Blog Post

What Are The Consequences?

Actions have consequences. Sometimes they are good consequences and sometimes not. They can be immediate or delayed. But there is a consequence to every action.

A client of mine recently received a stark reminder of that fact.

Let's call him Joe. When Joe came to me he was charged with a misdemeanor. He had an explanation of what had happened and it seemed reasonable. He seemed like a very nice, middle aged man. He told me he had never been in any kind of trouble before this.

I was pretty sure I could get his case dismissed. It was such a petty violation that I was confident that the prosecuting attorney in this county would dismiss it upon payment of court costs.

I made an appointment to see the prosecutor. We spoke for a while before getting into the facts of the case.I explained to him that my client was a good man who just got caught in a "situation." He wasn't intentionally violating the law. I mean, technically he was guilty. But it could have been forgiven.

Then the prosecutor paused and looked up this man's record. ell, he did not have any convictions but he did have some arrests he had not told me about and had once before been put on probation for something.

Now those arrests were not admissible in court. But what they did was make me, or my client actually since I relied on what he told me, look like a liar. The prosecutor did not like that.

When I told my client about this reaction, he was surprised. He said he thought those things could not be used against him. He was only partially right. They were not evidence but the events still had consequences. They poisoned the mind of the prosecuting attorney. When he read about my client's past he was not as willing to dismiss the case.

Even the lie about his past had consequences. In fact, every action has consequences. Sometimes the consequences live on for a long time. People need to think about that before they take action. You can end up paying a price for some action you took for many years.