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Law Enforcement type help

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Posts

  • EshEsh Sunshine! Kittens! Rainbows! Smiles! Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    streever wrote: »
    Thanks for all the replies (not to shut down the conversation -- at least not on my account). For those wondering, it was

    Blocking the intersection, Failure to Obey, and then Fleeing an Officer. The first two are nothing, the third one is a class A misdemeanor that has a max of 1 year in jail, 2500$. Did you know: you can flee an officer THREE TIMES before it becomes a felony?

    As to some of the blank spots in the story --

    Officer wanted her to 'move right' into a spot that she did not believe she could fit into. People were honking, he came up on her blind side and pounded on her window, and told her to do a thing that she thought was not possible. When she didn't do it, he started screaming. So she yelled back, by which point the intersection was clear and she went forward.

    I'm certainly not going to say she wasn't at fault, but (to me) this is a classic example of someone coming on so strong that they provoked an emotional reaction. If he had been in a car with his flashers on, there's no way she would have fled -- it's just not in her personality. But a weird shouting person banging on your car can give you the momentary feeling of wanting to put your foot on the pedal.

    A dude doing his job kinda poorly caused her to behave poorly. So it goes.

    And our ethics question is answered! Yes, she can fight this with a clean conscience. Should she be hit with a year in prison over what sounds like someone being a jerk? No. He's a cop. He had authority in the situation. He embodies authority. He could have simply handled it politely instead of being a jerk about it. I think she can definitely fight it--based on his demeanor and out-of-hand actions--when she is charged with "fleeing".

    If I were her, I'd talk to the lawyer, but I bet his advice will be: plead guilty to the two lower infractions and fight the 3rd one.

    She's blocking traffic, he tells her to do something, she refuses. At that point he has every right to yell at her. Sorry. But no court is going to look favorably on someone who refuses the completely reasonable orders of a police officer. It doesn't matter if she didn't think she could fit, she should have at least tried.

    My experience with cops? Yes, sir, no sir, right away sir. Guess whose never had any issues with them? If you think they're in the wrong, sort it out later with a lawyer, not in the middle of the street.

    EDIT: And the second she yelled "Fuck you" at the cop and sped off, all her options pretty much went out the window.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."
  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Esh, I'm glad you are such an expert on this!

    You honestly think there isn't a single judge on earth who could hear a story that goes,

    "He told me to pull into a tiny spot. I told him my car wouldn't fit. He started screaming and hitting my window." and not be SOMEWHAT sympathetic?

    You're quite the fatalist. At this point the OP has heard all of our advice three times over. I think it's safe to say that the best advice here is to consult a lawyer. Us telling him that she'll probably avoid the maximum penalty of one-year in jail to make him feel better isn't really up for debate. It's not advice, so it's not in the purview of this forum or discussion.

    What is is advice. You aren't advising him. You're simply saying "lol your gf is screwed"

  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    streever wrote: »
    Esh, I'm glad you are such an expert on this!

    You honestly think there isn't a single judge on earth who could hear a story that goes,

    "He told me to pull into a tiny spot. I told him my car wouldn't fit. He started screaming and hitting my window." and not be SOMEWHAT sympathetic?

    You're quite the fatalist. At this point the OP has heard all of our advice three times over. I think it's safe to say that the best advice here is to consult a lawyer. Us telling him that she'll probably avoid the maximum penalty of one-year in jail to make him feel better isn't really up for debate.

    You clearly have no experience in traffic court.

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  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Yeah uh, she's not going to get jail time unless she tells the judge to fuck off.

    Or, she shows up and moons him or something. You really have to be a mega asshole/repeat offender/piss the judge the fuck off to get jail time on a misdemeanor like that.

  • streeverstreever Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    adytum wrote: »
    streever wrote: »
    Esh, I'm glad you are such an expert on this!

    You honestly think there isn't a single judge on earth who could hear a story that goes,

    "He told me to pull into a tiny spot. I told him my car wouldn't fit. He started screaming and hitting my window." and not be SOMEWHAT sympathetic?

