A cliche often associated with criminal activity in Ohio County is that those involved “have been punished enough.” While this is often said in an effort to justify a reduced penalty, there may be elements of truth to it. One of the basic tenants of criminal prosecution is that the punishment should fit the crime. In instances where little to no malicious intent was present (and the alleged perpetrators ended up suffering as consequences of their own foolish actions), then is might be argued that further criminal penalties might be excessive.
Recently a group of four friends set out to explore an abandoned coal mine in Clear Creek became the focus of media attention after they became lost during their trek into the mine. One was ultimately able to escape on his own, while the other three were found only after an exhaustive four-day search. Some say they entered the mine to try to steal copper that is believed to be in there, yet the four maintain that their journey was for recreation only.
Regardless of their intentions, local law makes it illegal to enter into a closed mine. Thus, the four have since been arrested, with bail in each case set at $100,000. While respect for the rule of law is necessary, one also may (at times) question whether such harsh penalties for seemingly minor infractions are warranted. People may be required to face some sort of criminal consequence when accused of a crime, yet the totality of their situations should also be considered when determining what penalties they may face. Those who need help ensuring that is remembered in their case may be wise to secure the services of a seasoned criminal defense attorney.