You go out to the bar with your friends. It’s a Friday night and you have more to drink than you planned. Why not? It’s the weekend. You’re having fun and blowing off steam. There’s also the issue of peer pressure, as one of your friends keeps buying you shots.
Regardless, when it is finally time to head home, you know it’s not safe to drive. You make the wise choice and leave your car at the bar. You’ll get an Uber and pick it up the next day. However, there are no drivers around at the moment, so you decide to walk back to your apartment.
Unfortunately, you’re still fairly drunk and you get lost. You try to cross through a yard to get to a home that you think is yours. It turns out that it’s not. Neither is the yard you’re crossing through. You just got turned around and lost in the dark.
One of the homeowners spots you, thinks you’re trying to break in, and calls the police. They arrest you on trespassing charges and now you’re looking at doing time.
Does this really happen?
If you’re reading this example and thinking that the police would have some compassion on you when they realized you were just drunk and confused, think again. Trespassing is trespassing, whether you’re drunk or not. They can still arrest you, and it actually happens fairly often.
For instance, take the case of a New York police officer who accidentally broke into a woman’s home. She was there with her children. He apparently yelled racial slurs at her. He ended up resigning from the police force and reports claim he was so intoxicated that he didn’t remember what happened.
Or, take reports out of Colorado, where a backup quarterback for the Denver Broncos once drunkenly entered a couple’s home and sat by a woman on the couch. A man beat him up with part of a vacuum cleaner and the team later cut him. Police officers in nearby Boulder said that these types of things occur more than many people realize.
These are just a few examples, but they make it clear that getting drunk and lost is common. You may think you’re just confused and that you want someone — even a police officer — to point you in the direction of your home. They may think you’re breaking the law, though, and being intoxicated is no excuse.
If you do find yourself facing some serious charges after a simple mistake made after having one too many drinks, make sure you understand your rights and all of the legal defense options you have to protect your future.