FindLaw Blotter - The FindLaw Crime and Criminals Blog

Recently in Dumb Criminals Category

Sure, there are speed limits. But why would a car's speedometer go all the way to 150 mph if you were only supposed to drive 55? Well, one Texas mother put her speedometer, and her luck, to the test early Sunday morning.

Kierra Beaty was arrested and charged with street racing and child endangerment after her car clipped a pole, spun out of control, and crashed. In the car with Beaty were three passengers and her 13-month-old son, who was allegedly unrestrained in the back seat. Police say Beaty hit speeds as high as 120 mph before the crash.

The escalation of promposals -- elaborately staged settings for asking a high school sweetheart to the biggest dance of the year -- went a few steps too far at Sandstone Peak in Southern California. The highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains, and part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, was defaced with one word in white paint: "Prom?"

Park rangers say this is the second year in the row they've discovered the same graffiti on the red rocks near the peak, so it apparently bears repeating: vandalize a national park, go to jail.

Comic-Con gatherings give superhero and sci-fi fans the opportunity to dress as their favorite characters and celebrate comic book counterculture. And some of those costumed fans can be carrying impressively accurate portrayals of their characters' favored weapons, including swords and laser cannons.

But the weapons one fan carried to Phoenix Comicon yesterday got all too real. A 30-year-old man was arrested trying to enter the convention with three handguns, one shotgun, and a knife, all while clad in body armor. So how did cops know his firepower was real?

When it comes to pranks, the law does not joke around. While many pranks can be chalked up to kids being kids, when practical jokes cause damage to property, or worse, injuries, then police tend to get involved. However, property damage and injuries aren’t the only things that push pranks over the line of what’s legally permissible. In fact, most pranks minimally cause the prankster to be exposed to civil liability for damages, on top of the criminal liability.

All too often, pranks go horribly wrong, or cause unintended consequences. While police didn’t get involved in the notorious Lambo fake-poop prank, the fake pooper was literally shocked by the prank victim’s reaction (note to pranksters: beware of taser toting targets). While these pranksters certainly gained notoriety as a result of their video, prank videos, which abound all over the internet, are frequently used by law enforcement as evidence to support pressing charges.

Below, you’ll find 5 pranks that can actually get you arrested and charged with a crime.

Two Burger King employees in Epping, New Hampshire, were discovered this past week selling marijuana through their employer's fast food drive-thru window. When the police went to visit the home of the Whopper, they were served marijuana alongside their food. One of the employees was charged with possession with intent to distribute, while the other was charged with conspiracy, as well as unlawful possession of alcohol (neither are over 21 years old).

Local police discovered that there was a special procedure for buying marijuana from the Burger King drive-thru which might surprise some. When a person reached the speaker to order, they could ask if "Nasty Boy" was working. If the answer was yes, then by ordering "extra crispy fries" a person would receive marijuana along with the order. After Nasty Boy handed over a cup filled with marijuana, both he and his assistant manager were arrested.

Cliven Bundy, cattle rancher and man who believes "the Federal Government does not have any ownership interest in the Bundy Ranch," (a.k.a. federal property upon which Bundy was illegally grazing his cattle) is currently in federal custody, charged with sixteen felony offenses stemming from an armed standoff with federal Bureau of Land Management officers near said ranch in 2014. Bundy appealed his indictment on the grounds that "the land is not owned by the United States."

A federal magistrate judge denied Bundy's motion to dismiss his charges, so he appealed to the federal United States District Court. Unsurprisingly, that federal judge also denied his appeal.

There are few things worse than hate for a person to expend their energy and mental wherewithal on. One of those few things is live streaming you and your friends torturing an innocent person while yelling politically and racially charged statements. In what should be held out as an example of just sheer brazen stupidity, four 18-year-old teens have been arrested as a result of a Facebook Live video they posted of themselves torturing another teen.

While it is unclear what the motivation for the torture was, what is clear is that the victim was subjected to an awfully scary situation, was physically restrained, verbally and physically assaulted numerous times, and threatened with death, all while being video recorded.

Because of the young age of the perpetrators, despite the racial and political statements, law enforcement has been hesitant to actually call this a hate crime rather than just kids making stupid mistakes and saying things to get attention. Sadly, at one point during the video, the woman making the video asks why no one is watching her live stream.

As everyone should know by now, school shooting threats, even if intended as jokes, are not cool and can get you arrested. For those still unaware, look no further than a 17-year-old high school student in California who allegedly left a "very crude" note in the school's office that included a specific threat to "shoot up the school and kill staff and students."

The student was promptly identified and arrested, and the school was shut down for a day.

Despite how rare it actually is that a criminal conviction will be based upon a fingerprint, thanks to the popularity of televised cop dramas, some would-be criminals go to extreme lengths to avoid fingerprint detection. Over the last few decades, numerous stories have emerged of criminals literally cutting and burning off their fingerprints. Shockingly, even plastic surgeons are being asked to help alter fingerprints.

Technically there is no law against a person altering or changing their fingerprints. However, other laws may be able to use an altered print as evidence for another crime. Also, it should be noted that changing a fingerprint does not remove a fingerprint. So after a fingerprint has been altered, a person will continue to leave fingerprints. If a person has changed their fingerprints, it is likely that any prints they leave will be more identifiable than they were before.

Additionally, fingerprints cover a person's entire finger and palm, and those with altered fingerprints may find themselves getting their full hand "fingerprinted." Simply the edges of a person's fingerprint, if not completely changed, can lead to a positive identification.

Perfectly reasonable laws can sometimes lead to some wacky lawsuits. Usually, it's due to some lawyer with a novel theory on how to apply the law. Recently, a Pennsylvania judge dismissed one such wacky lawsuit against the Sands Casino.

Basically, a Pennsylvania man sued the casino claiming that he suffered damages because he was convicted of battering his fiance there. He claimed that the casino was at fault for serving him too much alcohol. Fortunately, the judge in the case wasn't having any of that nonsense.