A small victory

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2 years 2 months ago - 2 years 2 months ago #3321 by Oldbooks1
Replied by Oldbooks1 on topic A small victory
If the charge was dismissed then there was no decision about whether there was an infraction or not.

One is really at a disadvantage trying to contest these matters because, as mentioned above, the system makes it very hard to obtain exculpatory evidence.

In most situations in comes down to whether the judge believes the driver or the police officer and there is not much doubt about how that will turn out.

The system is also very inequitable. If someone is able to hire a lawyer the odds of dismissal go up dramatically.

So poor people end up paying the fine and the higher insurance premium rates for years which could easily amount to more than the cost of the lawyer someone who has more resources could afford.

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2 years 2 months ago #3322 by JTSR71
Replied by JTSR71 on topic A small victory
On the face of it, yes this particular system is inequitable for poorer people.

On the other hand, in California, it's very easy to get a driving license. So people who get fined for not driving in a safe manner saved time and money when it came to learning to drive and taking their test. I believe there are programs to help lower income people get lower cost insurance and there are also programs to get assistance for vehicle repairs if you fail a smog test. Then many here choose to get insurance that covers them for other drivers who are uninsured or under insured. Unconnected with driving, there are many other boosters for income and to help with all sorts of costs of living.

There's also an ticket amnesty program right now for people who have unpaid fines and lost their licenses. The fines will be reduced on an income basis, sometimes significantly. I presume that many people just continued driving without licenses and insurance.

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2 years 2 months ago #3324 by Oldbooks1
Replied by Oldbooks1 on topic A small victory
I am conflicted on the issue of fines.

When properly applied the fines are intended to discourage behavior that could result in injury or death to an innocent party. It is hard to see why any citizen should be treated differently for failing to do that. Of course, fines by their nature are very regressive so the actual "punishment" is certainly unequal.

More broadly across the country, there is a growing recognition that all courts fees and fines are inherently "unfair" and disproportionately affect those with lower incomes.

Nobody seems to have a good way of balancing "deterrence" with "fairness."

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2 years 2 months ago #3548 by mmfacemm
Replied by mmfacemm on topic A small victory
Do you think your own dash cam would have been beneficial? Those seem to be getting more popular.

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2 years 2 months ago #3549 by Oldbooks1
Replied by Oldbooks1 on topic A small victory
The question really is whether it would even be considered as evidence that has any probative value.

In the first place, it would be very difficult to prove that whatever it showed actually related to the exact time and date at which the alleged infraction occurred since there is no proven chain of custody.

A judge would probably not see any images from such a device as more convincing than the testimony of a police officer.

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2 years 2 months ago - 2 years 2 months ago #3588 by JTSR71
Replied by JTSR71 on topic A small victory
I've thought of the idea of a dashcam several times. But the prime reason had always been for protection against other motorists.

However, it could be useful for a police encounter, especially if it has a forward and rearward camera and a microphone. In my case, any rear camera would have captured the officer stopping the vehicle right after the alleged violation. An uninterrupted video capturing the alleged violation and the stop would be hard to fake and therefore more believable in a court than an officer's testimony.

Additionally, some cameras can be adjusted so could be pointed into the cabin to capture the conversation with the officer. At the very least, recording the conversation with the officer would stop them trying to play little tricks as was attempted with me. The officer wanted me to view the video and "confess" so stated that if I didn't watch the video with him in the vehicle I wouldn't be able to watch it later.

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2 years 2 months ago #3604 by joseph
Replied by joseph on topic A small victory
The officer cannot force a motorist to review the video or turn it over without a warrant or the driver stupidly acquiescing to the officers request.

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2 years 2 months ago #3887 by Oldbooks1
Replied by Oldbooks1 on topic A small victory
"On the face of it, yes this particular system is inequitable for poorer people."

Here is an interesting case in this area in US District Court.

Damian Stinnie owes fees, fines, and costs to Virginia's courts. He cannot pay them, so Virginia law requires that his driver's license be suspended until he pays. But the suspension makes it difficult to get and keep a job. In other words, because he cannot pay the fees, his license is suspended, but because his license is suspended, he cannot pay the fees. Caught in this cycle, Stinnie and others have sued the Commissioner of Virginia's Department of Motor Vehicles ("DMV"). Caught in this cycle, Stinnie and others have sued the Commissioner of Virginia's Department of Motor Vehicles ("DMV"). They argue that the Commissioner suspended their licenses and that those suspensions violated their federal constitutional rights to due process and equal protection.

The judge dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction.

casetext.com/case/stinnie-v-holcomb

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2 years 2 months ago #3912 by JTSR71
Replied by JTSR71 on topic A small victory

Oldbooks1 wrote: "On the face of it, yes this particular system is inequitable for poorer people."

Here is an interesting case in this area in US District Court.

Damian Stinnie owes fees, fines, and costs to Virginia's courts. He cannot pay them, so Virginia law requires that his driver's license be suspended until he pays. But the suspension makes it difficult to get and keep a job. In other words, because he cannot pay the fees, his license is suspended, but because his license is suspended, he cannot pay the fees. Caught in this cycle, Stinnie and others have sued the Commissioner of Virginia's Department of Motor Vehicles ("DMV"). Caught in this cycle, Stinnie and others have sued the Commissioner of Virginia's Department of Motor Vehicles ("DMV"). They argue that the Commissioner suspended their licenses and that those suspensions violated their federal constitutional rights to due process and equal protection.

The judge dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction.

casetext.com/case/stinnie-v-holcomb


I agree suspending the license is unjust. Licenses should only be suspended if you're a dangerous driver.

If collecting the fine is deemed important, then there are other methods to collect the money. Taking away somebody's livelihood is less likely to result in collecting the money, so what service have the law makers of that state actually provided their citizens?

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2 years 2 months ago #3922 by Legally-Speaking
Replied by Legally-Speaking on topic A small victory
On the subject of dashcams, THIS ONE is free and works rather well.

CAVEAT - Don't forget to thoroughly read the privacy statement and permissions.

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