May 25, 2005

Law Enforcement for profit

So last November, I was on my way to work (the day before Thanksgiving). I was driving on Mopac (a highway here), under the speed limit in the open left lane. I came upon a pack of cars in the middle and right lane and was about to pass them when the last car (a little mustang) in the middle lane cuts in front of me just as I catch up. I almost nailed him because he cut so close! Anyway, I hit the cluch and slow downed and started to develop room between him and me when he realizes WHY THE PACK HAD FORMED.... There was a cop driving WAY BELOW the speed limint causing the pack with a bunch of panty-waists fearing to pass him! The mustang realizes that there's a cop and hits the brakes (for I don't know what reason since we were BELOW the speed limit) and I get close again.

So to make this a shorter story, the cop pulls ME and GIVES ME THE TICKET for following too close - non-collision. When I explain to him what happened, he said that he didn't care! It was obvious that he wanted his quota (which everyone knows doesn't exist).

Texas has you come in about a month after a violation where they play "Let's Make a Deal". The prosecutor offers a Reduced Fine + Court Cost + Driving Class IF you plead guilty. If not, they threaten to try and get the maximum penality (for making them go to court). I told the prosecutor that that was a bad ticket and I wanted it dismissed right there and he told me that he couldn't and that if we had to go to court, he'd have to go for the full penality. I said, let's go to court!

After that, the judge explained that I had two options, a trial by judge or a trial by jury. He was nice enough to explain that a trial by jury could extend several days (if your case wasn't called immediately) and that I'd have to miss work and pay my attorney for each day. Obviously, the trial by judge was the better option so I chose that.

Well, I hired a lawyer and he explained the "trial by judge scam":

    1) Apparently, jury trials CAN take several days but, it rarely happens
    2) Juries tend to side with the defendants whereas judges tend to side with the cops!
    3) In a jury trial 6 people judge you and if 1 finds you not-guilty, you're not guilty! In a judge trial, you are judged by one person (the guy who usually sides with the cop)

So, the Austin Judicial system snookered me!

My lawyer changed the trial to a jury trial and we had it yesterday....

Here's why I'm ticked- I went to court, and was the second person which the prosecutor dismissed charges against!

Why am I unhappy about that??? BECAUSE, it was the same prosecutor that played "Let's Make a Deal" with me and wouldn't drop the charge earlier!    I wanted to scream at him- "What new evidence did you find that now tells you that it was a bad ticket that you didn't have when we first met!?!?!

So, due to the system trying to pressure me into paying-up, I am out $150 for the lawyer, $14 for parking and TWO vacation days from work when they KNEW I wasn't guilty!!!!

The whole system is not about justice, it's about making people criminals for money! This law enforcement for profit has me STEAMED!!!

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