What to Do When New Year’s Mistakes Lead to Charges
In the days leading up to New Year’s Eve, it seems that every media outlet from The New York Times to BuzzFeed is filled with articles on how to make the most out of your New Year’s celebrations—from which outfits to wear to which bars to visit in your area. In the days following New Year’s, however, the headlines get a lot bleaker—stories about arrests, drunk driving accidents, and domestic abuses scream out from every newspaper and website.
As most of us know, too much alcohol and partying can lead to some pretty uncharacteristic behavior. So on a holiday like New Year’s, when drunkenness is not only tolerated but is expected and to some extent even celebrated, people are bound to make mistakes that they normally would not. The trouble comes when these mistakes lead to criminal charges.
It’s important to know, however, that if you find yourself facing some unexpected charges in the days following New Year’s, it doesn’t have to mean disaster. Don’t let your year be ruined by some partying that got out of hand. You always have the opportunity to take action and defend yourself.
What Could Happen on New Year’s?
Studies have shown that New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are two of the worst days of the year for certain crimes, including impaired driving, domestic violence, and others.
There is no question that some of these crimes can be attributed to the increased amount of alcohol consumption that always takes place on New Year’s. Here’s a story that every experienced criminal lawyer in Chicago has heard at some point: you may go out on New Year’s Eve with the best intentions only to wake up in a jail cell facing some criminal charge for an act that you can’t even remember committing.
Sometimes, the charges that people face in the days following New Year’s are for things that are completely uncharacteristic of the accused—maybe he or she didn’t even realize what they were doing, or maybe it had seemed genuinely harmless at the time. Nevertheless, if you find yourself facing charges for any crime on New Year’s, the consequences can be serious. Some of the charges you can find yourself faced with include:
DUI. A DUI charge is probably the one most commonly associated with New Year’s. With all the alcohol and drug use happening on New Year’s, DUI accidents are among the most dangerous risks that come with New Year’s celebrations. The harm that could come about as a result of a DUI is almost immeasurable—innocent people can be traumatized, injured, or even killed.
Battery. If a fight breaks out between you and someone else, whether it’s at a bar or a house party, you could wind up facing battery charges. Depending on the severity of the physical damage done, the crime can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony. These charges typically mean fines and jail time, both of which could be devastating to you and your family.
Sexual assault. We’re still seeing stories from around the country about alleged sexual assaults that took place on the previous New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. A sexual assault charge is one of the most serious charges that any individual can face. If you use force against anyone to coerce them into having sex, you could be facing some very serious consequences, including years in prison and a stigma that could stay with you and tarnish your reputation for the rest of your life.
These are only a few of the many charges that you may find yourself facing if your partying on New Year’s gets out of hand. Each of them is serious and carries the potential for drastic consequences, from a damaged reputation to multiple years in jail.
You Deserve A Good Defense
For many Americans, New Year’s Eve is a night that they look forward to all year long. Unfortunately, with all the drinking and celebrating going on, you might wake up to find that you’ve made some bad decisions. Hopefully you won’t do anything too severe, but it’s important for you to remember that no matter what you’re charged with, you always have the right to defend yourself. You owe it to yourself to take advantage of that right.
If you find yourself facing criminal accusations for mistakes made during New Year’s celebrations, contact an experienced Chicago defense lawyer right away to discuss your options and start building your defense strategy.
About the Author:
Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience in handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, Murder, and drug crimes.