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 15 continues a 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 a criminal case's Pretrial Conference. Jacob Rigney & Kassi Rigney also answer a listener question: What is the worst thing that can happen if you don't follow Indiana's mask mandate. We also talk about what Florida Man has been up to.
Jacob Rigney – It’s Friday afternoon. We’ve locked the door before another “constitutional scholar” tries to explain the separation of powers to us on Facebook, 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 is my law partner, wife, and the lady who saved me a whole hour of my life today by switching over my laundry. I appreciate that. Thank you, Kassi. It is my wife, Kassi Rigney. Our host is Teri Ulm. 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 peculiar French geography. It may not be suitable for children, the homeless, the home full the homely, and the bold and the beautiful. Yes that’s a soap opera reference. Live with it. Listener discretion is advised. Here’s Teri.
Teri Ulm – Hello, everyone. Hi Jake. How are you today?
Jacob Rigney – I am full of sushi. How are you?
Teri Ulm – Good. Does full of sushi put you in a good mood, medium mood?
Jacob Rigney – I’d say on a scale of 73, I’m a 42.8.
Teri Ulm – That’s not bad.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. You can do the math. I don’t know what that is. I think that’s above average.
Teri Ulm – I’m going to have to get a calculator, but… Hi, Kassi. How are you?
Kassi Rigney – Very well. Thank you.
Teri Ulm – Good. Very well. That’s nice.
Jacob Rigney – Very formal today, Kassi is. I’m very well. Thank you for asking Teri.
Teri Ulm – So today we’re going to continue our series: A Walk Through the Criminal Justice System in Indiana. Last week we talked about the bond review and review of counsel hearings in a criminal case.
Jacob Rigney – God. Is that all we talked about last week were those two hearings? Oh man.
Teri Ulm – And Florida Man and Woman.
Jacob Rigney – Okay. Sorry everybody. The first 10 minutes of that were boring. I’m sure it’ll be better this week.
Teri Ulm – Yes. But before we continue our series we have a listener question.
Jacob Rigney – Oh good.
Teri Ulm – Now Amanda from Indianapolis wants to know: What is the worst thing that can happen to her if she does not abide by the statewide mask mandate?
Jacob Rigney – We’re jumping right into the separation of powers. I thought I was just going to joke about that in the intro. The worst thing, in theory, that could happen is you could get arrested. You could get charged with a violation of the Governor’s mask order which I believe is a B misdemeanor. And then you could be jailed for 90 actual days. The maximum sentence is 180 days. If you’re good in jail, then you’d get out in 90. Although if you want to go worst worst case scenario, and then you went and acted up every day you were in jail, you could sit six months in the county jail. So not awesome. Although to be perfectly honest, I’d say the chances of that happening to anyone are extraordinarily low.
Teri Ulm – So this brings me to my own personal question. I know when Indianapolis did the mandatory mask mandate that one of the groups that was excluded from this was inmates. So I don’t know if inmates are wearing masks. Maybe if you don’t want a wear mask you can go to jail and not wear one?
Kassi Rigney – I’ve visited a couple of the jails and have appeared telephonically with individuals from the jail, and my recollection is they usually have masks on. They can’t abide by the six foot rule. So that aspect, but the ones I’ve seen were mostly wearing masks.
Criminal Case Pretrial Conference
Teri Ulm – So, now we’re going to continue our walk through the criminal justice system, and like I said, last week we talked about the bond review hearing and the review of counsel hearing. Next up on my list I have is the Pretrial Conference. Is this what would happen next?
Jacob Rigney – Maybe. Like I said, these sort of all can occur simultaneously or sometimes in different orders, but a Pretrial Conference is kind of the catch-all term for hearings that happen before the trial where everyone gets together to figure out where the case is, at what point in the case is it. So, typically the judge wants to know how discovery is going, whether discovery is complete, and if it is complete whether the case is going to be resolved with a trial or a dismissal or a guilty plea hearing.
Can You Go to Jail at a Pretrial Conference?
Teri Ulm – So what can one expect to happen at a Pretrial Conference? Can you go to jail?
