supposed to. They’re not supposed to release it to anyone including people who run background checks through the FBI.
Does Dismissed Mean Expunged?
Teri Ulm – Does dismissed mean expunged?
Kassi Rigney – No. If your case is dismissed, your record would still reflect the arrest or summons and the fact that a case existed. It just would not have a conviction. That is something that in Indiana you can expunge, but you have to do that, and you have to wait one year from the time of the arrest.
Do Dismissed Cases Show Up on Background Checks?
Teri Ulm – Do dismissed cases show up on background checks?
Jacob Rigney – They do sometimes. Yes. In fact, I got a call from a person I’ll call Chad this week who was confused about that very thing. Chad’s case got dismissed, and Chad thought then it should just fall off, and it did not. So Chad needed help getting it expunged.
Kassi Rigney – This is where it’s very important to read the question carefully. So understand what they’re asking you, but you also have to understand what happened in your case. I encounter a lot of people that don’t understand the difference between when a police officer arrests you and says I’m arresting you for x y and z versus when a prosecuting attorney picks up the charge, because you can be lawfully arrested and the cops say “I’m arresting you for x y and z”, and the prosecutor doesn’t pick up the case. You would still have an arrest record. You would never charged and you would not be convicted. You need to understand there’s all different kinds of background checks. Sometimes they only ask you about felony convictions. Sometimes they ask you about arrests and convictions. You just need to read carefully and not generalize these things, because the terminology that’s being used is very important in answering those questions.
Do Expunged Cases Show Up on Background Checks?
Teri Ulm – And Kassi, I think you already answered the next question I have, which is: do expunge cases show up on background checks?
Kassi Rigney – No.
Teri Ulm – Dismissed ones do. Expunge ones do not.
Jacob Rigney – Well there’s a caveat to that too.
Teri Ulm – Of course there is.
Jacob Rigney – Because we’re lawyers. There’s always caveats. It shouldn’t, but the court that issues the expungement order does not then go and check and make sure that every private company that provides background checks has scrubbed that particular record from what they’ll show you online. So, there are a multitude of companies that purport to offer background checks, or criminal history searches, or arrest reports, and things like that, and the court does not go through all those and make sure that all those companies pull them off. So it always depends on what kind of search they are doing, and what company they’re using. And, without knowing that, you can’t say for sure that it won’t show up in some private company’s database, because they might have grabbed a hold of that data before the expungement was granted.
Kassi Rigney – And a second caveat is if we’re talking about felonies above the level 6 or D felony. If you get an expungement granted, they still appear they are just now labeled expunged.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. Two caveats.
Expunging Arrest Records and the Wait Time.
Teri Ulm – So now we’re going to talk about what can be expunged. From arrests, to misdemeanors, and felonies, and how many times you can expunge those things. So let’s start with just arrest records that don’t result in a conviction. Is there a waiting period that you have to wait and can you expunge them more than once?
Jacob Rigney – Yes and yes. So what you’re describing is what those of us who do expungements regularly call a section one petition. In Indiana, you can expunge any arrest that did not result in a conviction, and you can do that one year after the arrest provided that you meet a couple of other things like the case can’t still be pending. You can’t have other pending cases when you ask them to do it. And then there’s a couple of other things that almost never come up. So that is what happens with those, and you can do that as many times as you want. So, if Chad got arrested in 2007, and he didn’t get convicted, then he can expunge that in 2008 sometime. And then if Chad gets arrested again in 2010, and he doesn’t get convicted on that one either, he can expunge that one in 2011. He can keep doing that every time Chad gets arrested. Chad can get arrested once every other year, and if charges are never filed he can come back the next year and get him expunged one at a time.
Kassi Rigney – Or conviction never entered, not charges filed.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. Either one. Either if charges aren’t filed or if he’s not convicted.
Kassi Rigney – Yes.
Expunging Misdemeanors and the Wait Time.
