Florida Life Lessons: Don’t Mouth off to Judges

You can feel the eye-roll coming...
You can feel the eye-roll coming…
Back at the beginning of the month a Miami woman learned a very valuable lesson: you can’t mouth off to a judge. Eighteen-year-old Penelope Soto appeared before a judge for the illegal possession of Zanax. The young girl proceeded to giggle and sass the judge throughout the hearing, even when the judge asked her if she was currently under the influence. Not getting any good answers, the judge set her bail to $5,000 and dismissed her. Turning to leave, Penelope said, “adios”—so the Judge went ahead and doubled her bail.

Apparently outraged by the fact that a silly man in a black dress can dictate her punishment, Penelope did what any self-respecting teenager would do to one’s elders: she flipped him the bird. The big difference between your principal and a state-appointed judge, though, is that the judge can find you in contempt of court. Want to guess how Penelope’s judge handled it? He slapped her with contempt and sentenced her to 30 days in jail.

Appearing again before the bench, Penelope apologized for her previous behavior and admitted to being under the influence of Zanax and alcohol. Judge dropped the contempt charges and vacated her 30-day jail term.  Who says that the courts don’t work?


  1. Dorothy Hayes

    This proves once again that good parents are judge and jury and they had better issue sentences all along the way for poor judgement. I hated being the disciplinarian, so I’d always say, before the sentencing, I’m sorry I have to do this, but you gave me no option,…

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