Kassi Rigney – Well it depends. Anytime you go in court, it’s possible you could go to jail if you misbehave. But if you haven’t done anything, if you’re just there for a pretrial, no. That’s one of those thing where a circumstance would have to change to change your custody status. And that’s generally some willful misstep on the client’s part. A Pretrial Conference from the client’s perspective probably doesn’t look like much goes on. But from the lawyers and the judge’s perspective, they’re checking the status, and the judge wants to make sure things are moving forward and parties are in communication. But they’re oftentimes very quick hearings. The judge is a referee and if there’s not a problem he really wants to take a hands-off role. He’s there to solve disputes between the parties.
When are Pretrial Conferences Set?
Teri Ulm – When are Pretrial Conferences set?
Jacob Rigney – Sometime between nine and three on Monday and Friday, and between Monday and Friday. No. Every court has their own schedule. Every court does things a little bit differently. So, it just depends on the court that it’s in. They will always be after the initial hearing and before the trial. But in terms of what time of day or what day of the week, or how many of them you will have. Every court is different, and it’s hard to say. But sometimes, I’ve been on cases where they ended up having 10 or 12 Pretrial Conferences, and there are courts that’ll only give you one. And then they just say here’s your trial date. Figure it out.
A Criminal Case Can Have More than One Pretrial Conference.
Teri Ulm – So a case can have more than one Pretrial Conference?
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. Absolutely.
Kassi Rigney – It goes along with the other discussion we’re talking about discovery, these are not hard defined lines. The case will have as many Pretrials as appropriately dictate for the circumstance. A traffic infraction is going to have much less need than a murder case. So that’s where you get people who think defense attorneys can control these things. Well where’s my Pretrial and why is it in two months and not in two weeks? Well the court controls its calendar, and it’s up to them. And each court has its own rhythm. You can only, as an attorney, influence that so much.
Can a Criminal Case be Dismissed at a Pretrial Conference?
Teri Ulm – Can a criminal case be dismissed at a Pretrial Conference?
Jacob Rigney – Yes. A criminal case can be dismissed any time. If the prosecutor files a motion to dismiss. It happens all sorts of different ways, when a case does get dismissed, but one of them is potentially at the Pretrial. You will not usually see a dismissal granted on a defense motion at a Pretrial Conference. That typically doesn’t happen very often. What does happen, a little more often, is there’s been some sort of discovery issue, potentially a witness not showing up for trial, and the defense successfully gets that witness excluded from the case. And then sometimes because of that, the state has no choice but to file a motion to dismiss. People have seen that happen, and mistakenly believed that the defense attorney got it dismissed when technically it was the state that filed the motion to dismiss. They just had no choice, because of what had happened procedurally up to that point. So it creates this confusion sometimes where people think that a defense attorney can file a motion to dismiss and just get something thrown out. That almost never happens. There are some grounds where a defense attorney can file a motion to dismiss, but they are limited, and it’s not just because we don’t believe them or they’re lying. That’s the one I hear sometimes is: “Well the witnesses are lying. So I want you to file a motion to dismiss.” That is not a legal ground by which you can file a motion to dismiss. There has to be a legal ground, a legal basis for it. Not just you think the court shouldn’t believe them.
Kassi Rigney – That’s what a trial is for. It is to determine the credibility of the witnesses.
Can a Judge Throw Out a Criminal Case?
Teri Ulm – Now is the only way for a criminal case to be dismissed prior to trial is through a motion to dismiss? Can at any time the judge just say: “I’m dismissing this case.”
Jacob Rigney – Not prior to the trial. During the trial, after the state has rested, the judge could dismiss a case if the state didn’t meet certain legal hurdles in their evidence when they presented it. But, no. A judge can’t just decide: I don’t like this case. I’m going to throw it out. Sometimes people see things happen and they think that that’s what happened, but typically what actually happens is the state files a motion to dismiss. 99.9 percent of the cases that get dismissed, get dismissed by the state. It’s probably even a higher percentage than that.
Does the Defendant Have to be Present at the Pretrial Conference?
Teri Ulm – Does the defendant have to be present at the Pretrial Conference?
