Wednesday, September 24, 2008

You Go With What You Got

You've been pulled over by the cops because your lights weren't on. You fail a sobriety test and are about to be charged with DUI. What do you do? Deploy anything in your arsenal you've got (via Crime & Federalism):

When police were trying to get fingerprints, police say Cruz moved closer to the officer and passed gas on him. The investigating officer remarked in the criminal complaint that the odor was very strong.

Cruz is now charged with battery on a police officer, as well as DUI and obstruction.
Emphasis mine. Really? Nobody likes being farted on, but is it battery? Here's the statute:
c) Battery. -- If any person unlawfully and intentionally makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with the person of another or unlawfully and intentionally causes physical harm to another person, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be confined in jail for not more than twelve months, or fined not more than five hundred dollars, or both such fine and imprisonment.
WV Code 61-2-9(c).

Does "physical contact" include wind that breaketh upon thee? Does the "strong odor" constitute "physical harm to another person?" It seems like a stretch to me, but I could be wrong (there's probably a Guideline enhancement for it somewhere). But if farting is battery, that leads to a more serious question - does giving a Dutch oven constitute malicious wounding?

UPDATE: I can't get the link to work but, according to the Daily Mail, the battery with a (silent but) deadly weapon charge has been dropped. You'll just have to trust me.

No comments: