Legal Ignorance Tax: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You!

Posted by Corey L. Scott | Jun 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

We have all heard the phrase, “What you don't know can't hurt you.” Unfortunately, that phrase could be the farthest thing from the truth, and there is a story I would like to relay that illustrates this well.

I was in a courtroom waiting for my case to be called, when the court called up three young men. These men were very young, they had to be in their early 20's, at the oldest. The three of them were standing in front of the judge, in their orange jumpsuits and handcuffs, when the judge inquired how they would like to plead. Immediately two of them spoke out, “Judge, we plead guilty.” You could tell they just wanted to get it over with. The judge gave them their advisements, and made sure that they understood what they were doing before asking them again, “Do you still want to go ahead and plead guilty?” They answered, “Yes,” and the two of them were convicted and a sentencing date was set.

The third young man however, said, “You know what? I'm pleading not guilty. I want to talk to an attorney first and come back at a later date to resolve my case.” I was intrigued by this, and afterwards I kept an eye on the case out of curiosity. A couple of months later I came to find out that the first two gentlemen had been sentenced for their crimes and were going to have to do probation and all the classes and whatnot. What happened to the third person, the gentleman who had pleaded not guilty? He got an attorney, and his charges were all dismissed. While this young man got to walk away with nothing on his record, the other two young men were left with convictions, something that was going to follow them for some time.

The truth is your biggest expense in life is what you do not know. In a court of law, if you do not know something and you act hastily or act on your ignorance, you may be hit with something that I like to call an “ignorance tax.” An ignorance tax is an extra, additional, and sometimes unnecessary penalty that people pay for being uninformed. The best thing you can do is pick up a phone, call an attorney, and be informed to try to get the best outcome for your case.

If you have any questions about this or anything else, I am more than happy to talk to you. You can reach me at 317-634-0101. 

About the Author

Corey L. Scott

Corey L. Scott, was born and raised in East Chicago, Indiana. Upon graduation from East Chicago Central High School, Corey attended Indiana State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology.  Upon graduation, Corey accepted a position with the Marion County Superior Court, Juvenile Division where he served with distinction for the next nine years, eventually being promoted to Director of the Youth Counseling Department. Pursuing his dream of becoming an attorney, Corey attended the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis.  While in law school, Corey was an Indiana Council on Legal Education Opportunity (ICLEO) fellow and participated in Moot Court competitions.  He also worked in the Marion Superior Court, Criminal Division as a bailiff and research assistant to the Honorable Tanya Walton Pratt, who serves as a Judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. Corey also served as an internship law clerk to the Honorable Judge, Margret G. Robb, at the Indiana Court of Appeals. Finally, upon graduation from law school, Corey had the distinct honor and privilege to serve as a law clerk to the Honorable Justice, Robert D. Rucker, who sits on the Indiana Supreme Court. Corey then became an associate with Mike Norris Law Office, where he specialized in bankruptcy law with a main concentration on working to assist families obtain a fresh start through Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Still a young attorney, Corey then served as a public defender at the Marion County Public Defender Agency.  In this position, Corey gained invaluable trial experience by defending clients in a wide range of matters from misdemeanors to serious felonies on a daily basis.  It was also during this time that Corey discovered his passion for representing and serving "everyday people." An entrepreneur at heart, Corey established the Law Office of Corey L. Scott, P.C.  Since then, he and his staff have served the greater Indianapolis community and surrounding counties in several legal disciplines including: Bankruptcy, Criminal Defense and Family Law.  In keeping with his vision, Corey L. Scott, P.C., is a client focused, results oriented general law practice that endeavors to provide legal solutions for "everyday people" charged with a crime, dealing with financial crisis or going through a difficult divorce. Corey has also been active serving the greater Indianapolis community by participating in pro bono programs such as "Ask a Lawyer," the "Modest Means" panel program which allows individuals to afford legal counsel at a fraction of normal rates, Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic and the Heartland Pro Bono Council program. Corey is a proud member of the Indianapolis Bar Association, Indiana Bar Association, American Bar Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.


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