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Factors That Can Increase The Severity Of A Loitering Charge

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Loitering isn't necessarily a serious criminal charge, but it's still something that can result in you getting arrested and needing to mount a defense with the help of a local attorney from a criminal law office. Sometimes, people are charged with loitering and other charges; in other cases, you may simply be charged with loitering following an incident of you remaining in an area after being told to leave. Some loitering charges can be relatively easy for a skilled attorney to defend, while others are more challenging. Here are some factors that can increase the severity of the loitering charge.

The Location In Which You Were Arrested

The location in which you were arrested for loitering can influence the severity of the charge. Some locations can suggest that you were hanging around the area with inappropriate intentions, while others don't really have any implication associated with them. For example, being arrested for standing outside of a women's bathroom is a lot different than "loitering" in a public area, such as a park. Your criminal defense attorney will need to work harder to defend the former type of example.

How You Responded To Being Asked To Leave

Often, those who loiter will be asked to leave by someone in charge of the property — and perhaps multiple times — before the authorities are involved. If you were mistakenly standing somewhere that you shouldn't have been, and a property rep asked you to move along, you might have needed to do so. This means that you probably wouldn't have been arrested. However, if you refused to move, or perhaps came back to the area after leaving for a short amount of time, this behavior can lead to an arrest. It can also make your loitering charge more difficult to defend.

Your Past History With Loitering

When the police make contact with you for your loitering, they'll often look at your criminal record to determine what previous charges you've faced. If you have a clean record and the details of your loitering situation are vague, you'll often escape without a charge — but be firmly asked to find a new place to hang out. However, if you've frequently had problems with loitering in the past, and especially if you've been accosted in venues similar to the current one, you may face a charge of loitering. Be as honest as possible with your criminal defense attorney so that he or she can build an effective defense for you.