Posts Tagged ‘Law’

Ok..

Before I start saying ANYTHING let me just preface this with:

I THINK SEX OFFENDERS SHOULD ALL BE STRUNG UP ONTO THE NEAREST LIGHTPOST AND SKINNED WITH A DULL SPOON.. AFTER THEY ARE CASTRATED.. WITHOUT BEING NUMBED FIRST.

Does that accurately relay how horrendous I think sex offenders are?

.. and that’s tame.

For me.

Anyway.. the reason I bring this up:

I have a customer who comes in maybe 3 or 4 times a week. I know his wife.. I’ve met his kids.. and his sister is also one of my really good customers. They’re really nice people who are doing what they need to do to provide for their families.

Nothing illegal.. just working hard.. making sacrifices.. etc.

Normal.. everyday.. good people.

So this morning, he comes in and orders a breakfast sandwich. Since Chief cooks everything “made to order” we have a little time to chit-chat.

I ask him how things are going and he proceeds to tell me that his 11 year old son is in trouble.

I ask him what’s going on and he tells me that his son and a bunch of other kids in his class :: some “friends” some just “classmates” :: were hanging around in the school yard after school and boys being boys.. some kids dared the other kids to pee in the parking lot. So my customer’s son did just that.

Pee’d in the middle of the parking lot while all the other kids laughed about it.

A second kid was going to pee also, but the principle happened to be coming out of the school at the time and the kids ran.

It would have probably been just one of those stupid little Ferris Beuller pranks that aggravate the shit out of principles but in this case, there was video tape.

And when the tape was reviewed :: to determine the who the kids were :: and my customer’s son was viewed actually doing the peeing, he got suspended.

End of story, right? And what’s this have to do with sex offenders, right?

Well.. I’m not quite sure how the school board got involved. Not sure if they get involved when their is a suspension or not. But some how, the school board found out and is now pressing charges for indecent exposure on this kid.

Did I mention he is ELEVEN YEARS OLD??

And if that isn’t bad enough, if found guilty, he will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. If found guilty, his family is going to have to move because they live two blocks from the school.

Did I mention he is ELEVEN YEARS OLD??

So now, his parents had to hire an attorney. And if you had been one of the lucky ones :: cough cough :: to have been following Chief’s legal problems last year, you’ll understand when I say that if you can’t afford a good lawyer, it’s no sense hiring a bad one because it’s just a waste of money. An expense that doesn’t quite fit into their already tight budget.

Did I mention that there is video of this incident?

Did I mention that the video shows a bunch of boys egging each other on to pee in the parking lot?

This isn’t an instance where this kid inappropriately touched another child .. it isn’t an instance where this kid took his weener out and waved it at his girl classmates with a Chester The Molester face.

It’s just boys being stupid boys and doing stupid things.

But that seems to be getting lost on everyone who’s so fucking hypersensitive about shit.

Remember, I said I can’t tolerate sex offenders. But is this 11 year old boy REALLY a sex offender?

Is the 19 year old boy who got caught having consensual sex with his 15 year old girlfriend a sex offender because the girl’s parents are pissed that she’s sexually active??

As cut and dry as it SHOULD be, there’s a big, big grey area and when you get into situations like the one’s above, I think it’s only right that you’re very careful on who you slap that tag onto.

So..

Your thoughts?

Uh-huh.

That’s right.

ME!

In fact… I had TWO bench warrants out for me from the lovely borough where I reside.

What was my devious.. heinous crime? What law did I so blatantly break that this after-sight borough sought to bring me to justice :: and pay $215.00 US Dollars for? ::

Not moving my car on street sweeping day.

Yep.

You read that right.

On street sweeping day, a cop rides along with the street sweeper truck writing out tickets on convenient blaze orange envelopes issuing a $15.oo fine :: $25.oo if you wait more then 10 days to pay it ::

Okay… so you’re asking WHY DON’T YOU JUST PAY THE DAMN THING WHEN YOU GET IT? Right? Heh..well.. that’s the thing. I always INTEND to pay it. After all.. the county court house is only about a block away from the shop… two blocks away from my house.. But it’s kind of like this theory I have that the closer something is.. the least likely it’s going to happen. Kind of like returning library books. When I lived about two miles away from the closest library, I was NEVER late with returning loaners.. but when I moved and the back of the library was RIGHT BEHIND the back of my house? Well.. let’s just say that I owed more money to them then to my mortgage holder.