Kassi Rigney – That’s up to the judge. Sometimes you can have attorneys only. Yeah. It’s the judge’s decision.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. There are courts where the judge never requires the defendant to be there. And there are courts where the judge always requires the defendant to be there. You just got to know the court you’re working in.
Do Drug Tests Happen at Pretrial Conferences?
Teri Ulm – Do they drug test at Pretrial Conferences?
Kassi Rigney – Not as due course, but certainly, as a prosecutor there were times where people came in and were suspected of being under the influence, and the court would order drug tests on the spot.
Teri Ulm – On the spot? Right there? You’re taken out into… Well. Not right there. You go to a bathroom and do it?
Kassi Rigney – I am not privy to the mechanics of the drug testing procedure. The extent of my knowledge is: You, sir are ordered to go do a drug drop. And then the people return with test results.
Jacob Rigney – The judge has a certain number of cups under his desk and he has to hand them all out by the end of the week.
Teri Ulm – Meet his quota.
Jacob Rigney – Right. So, he looks at you when you’re walking up and he’s like: “Yep. I’m going to drug test you. I’m going to drug test you. No. You’re a stock broker, I’m not going to drug test you.” No. That’s not what happens. Some people who have a history of drug use, according to their criminal history, are often drug tested regularly as part of their release conditions. And those people can occasionally be ordered to test every time they show up. More often though people never get tested at all. At least not by the judge. Drug testing is a thing that happens a lot more on probation than it does pretrial. Although it is becoming more prevalent again, recently. Especially since the Supreme Court is pushing the courts in the direction of releasing more people pretrial. And so more people are getting placed on what are being called pretrial services. And that typically does include drug testing.
What Happens if the Defendant Doesn’t Go to the Pretrial Conference or Other Hearing?
Teri Ulm – What happens if the defendant doesn’t go to the Pretrial Conference or another hearing that’s set?
Kassi Rigney – Well as a defense attorney, you try to get the court to grant a leave of their absence for that, and if not then ask for time to have them come surrender to the court. When the the court schedules you, they’re ordering you to appear. That is a court order for you to be somewhere. So if you don’t go, ultimately the court can issue a warrant for your arrest.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. And they also note it, that you failed to appear, and they will hold that against you every time, in the future, that you ever have to ask for a bond. So if you ever pick up another case after that, they will note that you failed to appear previously, and you will get a higher bond because of it. So, it is really important to take those dates seriously, and make sure that you’ve got your calendar, and your transportation sorted out well in advance, so that you don’t have to worry about it at the last second. You don’t have to deal with hiccups.
Are There any Choices for the Defendant to Make at the Pretrial Conference?
Teri Ulm – Are there any choices for the defendant to make at a Pretrial Conference?
Kassi Rigney – Sometimes, but for a run-of-the-mill, no. This is not supposed to be a surprise whatever it is. Now sometimes a prosecutor can come out with a quick turnaround plea that could have been kind of a surprise. But none of this is intended to shock or surprise people.
Are Felony Pretrial Conferences Different Than Misdemeanor Pretrial Conferences?
Teri Ulm – Are Pretrial Conferences in felony cases any different than misdemeanor cases?
Jacob Rigney – Yes. Not always. They don’t have to be, and sometimes they aren’t. But sometimes they are. That is a terrible lawyer answer, by the way. I have lawyered so much of this answer. I’ve lawyered it so hard, I didn’t even say anything. I’m sorry. Generally Pretrial Conferences are the same wherever you go, but some courts just do them a little differently. And that includes some misdemeanor courts. So, there are some misdemeanor courts where you can go in, you can talk to the court staff, you can fill out a form and everyone can leave. Including the defendant. You never even see the judge. But there are some where you go up there, and everything’s on the record, and the judge is reading off the cause number, and asking the attorneys what’s going on. And they’re very formal. So it just varies quite a bit. Every court is tasked with coming up with their own scheme, and so, of course, They are not uniform.
Kassi Rigney – This is the kind of customer service that hiring private council gets you. Your attorney knows this, and they’re generally going to prep you before court. Now of course, you’ll have to listen to them, and defer to that advice. But that’s one of the big benefits of having a private council. They know all this and they will prep you for it before you walk in there.