Teri Ulm – What about misdemeanors? Is there a waiting period for that and can you expunge those on multiple occasions? Well the number of times you can expunge convictions applies across the board. It’s one time in your entire life. You get one shot. You got to meet the the waiting period. The government has said: “Well, if you’ve done the waiting period and some other things, you can have this one shot. But if you quote unquote go mess up again, or are convicted again, you cannot go back and expunge that conviction. Now because we spoke, if it’s the arrests, you can go back and do an arrest with no charges or no conviction as many times as you want. But if you have convictions, you can only do that one time in your entire life. Misdemeanors you have to wait five years. Felonies you have to wait eight.
Can All Felonies be Expunged?
Teri Ulm – Can you expunge all felonies?
Kassi Rigney – No. When you start talking about felonies above 6 and D, they get split into crimes of violence and crimes not of violence. Those with crimes violence, you have a person who is hurt, you cannot expunge those. So, if there are other felonies you can, but again those are discretionary. So, even if you do everything that’s required, the judge can still tell you no. And then again it’s not being hidden from disclosure. It’s simply now labeled expunged.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. It gets real dicey when you start talking about felonies. Especially if you’ve got level 6 or D felony convictions, they are still relatively easy the same way misdemeanors are. Although they’re two clocks, and we haven’t talked about the two different clocks yet. But once you get above that to the serious felonies, it’s tough. And sex crimes are never expungeable. In fact, the Court of Appeals ruled that if you have a sex crime in your history, not only can you not expunge that one, you can’t expunge any other of your criminal history either. You’re stuck with all of it, because of the way the statute’s written. But it’s important when we’re talking about the misdemeanors and the level 6 and D felonies that you remember there are two clocks. This is a problem I get a lot with people who call. And they often complain because they get different answers from different lawyers. So the two clocks run separately, but it’s the same time length for both. The first clock is how long has it been since you were convicted. So you can’t get an expungement on a misdemeanor unless it’s been five years since you were convicted of that misdemeanor.
Teri Ulm – Not arrested and charged?
Two Clocks to Watch Prior to Expunging a Criminal Record.
Jacob Rigney – No. It’s five years from when you were convicted. Also there’s a second five year clock that runs the last time you got convicted of anything. So, if you’ve got misdemeanors from 30 years ago, you can’t expunge them if you got a D felony from two years ago. In the opposite situation, it’s actually worse because if you have a D felony or a level 6 felony from eight or ten years ago, it ought to be eligible to be expunged. But if you picked up a misdemeanor three years ago, it starts your eight year clock on the felony over too. If you get convicted of it. And that includes very simple misdemeanors like driving while suspended or operating a motor vehicle without a license. If you get convicted of that, it starts your eight year clock over. So it’s the two different clocks you have to keep track of both of them. Both how long it’s been since you got convicted, and also how long has it been since you got convicted of anything. And you have to clear both those hurdles before you can do it by right. There’s still a way around that sometimes.
Can Federal Cases be Expunged?
Teri Ulm – Can you expunge federal cases?
Kassi Rigney – No. This is an Indiana state law. So they only have jurisdiction and authority over the convictions issued by those courts. Because you’re going back to the court of conviction saying: “Hey, Court. Please order the official record holder to update their records or handle these records in a certain way”. And that’s it. And that’s why the court order isn’t scrubbing the internet. It’s ordering the record holder to do that, and then that information has to be distributed and updated. And there’s a delay in that.
How to Answer the Question: “Have You Ever Been Convicted of a Felony?” After Expunging a Criminal History.
Teri Ulm – Now let’s say that Chad was convicted of a felony.
Jacob Rigney – Poor Chad.
Teri Ulm – And he expunged it. He waited his time and did everything he was supposed to do and filed a petition and the court granted his expungement.
Jacob Rigney – Good job, Chad.
Teri Ulm – Now down the road he’s applying for a job and on this application it asks him, have you ever been convicted of a felony. How does he answer that?
