If you’re a football fan, you’ve probably heard of Chad Johnson (aka Chad Ochocino). Recently, Chad appeared in court due to a probation violation when, but for his in-court behavior, he would have been walking out of the front door.
Upon the judge reviewing Chad’s plea deal (that included no active jail time), the judge commented that she felt Chad was very fortunate for his attorney’s work. In response, Chad showed appreciation to his attorney in an unusual manner – slapping his rear-end.
While the courtroom audience laughed, the judge did not think it to be so funny. In fact, the judge found Chad’s behavior so disrespectful that she rejected the plea agreement, and Chad now has thirty days to think of his mistake.
Chad’s situation highlights a huge point – the courtroom is no place for behavior that MAY be INTERPRETED as disrespectful.
I highlight the “may” because, personally, I don’t think Chad intended to be disrespectful. The rear-end slap is quite common. Among athletes. Nevertheless, while in court, he clearly made a mistake by not recognizing his surroundings and the seriousness of the occasion.
Chad was before the court for a violation of probation arising from a domestic assault charge. Clearly, this wasn’t a speeding ticket or littering. And, given that it was a probation violation, Chad had already taken at least two separate wrongful actions to land him before the court. Judges have countless cases to deal with in any given day, and they deal with serious matters. They don’t have time to deal with nonsense.
If you happen to find yourself having to go to court for any reason whatsoever, recognize that you are going into a court of law, that you have a duty of utmost respect to the judge and the law, and you are in the spotlight. Ignore this advice at your own peril.
James S. Abrenio