Even if there is no criminal intent, suspects face arrest on criminal charges for any act that is considered to be a criminal offense according to local, state or federal laws. Three men learned this when they were arrested for breaking into a motel room in Seattle. They stated that they had intended to pay for their stay at the motel, but they were arrested despite their protestations.
At about 2 a.m. on Aug. 29, the manager of a business in Seattle called police to report a break-in at a nearby motel. The caller reported seeing several men forcing the window to a room open. Police arrived on the scene and confronted one of the four men inside the room. The man claimed the group was looking for a place to stay after a long night out, but the motel manager was unavailable, so the men proceeded to open the window on their own.
The motel manager insisted on prosecuting the men even though they intended to pay, as she made it clear that they had no right to enter the premises on their own. Three of the men were arrested and taken to Kings County Jail. The fourth man claimed he had no idea how he entered the room; he was intoxicated and unable to communicate clearly. He was questioned and released.
Regardless of whether a defendant faces misdemeanor or felony charges, and regardless of the severity of the potential penalties, every defendant is entitled to representation and has additional rights under the law. It is important for defendants to be aware of their rights when under arrest as well as during any subsequent criminal proceedings.
Source: GreenLakeKOMO: "Breaking and entering not acceptable alternative to renting hotel room," Michael Harthorne, Sept. 6, 2012
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