The growing criminalization of America is something that Denver criminal defense lawyers and civil rights advocacy groups around the country have been very concerned about. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, over the past 20 years, police officers across the country have made more than 250 million arrests. As many as one out of every three Americans is included in the FBI criminal database. Those statistics point to the increasing over criminalization of society.
For yet example of this growing criminalization, look to Tennessee where a woman was recently arrested for failing to mow her lawn. According to the woman, she initially was cited by the city over the summer, because her lawn required some care. But the woman says that she didn’t have time to maintain her lawn, because of lack of time. Both she and her husband worked full-time, and shared a single vehicle.
Over a period of time, the lawn did begin to look shabby, and while that may not have made for great neighborhood aesthetics, it’s hard to understand why this was treated as an offense. The woman received another citation, and then recently after a hearing, was informed that she would have to spend five days behind bars.
Any Denver criminal defense lawyer would find several transgressions that seem to have occurred in this case. The woman says that she was never informed of her legal rights, and was never informed that she could have legal representation in court. As a result, she had no lawyer representing her in court.
To set things straight, the judge recently acknowledged that the woman was not guilty of any criminal offense, and reduced her sentence to six hours in jail. The judge insisted on the woman spending some time behind bars, even though the woman offered to perform community service instead. She has served out her six hours in jail, but the judge says that he could possibly sentence her to additional jail time if he’s not happy with her yard work.