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. That is a question that I don’t think the courts have satisfactorily answered, and the statute is kind of silent in particular about how he’s supposed to answer those questions. And the reason they haven’t addressed it is because the expungement statute in Indiana says that you’re not supposed to ask that question anymore. What it says is that you have to ask: “Have you been convicted of a felony that has not been expunged”. The statute directs employers to ask that question in a specific way, so that people don’t have to lie or make the decision to tell the truth, even after it’s been expunged. But not every employer is up to date on what that expungement statute says, and so sometimes you still get the old question instead of the new one. I assume there are people out there who’ve done it both ways. When people have called me asking for my advice on it, one i don’t charge them for it because my question’s not very satisfactory, or my answer is not very satisfactory. And it’s usually like whatever you think is best I guess. Because the statute says they should be treated like the thing had never happened, and technically the proposed employer is violating the law when they ask the question the way they ask it. So, I doubt anyone would ever turn it into the police if you lied. Because they’re breaking the law too when they ask the question that way. But on the other hand, lying is not usually something that lawyers are likely to encourage or just say: “Yeah. Go ahead and lie.” That’s not advice you usually get from a good lawyer. So, rather than say that, I usually just kind of give them the verbal over the phone shrug of my shoulders and say: “Isn’t it up to you?” And that’s that’s all I can say about that.
Does an Expungement Restore Gun Rights?
Teri Ulm – Does an expungement restore gun rights?
Kassi Rigney – Maybe.
Jacob Rigney – Maybe.
Teri Ulm – Maybe. So, give me an example of what an expungement would restore gun rights, and then when it wouldn’t.
Kassi Rigney – Well, it’s difficult because the expungement law says you’re supposed to get all your rights back. But there’s an administrative state body that you have to get through as far as potentially getting a gun license. And then particularly, depending on the level of offense, if you’re talking about trying to get a gun sale through official channels and you have to fill out, is it a 44.82? The form that goes by the ATF. The federal government does not recognize Indiana felony expungement. So, it’s potential you could get a state-issued gun license to carry, but then the feds do not recognize. You would be a felon in possession of of a firearm in the eyes of the feds.
Teri Ulm – That’s interesting.
Kassi Rigney – It depends on the type of conviction. Maybe the level of conviction. Potentially your other criminal history. So this is why you pay us the big bucks.
How Long Does it Take to Expunge a Criminal Record?
Teri Ulm – How long does it take, usually, for an expungement to be granted?
Jacob Rigney – That varies quite a bit by jurisdiction. For example, in Hendricks County, they typically turn things around very quickly. The prosecutor’s office files a little notice that says they don’t have a legal basis to object, and the court grants them sometimes within a week. Other counties, who have a much larger caseload, like Marion County, typically take quite a bit longer. I think we’ve had them go even probably three months in some of those. So it can take a while. And then after the court grants that, it has to go to the state police. The state police have to process it that usually takes a little bit of time. The state police send it to the FBI, and the FBI has to process it, and that takes a little bit of time. So, it varies quite a bit. But usually you’re looking at somewhere between two weeks and three months.
Does the State of Indiana Put of a Fight When Someone Files a Petition for Expungement?
Teri Ulm – Does a state usually put up a fight when someone files a petition for expungement or do they just go along with it?
Jacob Rigney – My experience is that the state will fight it when they can. And, I was going to say earlier, Indiana gets a lot of flack, nationally and amongst ourselves, for being a fairly conservative state. We are reliably one of the first four states that goes republican in almost every presidential election. In fact, I think we were first on the board for Trump in 2016. And you see that also in our marijuana laws. Marijuana is still a misdemeanor. It’s still legal. They did bring it down from an A Misdemeanor to a B Misdemeanor a few years ago, but you’re seeing a wave of legalization across the country. Presidential candidates are, they’re winning, the ones who run on that platform yet, but they’re getting large portions of the vote. They’re getting electors in their parties running on the platform of decriminalizing marijuana. In Indiana, there is zero talk of decriminalizing marijuana among legislators. There are people talking about it, but not the people who actually get to vote on whether it’s going to be illegal or not. But even though Indiana has a fairly reasonable reputation for being extremely conservative, they are actually on the cutting edge when it comes to expungements. They give people, convicted of crimes in Indiana, expungements on the types of cases that they get it almost nowhere else in the country. And they get benefits out of it that almost no one else in the country gets. We were we were talking to a person we know that lives in another state who had something expunged once. And they’ll let you do like one case as long as it was a misdemeanor. And that’s all you can expunge. Like one misdemeanor is all you get.