What is Pretrial Release?
Teri Ulm – What is Pretrial Release?
Jacob Rigney – Pretrial Release is a program that they typically use for people they’re letting out of jail on low-level offenses. So a lot of times, instead of making them pay a bond, which some people just can’t afford. Even if it’s only a few hundred bucks. They’ll put them on what’s called Pretrial Release. So they’ll give them access to services they might need that might prevent them from picking up another case while they’re out. And also allows them to be free while their case is pending without having to sit in jail and resolve it that way. It’s the kind of thing that has been happening for a long time. Its use continues to grow and continues to be supported by Supreme Courts across the country. Especially for dealing with low-level offenders. Generally, it’s a pretty positive thing when people use it right.
Are Any Motions Filed at a Pretrial Conference?
Teri Ulm – Are any motions filed at a Pretrial Conference or leading up to it?
Kassi Rigney – Again all this comes back to there’s just no hard answers. What motions get filed or dictated by the facts of a case. When it is appropriate to file that is dictated by the facts of the case, and where in that is. So, maybe. Very well, maybe they could be. If that’s deemed appropriate at the time. But, yeah. We’re full of lawyer answers today.
Jacob Rigney – Right. I think the most succinct answer is: you can. Every lawyer is different, and if you have a good reason to, you can. If you don’t, you shouldn’t
Teri Ulm – What would be an example of a motion that a defense attorney would file at a Pretrial Conference?
Kassi Rigney – Scheduling of the Pretrial Conference in my mind is completely detached from when, what, and how I file, frankly. If I was looking at a Pretrial date and I wanted to file motion to suppress, I would specifically file it in advance of the Pretrial with the expectation of having all three calendars available at the Pretrial to schedule it. Because that can be one of the big benefits of a Pretrial. To get everybody’s calendar, all in one. It’s one of those things. Filing it at the Pretrial, no one is going to be able to respond. You don’t hand the judge a motion of substance and expect a ruling immediately. So, waiting until that time, in my mind, is not the best practice.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. That’s true especially now that we have e-filing. Back in the day when you had to actually walk your filing over to the courthouse and get it stamped by the court staff, it was a little bit different. Because then you would potentially… You wouldn’t want to make a trip to the courthouse every day. So you’d file something on a case when you were over there already for the Pretrial Conference. An example I was thinking of was a Motion to Exclude. So, if I’m going to try to keep a state’s witness from testifying because they haven’t appeared for depositions, I file a Motion to Exclude. I might file that the morning of the Pretrial Conference just because i didn’t want to go over to the courthouse and file it earlier. And also there are… Look. I’m gonna be honest with you. There are some small strategical advantages you get from springing filings on the other side. Of course, sometimes that also backfires because then the judge gives them more time than they would have already had if you would just serve them ahead of time. So, that’s a double-edged knife. I don’t usually practice that way. But have I’ve never done that? Okay. I’m not going to say I’ve never done that.
What is a Motion to Exclude?
Teri Ulm – What is a Motion to Exclude?
Jacob Rigney – A Motion to Exclude is a motion you file when you think the court should exclude witnesses and prevent them from testifying at the trial.
What is a Motion to Suppress?
Teri Ulm – And then Kassi, you mentioned a Motion to Suppress. Is that different?
Kassi Rigney – Yeah. It ultimately would result, if you win, in the exclusion of evidence. But they’re different because under a Motion to Suppress you would be alleging violations of the 4th Amendment of the United States constitution and the Indiana Constitution, Article 1, Section 11.
How Long do Pretrial Conferences Last?
Teri Ulm – And how long do Pretrial Conferences last?