So basically, the road to my hell is paved in good intentions that come in the form of blaze orange street sweeping fine envelopes!

Back to it..

So apparently, I had gotten this ticket back in December 08.

Oh.. the other thing you may be asking is WHY DON’T YOU JUST NOT PARK WHERE YOU PARK ON STREET SWEEPING DAY?

See.. that’s the other thing.

My house sits on the corner of three intersecting streets. Nice view if you can get it :: right! :: and the street sweeper only sweeps on ONE side of the street on any given day. So Monday’s it this side.. Tuesday’s it’s THAT side.. Wednesday it’s over there.. Thursday’s it’s over here… you get the point.

With all these sides and all these streets and all these days.. it’s a little hard to keep track of. I’m positive they do this on purpose because how ELSE are they going to fund the borough? Sure.. Sure.. I can right it on the calendar or set it up as an appointment on my cell phone but let’s be realistic. We’re talking about me here…

Already.. enough tirade.. I’ll get back to the store now.

So I get this envelope address to me and when I open it, I’m literally like WHAT THE FUCK? A bench warrant? You got to be fucking kidding me.

It says that they’ve tried numerous times to serve the warrant but couldn’t.

Now come on.. as many times as Chief has been in front of the ONE judge in the borough :: either for him or Weed :: you mean to tell me they didn’t know where to find me?

It also says that my name has been entered in their database and that I will be arrested unless I pay the fine within 48 hours. What they don’t tell you is that the 48 hours begins on the day they print it NOT on the day you receive it. So God Forbid if the mail is slow!

Chief comes home from the shop and as soon as he gets in the door, I whip out the paper and say, “.. what’s this?”

He shrugs. “A Bench Warrant”

“I KNOW THIS!” I tell him.. “But it’s for ME! And I don’t even REMEMBER getting a ticket.”

He shrugs again. “So pay it.”

Aaarrgghhh!!! Being with someone who thumbs his nose at authority is used to getting stuff like this in the mail is not as fun as it may sound!! LOL

The next morning :: ironically, street sweeping day on the side of the street that my car was parked on thus garnering me ANOTHER blaze orange envelope! :: I go down to the courthouse.

NOTE: As I was walking IN, the kid that works at Dunkin’ Donuts at night was walking OUT. I asked him what he was doing there and he said that they wrote him up for running a red light when it was yellow. He asks me what I was doing there and I told him I had a bench warrant. YOU? he seemed surprised. Yea.. I said.. for parking tickets. He got hysterical. No more tips for him!

So I go stand in front of the payment window where there is a constable stapling a pile of bench warrants. I can’t see if they’re for street sweeping fines or not. He tells me that the secretary will be right with me and I said “fine” or whatever. About 10 minutes go by and she asks me what I need.. FROM ACROSS THE ROOM.. I hold up the paper and say that I got “this” in the mail and before I could get another word out she says, “.. it’s a bench warrant.”

GOD! I KNOW IT’S A BENCH WARRANT! I don’t think I should have said it with as much attitude as I did being in a room full of constables but oh well.

I tell her I want to pay it.. she takes my debit card.. swipes it and gives me the receipt from the credit card machine. Says thank you and have a nice day.

Wait! I want a receipt. A REAL receipt that I can glue to my car window so that I won’t get picked up by the police the next time I don’t come to a complete stop at a stop sign.

She kind of makes like a face or something but goes back to her desk and asks me for my last name.

I tell her.. making sure to spell it s-l-o-w-l-y.

She punches it into her computer and says, “Oh.. you have another one.”

What?

Another bench warrant she tells me. For a ticket I supposedly got in January 09. Great. Fan-fucking-tastic. Don’t remember getting THAT one either.

But I tell her I’ll pay it now and get it over with AND I want a receipt for that one to glue to the inside of the OTHER side of the car so I won’t get arrested the next time I get pulled over for not completely stopping at a stop sign.

She prints out the receipt that happens to include a charge by charge detail. I happen to notice that I was being charged $5.oo for POLICE EDUCATION.

Really?

Hmm.

“Um.. excuse me,” I call out to her.. “I have an issue with this charge.”

She walks back over to the payment window and I tell her that considering the police who came to my house thought that the exfoliating beads in a bottle of Bath and Body Works Sweet Pea Body Wash were pot seeds, I think I’m getting ripped off here.

She wasn’t amused. Neither were the constables but sorry. Had to say it.

So armed with my receipts :: which are in the glove compartment of my car :: I am no longer a fugitive of the law.

After going through all this, there are two things that you can count on. One, I will still continue to get street sweeping tickets and two.. I will definitely pay them from now on!!

… back on March 20th, Chief had to go to court for a preliminary hearing. At that time, his lawyer told him that the could get him in the ARD program :: Accelerated something-or-other ::, probabtion, community service and some fines but nothing that would stick to his permanent record.

Chief’s response was that he didn’t care about his records .. that he had his own business.. but the lawyer said that he should care because it could following in a negative way if Chief needed to get a business loan or something like that.

The lawyer said that Chief had to make a decision.. either do what needs to be done to end everything and get on with our lives, or keep fighting and spending 1000.00 everytime the lawyer faced a judge.

He said it was harsh to hear but you can’t play fair with an unfair system and it was ultimately up to Chief to decide.

I could feel my eyes welling up with tears and the anger inside of me was unbelievable. I felt like everything I thought to be true about democracy, about our justice system, about police officers was trashed.

Chief did nothing… ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.. but because we can’t afford attorney fees he was going to have to plead to something he didn’t do?

We didn’t even really discuss it.. Chief just went ahead and signed the paper work for the ARD program and waive his rights to a preliminary hearing in the borough so that it would be moved to the county seat.

My stomach hurt.. I felt like throwing up.. but what choice did we really have?

I started thinking about how many other people were in prison because of the same situation.. because they couldn’t afford a lawyer or maybe because their family had already been through enough. It was really too hard to think about and too taxing to come to terms with the fact that this was the way it was going to be .. especially because Weed, the bastard, was still walking the streets dealing pills and pot.

Initially, Chief was told that the new arraignment would be today but that he wouldn’t have to go the arraignment in the county seat.. that the lawyer was going to go. But Sunday when we stopped at the shop, the lawyer had put his business card in the door with a note to call him and that it wasn’t an emergency.

I called and the lawyer said that due to an emergency, he was going to be out of town today and that Chief was going to have to go to court and plead “Not Guilty” himself. He gave the time and other instructions and then he said that he had bad news.

He said that because of a previous gun charge, Chief would not be eligible for the ARD program.

NOTE: He was never convicted of a gun charge. Back when he was 17, his older brother got into a fight or something and there was a gun involved. Nobody was shot or hurt or anything, but because his brother was over 18 at the time and would have really fucked up his life with a gun charge, Chief took the wrap. Nothing ever became of it except a dusty blurb in his record of youthful mischief.

The lawyer went on to say that he didn’t know there was a gun charge and I told him that it was in the original warrant. He mumbled something but it pissed me off because OBVIOUSLY this jerk off didn’t even READ the warrant.

Chief said that he was glad he wasn’t able to get ARD because now he could just do what he wanted and fight the charges and we would do whatever needed to be done to see this thing through… even hire another lawyer because OBVIOUSLY we’re having serious second thoughts on this one!

So today he went up to the court house and was formally arraigned. He was back in about 2 hours :: they take people without lawyers with them first :: and now the pre-trial hearing is set for May 20th (I think).

Chief explained that the pre-trial is when they would probably try to hash a deal leaving him with nothing but a posession charge and a fine.

Hopefully that’s the way it will work but it still turns my stomache.

Oh.. and one other thing…

The Annonymous Informer? The one that we’re almost 100% sure was involved and haven’t seen since this all happened?

Yea.. well.. he came into the shop yesterday. I was there and Chief told me to hold my tongue.

Apparently, he had been in earlier and started asking Chief questions about the case and something about Chief fucking up whoever went to the cops or some bullshit like that.

Chief was really calm and said that there was nothing to talk about because he had nothing to worry about and let it go at that.

He explained was ironic that this dude happened to show up the day before his arraignment and that there was every possibility that he was wired to see if Chief would say anything ..  or it could just be that the dude knows how Chief is and wanted to find out if Chief knew he was involved. He also said that if he was the informant and was called to appear, that there would be no way in hell that he would show his face.

This whole thing just makes me head spin.