If you've ever been fishing, you know it's possible to go after a specific type of fish, but you ultimately don't have much control over what takes your bait. However, you need to pay very close attention to what you catch, as reeling in an out-of-season fish could lead to fines and jail time.
The Wrong Dinner
In Michigan, a young man was trying to catch some dinner for himself, his fiance, and his young child. He ended up catching a bass, but that type of bass was not in season. He was caught and fined $115, which is far more than the fish was worth.
Things kept getting worse. First, he disputed the ticket and lost. When he did, he was informed that information would come in the mail to tell him how and where to pay. He waited for it, and nothing came. After a couple of months, he decided to do the standup thing and call about it. Instead of good news, he found that an arrest warrant had been put out. He was shocked and frightened, but he still tried to make things right by driving himself over to the jail to learn more. They locked him up. He could only get out by borrowing $175 to post bail.
Eventually, a court ordered that he now had to pay $215. Without a job and with a child, he had no money. His fiance's mother, who was living off of Social Security benefits, said he could have $100 as a start. He offered to pay that right away and pay the rest a month later, when he could get it. The judge told him he had to pay it all or he'd be locked up again, asking him if he could put the rest on a credit card.
Small Mistakes, Big Consequences
As this surprising story shows, a small mistake can have a huge impact on a person's life. It may sound shocking that you could do this much jail time and pay so much for catching the wrong fish, but that's how the laws work in Michigan. If you feel like things are spiraling out of control, it's crucial to learn all about your legal rights before things get worse.
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