Brian J. Adams was grudgingly willing to do the time - 40 hours of community service - even though he thought it was too harsh for the crime of reselling Oriole tickets within a mile of the stadium.
The New Jersey man was willing, that is, until attorney Steven D. Silverman told him there are convicted drug dealers who don't do that many service hours.
A few phone calls and one trial threat later, Adams, who spent 20 hours in a Baltimore jail cell in June after he was arrested while trying to sell four Oriole tickets at a discount, was free of the charges. The state's attorney's office agreed Aug. 2 not to prosecute the case.
"I guess it was just reviewed at another level and a decision was made," said Joyce Jefferson Daniels, spokeswoman for the state's attorney's office.
For Adams, 32, the decision brings the unpleasantness of his first Baltimore visit to a close.
"It was an absurd situation, and the person I blame the most was the police officer," Adams said yesterday. "If he had used any sort of judgment at all, this whole thing could have been avoided."
Adams' case prompted police Commissioner Edward T. Norris to amend the department's arrest policy when someone is accused of violating the "Scalp-Free Zone" around Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Reselling Oriole tickets within a mile of the stadium has been illegal since 1994, and violators can be fined up to $50. Since Adams' arrest, Norris said each violation now will be reviewed by a department supervisor before a decision to file charges is made.
Adams, a Burlington, N.J., resident who works for the New Jersey Department of the Treasury, was trying to sell four tickets June 10 to an Orioles-Philadelphia Phillies game for less than the face value when he was arrested outside Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
He spent the next 20 hours at Central Booking and Intake Center before he was released by a court commissioner.
A few weeks after his arrest, Adams agreed to the 40 hours of community service in exchange for having the charges dropped, saying he wanted to avoid returning to Baltimore.
Silverman, a Baltimore lawyer, wrote to Adams and offered him free legal help after reading local newspaper accounts about his plight. He said he told Adams that at worst, he might get probation before judgment and a fine.
"He wanted to have a trial on the merits," Silverman said.
Silverman said he called Marshall R. Shure, the assistant state's attorney who handled the case, and told him his client wanted to go to trial. A few hours later, he said, Shure called back to say the charges were being dismissed.
Adams still has no plans to return to Baltimore soon.
"Maybe I'll change my mind someday, but now, I'm a little gun shy," he said.