Missing too many days of school, catching a fish out of season or even leaving an old washing machine in your front yard are all ways that can end you up in jail. This is because these minor infractions are considered misdemeanors in many parts of the country, subject to a ticket in which you may have to pay a fine. If a fine is imposed and you fail to pay it, you could wind up in jail.
Basically, here is how such a thing can happen.
Let’s say you get a ticket for driving too fast, a speeding ticket, and you fail to show up on the court date because you were called out of town for an emergency situation. Some courts will issue a bench warrant for your arrest and will take you to jail if they catch you. Then you will need to call your bondsman in Grand Rapids.
This might seem outrageous, but all too true. Here are a few more examples.
A Michigan resident was out fishing for dinner for his family and was hit with a ticket for catching a bass that was out of season. The officer who wrote him the citation said he didn’t have to go to court and told him he would get information about how and where to pay the $100 fine in the mail.
A few months passed and he received nothing in the mail concerning his ticket and where to pay the fine. So he drove to the police department only to discover they had placed a warrant out for his arrest. He was cuffed on the spot.
He wound up having to pay nearly $200 to a bondsman to get him out of jail and the courts jacked up his fine to over $200.
All of this because he caught a fish at the wrong time of the year.
A man in Texas says his two grandsons were threatened with jail after missing too many days of school. Texas criminal proceedings against parents can happen if their kids miss three days of school in four weeks or 10 days in a six-month period. Typically, the charges will result in a fine as much as $500. However, for those who don’t pay or can’t pay arrest warrants are issued.
But since the majority of students and parents who wind up in court for this infraction, many of them have a really hard time coming up with the money to pay the fines.
The Texas man’s grandson, who was 17 at the time, was thrown in jail for missing school and not paying the $950 fine. The younger grandson was fined, but not jailed. In all, the family had to pay more than $1,300 in criminal court.
The grandsons had a hard time getting to school because they lived over 20 miles away from it and bussing was not available.
Yes, skipping school does make you a criminal.