We all have legal concerns. Lucky for you, GURU’s got a master law-woman on retainer. In this series, Ms. Esquire answers all your pressing legal enquiries. Please bear in mind that this is not legal advice.
I recently bought a bunch of stuff at some shitty clothing store on Broadway and forgot that I was holding a scarf that I didn’t pay for. It was an honest mistake, but I got busted for shoplifting. Is being forgetful against the law?
Ms. Esquire: Being forgetful isn’t against the law, so you should try to convince the store security guard that you simply forgot and let the district attorney know that too if you find yourself in court. Practically though, if that happens, just PAY FOR THE SCARF, DUH! This generally works, because it’s a hassle for the store to press charges against you, especially if you weren’t trying to conceal it and you legitimately walked out of the store with it in your hands because you were spacing out that day (honestly, even I have done it– and after realizing it, I walked back in the store and paid for the lipstick that I was carrying in my hand– just to be safe). If the store does decide to press charges against you for shoplifting, which seems to be the case in this scenario, you’ll go in front of the judge, and he will likely give you an ACD (Adjournment Contemplating Dismissal), which means that if you don’t fuck up in any way for the next six months, all charges are completely dismissed, and you’re all good to go.
I have two drug dealers. One of them tells me to text him whatever I need and has no concern about how explicit I am about our transaction, and the other is super paranoid and insists we speak in code and get really upset when I ask for that stink stank purple sticky icky bricky marijuana drugs. Which one of them is right? Can we get in trouble for texting about drugs?
Ms. Esquire: The first drug dealer, the one who has no concern about how explicit he is about his transaction, is an idiot. Don’t engage in any “transactions” with him. The second drug dealer, the super paranoid one, is half right — it’s a good idea to speak in code so that you’re not glaringly obvious — but he won’t be totally off the hook because the courts provide warrants to law enforcement who want to investigate suspects that use cryptic phrases and terminology as a way to disguise drug activities.