The act of loitering is defined as hanging around or remaining in a specific space without any reason. In many regions, the act of loitering is illegal, and you can often be charged with a misdemeanor for committing the act. If you've been charged with loitering, you may feel stressed or concerned about the pending charges. By working with an attorney, you can determine how serious the loitering charges are and what your options are for the future of the case. The impact of the charges will depend on the specific details of your case and the circumstances that went along with it.
One of the biggest impacts associated with your charges is the location of where you were loitering. There are many laws in place that make it illegal to loiter near areas like schools and public transportation locations. The key to the a loitering charge is that the arresting officer has been made aware that you were hanging around the area without any intentions or in the act of criminal activities. If you were arrested near a school, your lawyer can help with different factors associated with the school. This includes whether school was in session or what your intentions were for being around the school. Your personal testimony can make a big difference on your case.
Another way you can get charged with loitering is if you're exploring locations that are not near your home. For example, if you're walking through a random neighborhood, citizens can report you and claim suspicious activities that end up leading to a loitering charge. A lawyer can help defend your case and try to reduce or have charges dropped based on innocent actions.
Loitering as an Extra Charge
Loitering charges are often added in addition to other charges. For example, if you were charged with breaking into a car, you could also be charged with loitering if officers think that you were wandering around the parking lot and seeking other vehicles to rob from. These add-on charges could impact fines, punishments, or even jail sentences. A criminal attorney can help you negotiate different deals to help eliminate these extra charges. For example, if you plead guilty to the car theft, your lawyer may be able to get all of the additional charges dropped. Every case is different, and this is why it's important to work with a lawyer on developing the case details.
The possession of drugs is also often associated with a loitering charge. This is in an attempt to thwart and deter drug deals, especially in public locations. Your loitering charges can be added to drug charges if police officers said you were going to take the drugs, distribute them, or attempt to sell them in the public location. If you were in possession of drugs without the intent to use or sell them, a lawyer may help you lessen the charges and eliminate the loitering charges all together.
If you've been charged with loitering before, then the new charges may look bad and stick to your criminal record. If your record is clean, then you have a better chance of eliminating the charges and proving your innocence in the case. A lot of loitering charges are the result of witness statements. Your lawyer can use witnesses to help prove your case and innocence in the case. A lawyer may also help lessen any additional charges presented in the case. After the first arrest, any future loitering arrests will likely be treated a lot differently. This is why it's important to be aware of loitering laws and the impact they can have on your criminal record.
It's important to consult with a lawyer shortly after your arrest. This will ensure that you are properly represented and do not make any mistakes through the whole process. For more information or assistance, contact services like Begley Carlin & Mandio LLP.