Howdy folks! I’m Ralph Flannigan, proud member of Tallahassee Neighborhood Watch. Now sure I’m no cop, but I am an average Joe, with a love for the laws that keep this country safe. That being said, the legal language of this great land can be tough to decipher. What are your rights? Do they vary state by state? And what’s with all that Latin – I mean Jesus, where are we, an Olive Garden? In this blog, I hope to give fellow upstanding citizens a crash course in the legal lexicon, so that they too can stay off the streets, and out of trouble.

Miranda Rights

We’ve all heard it before. “Sir, step away from the bone saw, and put your hands up! You have the right to remain silent!” But now that you are silent, what next? Note that “anything you say can and will be used against you.” Sound familiar? That’s right, it’s the friggin’ quiet game- from kindergarten! So zip those lips, lock ‘em up, and throw away the key. Your police officer should do the same. Now the rules are simple- first one to make a peep loses, and gets arrested! So, just keep mum, stare that officer down, and try to make him laugh. A silly face should do the trick! Once he breaks the silence, go ahead and cuff him, then send his butt to the big house! Boo-yah!

Good Samaritan Law

Based on the parable of similar name, this legal protection states that bystanders who provide medical assistance, to another person in peril, will not be held liable for any consequences of such assistance. For example – total hypothetical – picture an elderly woman. Her left leg is riddled with gangrene. Black and blue sores cover her dry husk of a limb. Perhaps this is the result of untreated diabetes? Who knows… What I do know is that I, the well-meaning citizen, would intervene on such a catastrophe. So, I grab my trusty bone saw (always on my person, for emergencies like this). That’s right, it’s time to amputate. After several hacks at the woman’s leg, she might scream that “it’s just a birthmark” and “not at all gangrene, you moron.” Gadzooks, I exclaim- clearly, the gangrene has spread to her brain, so I ought to saw even faster! Furiously, I slice, until this woman’s bum leg is severed from her body. Sure, there might be blood. Hell, the poor lady might now be dead. Okay she’s dead. But in the eyes of the law, I tried my damnedest- thus I am a hero, a Good Samaritan. Hear that officer? A hero!

Capital Offense

I grew up in D.C., so the Washington Capitals are my friggin’ hockey team, and damn it, if they don’t have the best offense in the league. Did you catch last night’s game? We practically murdered Vancouver. I mean, the chemistry between Johnny Slapshot and Rick Frostbite… it was to die for! We put those damn Canucks six feet under! Anyways, I don’t know why these cops keep bringing up my Caps. Back to all the rest of that legal mumbo jumbo…

Bail

Uh oh, looks like you landed your naughty ass in the clink. Now your lawyer’s talking about some “$300,000 bail.” But wait, you don’t have that kind of money… How are you going to get out of this place? Fear not, because sometimes the law is a little trickster like that. In a case like this, just ring up your local bondsman, and you’ll only have to pay one tenth of that price. $30,000? That’s chump change compared to your last offense. Best of all, you don’t even have to pay with money! It’s called bail for a reason, so try using bundles of hay, or any other livestock feed. More often than not, they’ll let you go, so long as you “leave town for good, and put that damn bone saw away.”

“Ignorantia juris non excusat”

This one would’ve been nice to know a while ago, but it roughly translates to “Those two Poli Sci courses you took online won’t get you out of the heap of trouble you’re in, buster.” And with that, I’m signing off. But expect part two of “A Lesson in Law” after my hearing in forty years.

 

By Drew Vollmer

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