Jacob Rigney – They typically do not take very long. Mine would normally last somewhere around five minutes, and if i could make them last two minutes, I’d do it that way instead. But some people do take longer. Some of them can take 10 or 15 minutes. It also depends on whether it’s your first pretrial conference or what you think is going to be your last Pretrial Conference. Because, at the last one before the trial, usually there are a lot of motions that people file in the last week or two before the case goes to trial. And the judge has to decide things like exactly what witnesses are and aren’t allowed to say, whether or not instructions are okay or not okay. So at the last second there, there’s usually a lot going on, and sometimes those hearings can be a little bit longer because of that. But those early Pretrial Conferences, a lot of times, you just walk in and you’re like: “Judge, we’re still doing discovery. Can I have another date?” And they give you another date and you leave. Now it’s a little more than that, but not too much.
Teri Ulm – Is there anything else about a Pretrial Conference that we haven’t talked about that is important that our listeners should know?
Don’t Show up Drunk or Smelling of Weed.
Jacob Rigney – Don’t show up drunk.
Teri Ulm – That is good advice.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. I would never get drunk and go to court, but…
Teri Ulm – Or smelling like weed. You probably shouldn’t smell like weed either?
Jacob Rigney – You should not smoke weed in the car on the way to court. That is also not a good idea. Yeah.
Appropriate Attire for Court.
Kassi Rigney – I suggest appropriate attire for court.
Teri Ulm – What is that? My idea of appropriate attire might be different than like one of those bums on the street outside.
Jacob Rigney – Listen to Teri getting all bougie on us. All those dirty bums down on the sidewalk outside our building.
Kassi Rigney – I would say something between business casual and business, and kind of who the person is may control and what the hearing is. You want to wear your best. I’m not telling you to wear a tuxedo to your trial, but you probably want to wear a suit that day. But I wouldn’t expect you to wear a suit to a Pretrial Conference.
Teri Ulm – Are jeans okay?
Kassi Rigney – I would not recommend jeans.
Teri Ulm – Tennis shoes?
Kassi Rigney – No. I wouldn’t wear tennis shoes or flip-flops, spaghetti straps.
Teri Ulm – A top hat?
Kassi Rigney – You shouldn’t wear a hat at all. Unless it’s a head scarf for religious purposes, you should expect to take it off. I guess if you have a yamaka or something like that you would probably get that as well, but you can’t wear a baseball cap, a top hat.
Jacob Rigney – Kassi’s imagining a monopoly game turning into a court hearing.
Kassi Rigney – Didn’t Teri just say top hat?
Teri Ulm – I did.
Kassi Rigney – That’s where I got it from.
Teri Ulm – Could I bring… Well. Maybe not I. Could a defendant bring their kids if they can’t find child care?
Jacob Rigney – That happens. It does. It’s not recommended, but it does happen.
Kassi Rigney – And it depends on the court how far you can push that. Generally they say no children. Generally the older the kid is the more well-behaved they are. they might. if you sneak them in. you may not get kicked out. If it’s a toddler or something, there’s just nothing you can do. I believe Marion County, at least at one time, had child care. But, unfortunately you are expected to coordinate transportation and child care to appear as ordered by the court.
Jacob Rigney – One of the sneaky things that people do sometimes is if they’re going to a hearing, like a sentencing hearing where they may get sentenced to prison, or they may not get sentenced to prison, they’ll bring their kids. And they’ll bring them on their own. So the kids are all there, in court, so the judge has to see the kids, and understand what he’s taking away from the kids before the sentence is announced. You would think that that means more people will stay out of prison, but sometimes I think it actually has the opposite effect where it makes the judge mad because if you feel like you’re using the kid as a prop. So, I don’t recommend that either. Although I’ve certainly seen that happen a lot of times.
Teri Ulm – We are now going to interrupt this episode to bring you the latest Florida Man news.
Jacob Rigney – Florida.
Teri Ulm – Florida. Yeah. So, Florida Man, more specifically, the owner of that kangaroo that the Florida police apprehended last week…
Jacob Rigney – Florida kangaroo has an owner? I assumed he was wild and free.
Teri Ulm – No. Well, the owner of Florida kangaroo was arrested, and he’s facing criminal charges. CBS Miami reports that Florida Man is facing several charges including allowing the animal to escape.
Jacob Rigney – How did he? Did he allow it? Really? Did he just he opened the gate and was like go ahead kangaroo. Have fun. I doubt it. The kangaroo is large. The kangaroo goes where the kangaroo wants to go.
