Don’t do what the “Adios girl” did

In case you have not seen or heard about the “Adios girl.”  Here is what happened.  An 18 year old young woman was in custody in Florida on drug possession charges.  She must have been appearing at some kind of first appearance calendar where PC to hold is found, or a bail hearing.  Anyway there is a video of it, and it has become a viral sensation.
Basically the woman appears in front of a Judge.  She is laughing, playing with her hear, and kind of flirting with the Judge in her own weird way.  The Judge takes this as a sign of disrespect, and sets her bail at $5000.  He then says “bye-bye.”  She responds by saying “Adios,” as she is walking away.  The Judge then gets mad over this comment and calls her back in front and doubles her bail to $10K.  He then dismisses her and says, “Adios.”  She gets outraged by this increase in bail, and says F- You to the Judge before flipping him off.  He then calls her back and immediately sentences her to 30 days in custody for contempt in court.
Clearly this woman lacked any kind of manners, or common decency.  I mean I understand you’re pissed off that your in jail.  But it is probably not a good idea to piss off the one person who is deciding whether to keep you in custody or not.  Below is a picture
This spectacle reminds me of case I once saw.  It was back in Seattle Municipal Court.  It must have been 6-7 years ago.  Anyway I remember it was in front of this Judge who was very similar to the one from this video.  Often times he would just go off on defendants.  Impose year long sentences from the stupidest things.  Frankly I don’t know why it took him so long to get voted off the bench.
But anyway I digress.  I remember this incident like it was yesterday.  It was the day before Christmas.  The afternoon calendar.  Nobody was really there, it was pretty light.  The case was where some defendant was trying to fire his public defender because he wanted his misdemeanor charge to be a felony so he could have a twelve person jury instead of six.  I know it sounds crazy, but this is what the defendant really wanted.  Anyway he started to argue with the Judge about the twelve person jury thing.  I remember the Judge took his fingers and put them in his ears and starting singing, “Nah Nah Nah I can’t hear you.”  It was really quite funny.  It was kind of like this Judge was saying, “nener-nener” like a little kid.
The Judge then told the defendant to shut up and he was done talking about this hearing.  As the defendant was being hauled back into custody he said something to the Judge.  I want to say it was an F-bomb, but I cant exactly remember.  The Judge then calls the defendant back into custody and imposes a sentence of 1 year.  Even though the defendant hadn’t plead guilty or anything.  This was still in the pretrial stage.  Both the defendant attorney and prosecutor told the Judge I don’t think you can do that.  But he said I don’t care and stormed off the bench.  It was really bizarre and as everyone in the courtroom was left wondering what the hell just happened.
So what is the point in bringing all this up other than for the humor.  Well the moral of this story is very simple.   Don’t piss off the Judge who is presiding in your case.  Whether you’re at a bail hearing.  Whether you’re at a motion hearing.  Or whether you’re at a sentencing hearing.  Judge’s are human too.  They let things get to them.  Their buttons can be pushed.  And like everyone else they can act irrationally.
As a Criminal Defense Lawyer the first thing I always tell clients before they appear in front of a Judge is to act in a respectful manner.  Judge’s eat that stuff up.  Particularly this is very important before we do a sentencing hearing.  I always tell my clients the same thing.  “After the Judge is done speaking with you about the plea form, they will ask you if you have anything to say regarding sentencing.  You can choose to say something or choose not to.  If you don’t feel like you should be here, or this whole situation is BS.  Then it is probably best to keep those thoughts to yourself and not say anything.  Remember this is the person that can decide whether you stay out of jail or go to jail for a long time. It is best not to piss them off right before they sentence you.”
Someone should have told Ms. Soto this before she appeared in front of that Judge in Florida.  Poor girl now has to sit in custody for 30 days because she was acting like a brat.
Matthew A. Leyba is a Seattle DUI Attorney in Seattle, WA.  His practice focuses on representing those accused of DUI and other serious traffic offenses.  If you have been arrested for DUI contact our office immediately for a free no hassle consultation.