Teri Ulm – What’s the point?
Jacob Rigney – Well, look if you’ve only got one misdemeanor, then great, but for everybody else, doesn’t help. We’ve seen expungements of probably a dozen arrests and half a dozen convictions, because you can do them all at once, as long as you do them all at once, you can do as many as you want. So, in that one way Indiana is very liberal and we’re not complaining about it. We wish more states would adopt that sort of thing.
No Limit to the Amount of Misdemeanors or Felonies that can be Expunged.
Teri Ulm – So there’s no limit to the amount of misdemeanors or felonies that you can expunge?
Jacob Rigney – No. No. You’re only limited by your ability to identify them. So it this goes without saying that none of our listeners have probably been arrested for like 30 misdemeanors, but there’s a point in your criminal life where you start losing track of how many times you’ve been arrested, and what for and where. It’s unfortunately a common occurrence among people who’ve been arrested that many times. So, if you can get back and figure out what all their arrests and convictions are, if they meet the time limits, if both those clocks that I talk about have run, they can expunge everything if it’s a D felony of level 6 or misdemeanors. Now, the higher ones you got to convince the court. But those lower ones, the judge can’t say no even if they want to. The statute says “shall”. The court has to grant them.
Teri Ulm – So there are some good things to living in Indiana.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. You can start your life over after their draconian criminal laws are thrust upon you.
Teri Ulm – Now, is there anything else you can think about expungements that would be important for our listeners to know?
Kassi Rigney – No. But one of the things there are a lot of convictions that can be used to enhance later events. I think we’ve talked about that where they get up filed. Something can be a misdemeanor and the second time it might be a D felony, or getting judged a habitual offender. If you expunge some of those, and then you later reassume your criminal life, those priors will be revived and used for enhancement. So, it’ll be protected, but if you get off track, I guess they feel like that all bets are off. Like the deal was, you kept your life clean, and you got this benefit, and if you go back on it, you’re going to be right back where you were.
Teri Ulm – Yeah. The result that I’m waiting to see happen, I haven’t seen it happen yet, is with a DUI. Because five years after a conviction for a DUI you can expunge it. And so it’s not that hard the five year anniversary of your DUI to get it expunged. It would take a couple of months. But if you pick up a new DUI within seven years of your first conviction, your second one is a felony. We’ve talked about that before. So, you’re going to have a window there if you expunge your DUI right away, you’ve got a window at two years where even though you legally don’t have a criminal history, if they catch you drunk driving, you will get a level 6 felony charge. They will bring that back. They will unseal it and use it as a prior conviction against you. And it doesn’t matter that you had it expunged. The expungement won’t save you from that.
Kassi Rigney – Well, I guess the distinction making sure that it’s public disclosure. If you expunge your history and you’re trying to get a security clearance or something high level, it will show up there.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. There’s a couple of other situations where you still have to disclose it. I think if you’re applying for the bar exam in Indiana, they require you to disclose all your criminal arrests when you apply. You still have to report it to them, even if it’s been expunged.
Teri Ulm – Can an attorney not have a felony on their record.
Jacob Rigney – No. They can.
Teri Ulm – So what’s the purpose in exposing it or revealing it.
Kassi Rigney – Well there’s a character and fitness aspect of the bar admission. So if you have arrests and convictions, they want to know about it.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. They’re going to take it into consideration. It isn’t a blanket, like if you have a felony you can’t be a lawyer thing. But they’d rather know than not know in case you’ve got a bunch of other red flags and they’re on the fence. Right?
Teri Ulm – Yeah.
Jacob Rigney – So, they want to know about it. They will consider it, and if you lie and don’t put it on there ,and they find out about it you will get in a lot of trouble. I believe I’ve heard that people weren’t allowed to sit for the bar, and essentially were forced to wait a year or something before they could take the bar exam. Just because they didn’t put it on there. So for prospective lawyer Chad, that’s a a bad result, because you spent a lot of money on an education and now you can’t do anything with it for a year.
Can a Driving Record be Expunged?
Teri Ulm – I have one more question about expunging and this stems from from calls the firm has received. Can you expunge your driving record?