Kassi Rigney – I would guess where exotic animals are concerned there’s an assumption of risk and it’s just on you. You brought this thing here.
Jacob Rigney – If you don’t want your kangaroo escaping, Cletus, maybe you should try not owning a kangaroo.
Teri Ulm – A couple other charges is: he didn’t have records for how he got Florida kangaroo.
Jacob Rigney – He bought a kangaroo on the black market. I wonder what a kangaroo goes for on the black market.
Kassi Rigney – They probably shoved it in one of those shipping tubes, and it was snuck in. You know what they do with these exotic animals. This is tragic.
Jacob Rigney – Well how much would you pay for a kangaroo on the black market?
Teri Ulm – I have no idea, but when they’re little, they’re in pouches. So maybe you can put them in a little pouch and ship them somewhere.
Jacob Rigney – Right. When they’re joey’s.
Teri Ulm – Yeah.
Jacob Rigney – I watch PBS.
Kassi Rigney – You know that’s actually the uterus, right? Maybe not. Yeah. Or it’s the kangaroo’s vagina. Look it up. Yeah. It’s not like furry lined in there.
Teri Ulm – I have to watch some PBS.
Kassi Rigney – I’m looking right now. This is what google’s for.
Jacob Rigney – Because there’s like… I remember. There’s this fraught journey that the joey has to make right after it’s born where it climbs from out of the birth canal into the pouch where presumably the nipples are for nursing. And they can fall, and it’s deadly for them if they fall when that’s happening. I remember this.
Kassi Rigney – Okay. You’re right. It is more than a simple… It’s not a vagina or the birth canal or any of that. Sorry. Sorry for the excitement. It’s a complex nursery that contains everything a growing joey needs. The pouch is hairless on the inside. It’s lined with sweat glands that release antimicrobial liquid to keep the joey safe from germs.
Jacob Rigney – I am not okay with that.
Kassi Rigney – I think it was a moist pouch, so. Okay. That was how I mentally thought. You’re getting an insight of how my brain works.
Jacob Rigney – But back to my question. How much would you pay? I don’t mean how much should we expect to pay, but how much would you pay for a kangaroo? If i told you, you could have a kangaroo, how much would you pay for it?
Kassi Rigney – Come on. I’m the environmentalist. If I’m not shipping that thing to an appropriate kangaroo sanctuary, I don’t want to have anything to do with this purchase.
Jacob Rigney – So, zero.
Kassi Rigney – It would be zero.
Jacob Rigney – I think I would pay like 30 bucks.
Kassi Rigney – To have it for myself, I would pay to send it to a sanctuary.
Jacob Rigney – By the way for the six people listening at home, do not send me a kangaroo with a bill for 30 bucks. I’m joking. I would not actually buy a kangaroo, because my wife would kill me. Not because it wouldn’t be awesome. Because it would be totally awesome.
Teri Ulm – I am happy to report that Florida kangaroo is being taken care of by the Florida Fish and Wildlife.
Jacob Rigney – Well that’s good news.
Teri Ulm – Yes. Now back to more happenings in Florida. Florida Man tried to evade an arrest by cartwheeling out of the way from cops, and it’s on video. It’s viral right now. If you were to go online and just search Florida Man cartwheel, you’ll find it. ABC News reports that Florida Man was caught on camera blocking the path of a garbage truck. You can see him standing there, in the road, and he’s not just standing there. He’s doing karate kicks and cartwheels in the road. So the police come and…
Jacob Rigney – They’re like: “Bro. Just go do it on the sidewalk and you’re fine.” And he’s like: “I’ll chop you in the face.” “Cocaine is a powerful drug.”
Teri Ulm – Yes. So the police officers come and they take him down. And they struggle. And Florida Man was not done with his gymnastics show. He manages to wrestle away and as soon as he gets up he cartwheels again, and then of course this allowed the cops more time to get him, again. So they got him again and then he’s arrested. He’s being charged with battery and a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest.
Jacob Rigney – That sounds about right. That seems appropriately charged. This story would be more fun if he was naked, but I assume he was dressed.
