You may be familiar with a not-so-fashionable fad that some young people shared in recent years – they wore their pants low below the waist and sometimes show a bit of skin while still leaving something to the imagination. Hopefully, that passing trend has passed. However, a Louisiana man apparently believes it’s still with us: he was confronted by police and told to raise his drawers. When he refused, the Shreveport police arrested him and he was charged with a crime that they call the wearing of pants below the waist in public.
He was also arrested and charged with a crime of resisting arrest. Police report that they were called to a scene of a fight and apparently noticed the man with his pants below his waist. They say that he wouldn’t follow their commands to pull up his pants.
A Shreveport police Sgt. told reporters that the police gave the man an opportunity to ‘correct the problem’ and leave the area. He stated that when the man refused to do what they commanded, they made a decision to take him into custody. The man’s wife told reporters that he was arrested one block away from their house.
The Shreveport government website reveals a law stating that anyone caught with their pants sagging below the waist and showing skin or undergarments could be charged with a crime and summoned to appear in court. The penalty listed is a fine up to $100 and a sentence of a day of community service. Despite the seemingly moderate penalties, the accused also now faces a more serious resisting arrest charge.
This Louisiana local criminal ordinance is arguably unconstitutionally broad. It ambiguously prohibits various degrees of ‘skin’ or undergarments that may be no more than what is seen at a pool or in a gym daily. When charged with a crime that is suspect or unfairly applied, an accused may want to obtain counsel and discuss all of the options available for a criminal defense not only to the suspect law but also to the resisting arrest. If the charge of wearing pants too low is invalid, then the resisting arrest charge could likely be challenged because the arrest he was charged with resisting was not a valid arrest.
Source: theindychannel.com, “Shreveport Louisiana man Aaron Woodbury was arrested for wearing his pants too low,” April 17, 2013