Kassi Rigney – No. Those are civil infractions. So, no. They are not expungeable. There is a mechanism for infractions that were issued but were not found true. You could have those taken off your record. But if you paid a ticket, that’s considered an admission. A lot of people don’t realize that. If you paid the ticket, that’s an admission. But, no. Unless the ticket was dismissed there’s no mechanism to expunge or seal infractions on your driving record.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. And it depends on what you mean. You, Teri. The question asker. When you say driving record. Because your driving record consists of a list of the things that you’ve been found guilty of and that includes infractions like tickets, like speeding or running a stop sign. Those things as Kassi said, can’t be expunged. But it also does include misdemeanors like driving while suspended, and operating without a license, and DUI. So the misdemeanors, the crimes can be expunged, even though the infractions can’t. Which is weird. And you wouldn’t think would make sense because misdemeanors are more serious than infractions. But that’s the way the statute’s written.
Florida Man – brought to you by Campbell’s Soup in a Cup.
Teri Ulm – So we are going to cut to a short commercial break and when we come back we will bring you the latest Florida Man news.
Jacob Rigney – Today’s update on Florida Man is brought to you by Campbell’s soup, soup in a cup. Not the company Campbell’s, but that specific product soup in a cup. We pound that yummy blend of noodle carbs, chicken fat extract, and reconstituted pink slime every day.
Kassi Rigney – I type with one hand and slam soup in a cup with the other hand. That way I don’t have to bother with taking any of that pesky me time when my corporate overlords are breathing down my neck to get that expense report done by yesterday.
Jacob Rigney – They make you do expense reports? I’m a white male. So I just tell Tommy from accounting about my expenses in between bong rips on the 15th tee at our country club. He takes care of it right away. Being a girl sounds hard. This message not actually brought to you by Campbell’s cup of soup or otherwise.
Teri Ulm – Bong rips? I thought you first said bong hits, but I’m not sure what a bong rip is.
Kassi Rigney – No. That’s what the kids say. Because we just watched something on TV and the kid came out of the pool party. He was like bong rips and what was it?
Jacob Rigney – I don’t know. They’re the same thing.
Cuffed Florida Man Arrested for Domestic Battery Broke Free from Officers, Jumps into Nearby Bay, and Drowns.
Teri Ulm – NBC News Channel 8 in Florida reports Florida Man was under arrest for domestic battery and he died after he broke free from officers and jumped into a bay.
Jacob Rigney – Oh pour one out for my homey Florida Man.
Kassi Rigney – I saw this. He jumped with cuffs on.
Teri Ulm – With cuffs on.
Jacob Rigney – Oh that’s just unwise.
Kassi Rigney – That seems like an extreme reaction. I mean, when I was a prosecutor and I read about people hiding small amounts of marijuana in their body cavities, it seemed like just take the arrest man. Like it’s not that bad. I promise.
Teri Ulm – Yeah. Investigators say it’s unknown if Florida Man was experiencing a mental episode or if he was under the influence of drugs. But he sure did escape police and with cuffs on, jumped into the bay, and drowned. I know that one’s not funny.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. It’s not. It’s sad.
Teri Ulm – Florida Man’s doing Florida things.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. Florida. I just wish Florida Man would make better choices.
Teri Ulm – I do too. Especially this next one.
Jacob Rigney – It gets worse doesn’t it?
Florida Man Arrested for Impersonating a Cop, After Pulling Over an Undercover Cop.
Teri Ulm – Well, The Sun Sentinel reports wearing only a t-shirt and what looked like to be a pair of gray underwear, Florida man took a nine mile ride on the roof of a tractor trailer.
Jacob Rigney – Look. At least he put underwear on, right?
Kassi Rigney – Well, I wanted to see him Winnie the Poohing in it out there.
Jacob Rigney – Teen wolf and Winnie the Pooh combined on top of a tractor trailer. Remember Teen Wolf where he’s riding on top of the box truck?
