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Walking The Line


While we all know Johnny Cash had a few crimes under his belt, this movie clip from Walk the Line only shows a couple of criminal actions. What would rock and roll be without the drugs and alcohol? Oh- and a criminal record.

There is an insinuation of Johnny's rough childhood in this clip. A person commits an offense of injury to a child if he intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence by act or omission, causes to a child bodily injury or mental injury. We are probably to assume that Johnny's father would be guilty of this offense.

We see Johnny handed an open beer while he is in the back of a vehicle about to pull away. That action violates Texas Penal Code § 49.031, which states that a person commits the offense of possessing an alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle when they knowingly possess an open container in the passenger area of the vehicle that is located on a public street regardless of whether the vehicle is in motion or not. The passenger area of the vehicle does not include the glove compartment or similarly locked storage area, the trunk of the vehicle, or behind the last upright seat of the vehicle if there is no trunk.

Johnny could also receive a public intoxication citation under Texas Penal Code § 49.02. A person is publicly intoxicated if they appear in public place while intoxicated to the degree that the person may endanger the person or another. Because Johnny cannot even stay in his chair, he probably could be considered publicly intoxicated. This offense is generally considered a Class C misdemeanor.

A person commits the offense of possession of a substance when they knowingly or intentionally possess a controlled substance unless the person obtained the substance from a valid prescription. This offense is a state jail felony where the degree depends upon the amount of the drug found.

There are a few scenes in this clip where Johnny is smashing things or throwing things around. Under Texas Penal Code § 28.03 a person commits the offense of criminal mischief when they intentionally or knowingly damage or destroy tangible property or tampers with property as to cause pecuniary loss to the owner. The range for this type of offense varies from a Class C misdemeanor to a State Jail felony depending on the amount of damage done in dollar amounts and the type of property damaged.