A Florida teenager, upset over her $10,000 bail bond, flipped the bird at a Miami judge and was then shocked to receive a 30-day sentence for contempt.
18-year-old Penelope Soto irritated Judge Jorge Rodriguez-Chomat by laughing her way through her bail hearing for possessing Xanax without a prescription. The drug charges were Soto's first offense. The judge asked her how much her jewelry was worth, to which she responded by giggling. "It's not a joke, you know, we're not in a club now," the judge said. "We are not in a club, be serious about it."
He set Soto's bail at $5,000, and she responded "adios" as she left the courtroom. That flippant signoff was apparently the final straw: Rodriguez-Chomat laughed to himself, called her back, and re-set her bail at $10,000.
"Are you serious?" asked Soto, now looking shocked. "I am serious," replied the judge. "Adios!" he added. In response Soto flipped him the bird and shouted "fuck you!" The judge then called her back again and sentenced her to 30 days in jail.
But one might draw a different moral from the story: Americans can land in jail for some pretty trivial things – and maybe it's not always warranted.
Updated Feb 8, 6:15pm PST: The judge dropped the charges after Penelope Soto appeared in court again and apologized for her previous behavior. He said he didn't want her to spend her life labeled a convicted felon, and wished her luck with her rehab program. (Earlier this week, a different judge sentenced her to rehab for possessing Xanax.)