Teri Ulm – Well authorities say that Florida Man was an unwelcomed hood ornament. There’s a viral internet video taken by fellow drivers that shows Florida Man on top of the hood of a 18-wheeler, and the 18-wheeler swerving back and forth trying to knock Florida Man off. Florida Man in his gray underwear and t-shirt is punching the windshield. Broke it and banging it with his head. You can even see, in the viral video as one of the people comes up shooting it, he, Florida Man, crazy Florida Man is yelling at them to call the police. Like. I don’t know if I was that truck driver I may have thought like this was like a zombie apocalypse or something. This crazy Florida Man, on the hood of your truck, and he went nine miles down the road before the cops stopped the truck.
Kassi Rigney – Obviously you slam on your brakes and let them fly off the front.
Jacob Rigney – Oh. That is inhumane. I know that you kind of get what you’re asking for when you climb on the hood of a moving car, but no. You glide safely to a stop and let the guy off.
Kassi Rigney – I think it makes a difference is he holding on punching trying to break into my windshield. I’m slamming on the brake and letting him roll off. If he’s holding on for dear life, like save me, then I’m gonna glide to a stop and help the guy out. I’m not just going to be like…
Jacob Rigney – Kassi will save you, but only if you ask for it.
Kassi Rigney – Well, if he’s trying to perpetuate an attack, I would also see the quick stop as a defensive move, because if I stop, particularly as a female driver, and if this guy is going that crazy out of moving cars, I would be afraid.
Jacob Rigney – I just want to give him a high five. I want him to finish punching the window out so I can be like: “Yeah. Good job, bro”.
Kassi Rigney – These are the different world perspectives of a male and a female.
Jacob Rigney – Well, I think it’s just me. I think most males would be like: then I get my gun and I’ll shoot him. But, yeah. I can understand how that would be disconcerting at the same time. How much fun to get involved in a spectacle.
Kassi Rigney – Oh. The good old days.
Jacob Rigney – Back when we used to do things besides go to sleep at eight o’clock at night.
Kassi Rigney – Get drunk and make bad decisions.
Teri Ulm – You have that right.
Kassi Rigney – You do have that right. That’s freedom.
Jacob Rigney – Scalia is here to protect your right to get drunk, make bad decisions, and then compound that by representing yourself at your trial.
Teri Ulm – CBS 7 reports Florida Man was arrested for impersonating an officer after pulling over an off-duty cop.
Jacob Rigney – That’s the Florida Man we know and love.
Kassi Rigney – Yeah. To be a fly in the wall in the car.
Jacob Rigney – You have the right to remain… oh no! You’re a cop. I run.
Teri Ulm – Yeah. A Florida Man who worked as a private security guard was driving home from work when a SUV sped by him. According to investigators, Florida Man was concerned that the driver might have been impaired, so he pulled him over.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. Except you’re not a cop. You can’t do that.
Teri Ulm – Yeah. Not a cop. Florida man pulled up or pulled up to the vehicle. It was an Orlando police officer who was driving it. The Florida police officer asked Florida Man why he was being stopped, and Florida Man told Florida police officer that he needed to slow down. Florida police officer called his buddies, and his buddies come out and arrest Florida Man, and took him off to jail. Florida Man was wearing his work uniform, which included a tactical vest with the words criminal task force across it. He was wearing…
Kassi Rigney – This is just like a neighborhood club.
Jacob Rigney – Like are you in the police? No. But I am in the criminal task force.
Teri Ulm – He was wearing a taser, a holstered handgun, and a microphone.
Jacob Rigney – What was the microphone for? To call into the orange Julius? You’re a mall cop, bro. Stop trying to pull cars over and go police the food court.
Teri Ulm – It gets a little better, because the investigators learned that Florida Man, the one that pulled over the undercover cop.
Jacob Rigney – Fake cop.
Teri Ulm – Yeah. His driver’s license was suspended.
Jacob Rigney – Why not.
Kassi Rigney – Of course it was! He’s got bigger things to worry about.
Jacob Rigney – He’s on the criminal task force. He doesn’t have time to go the BMV, Teri.
Teri Ulm – Fighting crime is hard and takes up all your time. All of your time.
Jacob Rigney – Especially when you’re off duty and you’re just pulling people over for the hell of it.
Kassi Rigney – You can’t sleep for safety. If he’s out there protecting his community, he’s out there protecting his community.