Teri Ulm – He was dressed.
Jacob Rigney – Okay. Yeah. Florida Man, next time do better. Strip naked before you jump out in front of the garbage truck
Teri Ulm – Yeah and start cartwheeling. Two Florida women, who tried to steal a 65-inch television from a Florida Walmart.
Jacob Rigney – Together? They were just carrying it out?
Kassi Rigney – I’ve seen these surveillance videos. They just act like do-da-do.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. I own this now.
Kassi Rigney – They are like: “Oh. Register? Pay? Who? Me?
Teri Ulm – Did you read the report?
Kassi Rigney – This is not the first time, and this is not a tactic exclusive to Florida shoplifters.
Jacob Rigney – Right. Teri, you obviously haven’t spent very much time around shoplifters. Let me tell you, the most important part of a shoplifting scheme is confidence. Okay.
Kassi Rigney – Look like you know what you’re doing. Where you’re supposed to be.
Jacob Rigney – You look like you are doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing, and no one should question one little bit what’s going on. That is the most important part of it. You walk with confidence, with your head up. You look people in the eye. You nod at people. You say hi, and you keep moving.
Teri Ulm – Yeah. So these Florida women they went to Walmart, got a cart, and went directly to the electronic section, loaded up with electronics. Managed to somehow wedge the 65-inch television in the cart.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. I can fit a 65-inch television in a shopping cart. That’s workable.
Teri Ulm – And they confidently tried to walk out the door. That’s when employees of Walmart came up and asked for the receipt. The one pushing the cart claimed she didn’t have one and that provided the second Florida lady the opportunity to grab all the other electronics and run and get in her car. The other lady ran off too. Not with the tv. That was left in the cart, but they got away with all the electronics they got, and the police are out looking for them.
Kassi Rigney – They actually made it?
Teri Ulm – Yeah.
Kassi Rigney – Good for them. Wow. Poor investigation.
Teri Ulm – They made it.
Jacob Rigney – And this brings me to a point that I think about often in shoplifting cases and in resisting law enforcement cases, especially the resisting by flight cases. Which is we only see the ones, usually, where people got caught. When you get caught in the middle of your life and your job, and you only see the people who get caught you start thinking for a while, why do people keep doing this? They’re just going to get caught. And then you remember, if you think about it outside of the bubble you’re in for a second, they keep doing it because lots of people get away with it. That’s why. Shoplifting is still a thing in every store in the United States, and it’s because they get away with it. Plenty of times That’s why people keep doing it. That’s why people run from the police so much too. It’s because sometimes, they get away. You can escape. It happens.
Kassi Rigney – And then I guess from the loss prevention officer, it’s just a regular store employee. If I had that job, I wouldn’t be tackling anybody or any criminals. I’m not chasing anybody down.
Jacob Rigney – Right. There was a case a year or two ago here. It might have been three years ago now. Here in Indianapolis where a loss prevention officer tried to stop a woman going out of the store with something that she apparently hadn’t paid for, and I’m not making this up, I think she pooped her pants, and then threw the poop at the loss prevention officer.
Teri Ulm – Who does not get paid nearly as much as they should.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. Right. Not for that. I love this job, but if you told me that there was a one and ten thousand chance that one of my clients was going to come in here and throw poop at me, I’d go get a different job. That’s not a thing that I’m gonna keep doing.
Teri Ulm – And that wraps up this episode of Tales from the Brown Desk.
Jacob Rigney – Alright. Thank you, Teri. And thank you listeners 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. Also, you can ask us listener questions just like Amanda did today. Please email Teri at firstname.lastname@example.org and title 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 read the good ones, but this week we got one. That sounds about right. Buzzsprout says we have 29 listeners now. That’s up three from last week. Yay. Including someone new in Montreal, Canada. Sacre bleu, you hosers. That’s amazing. I’m glad you’re listening, but i don’t know why. The attorneys at Rigney Law, by the way, do not comment on their current pending cases. Nothing we have said in this podcast is a comment on a case we are currently working on, even if your name is Chad or if you are a Canadian living in Canada, because that’s where Canadians live. Au revoir.