Jacob Rigney – He thinks he’s batman. I’m batman. I’m on the criminal task force. It’s like the Avengers, but cooler.
Kassi Rigney – That kind of guy is like really dangerous.
Teri Ulm – Yes.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. There have been some cases in Indianapolis. In fact, I was assigned one as a prosecutor where an apartment security was going around and essentially handcuffing people and basically arresting them. And then he’d call the cops and wait for the cops to come. I think, if I remember, and it was a while ago. I could be remembering this wrong. This could be another Robinson situation. But, if I remember right, the cops let him slide like maybe once where they get there and he’s got some kid cuffed. And, they’re like what are you doing? You cannot handcuff people. You’re not a cop. Stop doing that. Don’t do that anymore. And they just let the kid go or something, and they come back and he’s got some other kid cuffed. And if I remember, he even had him cuffed to something like you see on tv. Like when the cops will cuff you to a guardrail or something so that they can go chase after someone else. And the cops were like: “We told you to stop arresting people, and you’re not listening”. So, you’re under arrest, Turner. And they arrested him and charged him with confinement for doing that.
Teri Ulm – That was going to be my question. Was his charge confinement?
Jacob Rigney – Yes. It was confinement. And I think they charged it as confinement with a deadly weapon, because he was armed with something. Although there was something weird about that. I don’t remember now. I think it was a C felony confinement for some reason, and I don’t remember. Normally confinement with a deadly weapon would have been a B felony, and I don’t remember why they only charged him with a C. But he got charged with a major felony for that you’re not allowed to do go arrest people. Especially for misdemeanors. Apartment security guards, they’re there to do one thing. They’re there to call the police when they see something bad happening, and to issue trespass notices to people. So, if they find you on the property, you don’t have a good reason to be there. They tell you don’t come back, and if they catch you coming back, then they can call the police on you. Like that’s all their job. That’s all they can do. But they get in their head that they’re batman.
Kassi Rigney – When you get people, talk about a citizen’s arrest and whatnot, and that they can very easily cross the line into committing a major felony crime themselves. And they also open up themselves to civil liability for doing that.
Teri Ulm – That is all the time we have for today.
Jacob Rigney – All right. Thanks, Teri. And thank you, dear listener, for listening to Tales from the Brown Desk. Please remember, while we may discuss legal issues and provide information regarding the law to our listeners, we do not intend to create an attorney-client relationship with any listener. Our advice may not be applicable to some legal issues. Please consult with an attorney you have hired to review your legal situation before you attempt to apply the things we have said to your case. Tales From the Brown Desk is produced by Rigney Law and edited by Teri Ulm. If you want to ask a listener question, email Teri at firstname.lastname@example.org and entitle your email: “podcast question”, and we’ll read it on our next podcast. Unless we start getting too many questions, and then we’ll just have to read the good ones. We’re not going to get too many good questions though. Buzzsprout says we have 21 listeners now. That’s down now. This is probably my fault because I forgot to pimp out our podcast on my personal Facebook page this week. So the last episode has only gotten 12 downloads so far. So don’t call to come back, because it’s not a comeback. We’re actually losing listeners. Good thing we have day jobs to fall back on. Our newest far away listener though is from Ashburn, Virginia. Fun fact about Ashburn. It’s technically, I think a DC suburb, and most of the world’s internet traffic flows through Ashburn, Virginia because it’s a tech hub. So, either Kassi’s sister has a friend that likes to listen to legal podcasts, or hear me out now, or the government is friggin listening.
Teri Ulm – Oh. They’re definitely listening.
Jacob Rigney – We must have said something that pissed them off, and they’re about to start whacking us like the Supreme Court justices got whacked in the Pelican Brief. That’s what happened in that movie, right? I don’t remember. But, no. Yeah. The government’s in. By the way, the attorneys at Rigney Law do not comment on their current pending cases. Nothing we’ve said in this podcast is a comment on a case we are currently working on, even if your name is Chad or if you’re about to shoot me in the head because I’m on to your sneaky little government secrets. The cockatiel is puking its brains out. I repeat. The cockatiel is puking its brains out. Code word, genocide. Goodbye, cruel world.