    You're quite the fatalist. At this point the OP has heard all of our advice three times over. I think it's safe to say that the best advice here is to consult a lawyer. Us telling him that she'll probably avoid the maximum penalty of one-year in jail to make him feel better isn't really up for debate.

    You clearly have no experience in traffic court.

    I actually do. Like I said, I've rarely seen someone receive the maximum penalty when they show up, admit to some of the charges, apologize, and explain their side of the story. I'm going to stop posting, Hockey, because we clearly have lost sight of the goal of this (advice), which you've received and indicated you are doing, which is "get a lawyer". Trust me. With the maximum penalty of "a year in jail" it will be well worth the cost. What your gf did was stupid, but you don't need people to tell you that: you know that and said so in your first post.

  • OnTheLastCastleOnTheLastCastle sometimes a boy just needs to get out of the house and meet some girls Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Guys, Esh will never admit to being wrong. He posts his unique opinions in every HA thread and will continue arguing no matter what. I say this just so we don't get 10 more pages... now to be productive which is why I'm here!

    OP, you sound optimistic and that's good. Keep us updated on how it goes, sounds like you're doing everything right and I think/hope it'll be okay.

    I'm a published writer and have a very unique and interesting writing style. I'm also sharp and witty. My profile is well-written and hilarious. My messages are likewise brilliant. And I've been doing this stuff for...four or five years. I know what "works" in terms of good internet dating writing. "Works" in the sense of leading to a "date" with a human female.
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Hey, so I was going to reply to this thread yesterday when it was first posted and had just finished typing up my reply as the internet at the coffee shop I was working out of yesterday shat out on me.

    First off, if anyone's in the situation where they need to know if there have been any summons, citations or warrants issued for themselves or a specific individual before, and they want to do it without just turning themselves in, there are two ways to go about it:

    1. If you want to know about warrants specifically, have someone (preferably a lawyer) call the local courthouse and speak with a clerk. They should have a record since a magistrate or judge would have had to issue the warrant (although the process can vary in small degrees by state, and record-keeping varies a whole lot more).

    2. Go to the local police station to get a criminal backround check. Don't just ask for one background check because if that one person you're checking on happens to have an outstanding warrant, the next two questions you'll be asked are, "who are you?" and "do you know where our fugitive is?" Instead, run criminal background checks on about a dozen different people including the person you actually want to check out. The desk officer will usually just assume that you're checking backgrounds for job applicants. Be ready to affirm that cover story.

    I know No. 2 sounds kind of iffy and a little bit stupid; it does work, however, I've done it before when verifying criminal background checks for higher-profile subjects or clients when I didn't need some clerk thinking to himself, "wait, I saw this name in the newspaper yesterday, why is someone checking to see if he has a record?" It doesn't click in people's minds when it's just another name on a list.

    ###

    I was really fucking hoping that I'd get a chance to suggest this before the cops showed up at your door because verifying and being proactive about turning one's self in for either arrest or to pick up your copies of the citations is a great way to start ingratiating yourself to the police, which is important if your last interaction with the police was to tell them to fuck off. Unfortunately, though, that ship has probably sailed by now. Your next best bet (having handled issues like this before) is to negotiate a deal with the prosecuting attorney in advance of the trial date -- you want to minimize any opportunity that this police officer has to characterize your girlfriend's flight from the scene in front of the judge. It looks like you've already been convinced that a lawyer is a necessity in this case. Awesome.

    So here comes the part where I have advice that has not reached it's expiration date specifically related to your girlfriend's situation:

    When selecting an attorney, because your gf will almost certainly not be pleading "not guilty," you don't need someone who's good with a jury or thinks he can argue his way into a reduced sentence so much as you want someone with experience negotiating with the prosecutor's office. The best qualification for an attorney in your girlfriend's case may be someone who has previously worked in your local prosecutor's office prior to becoming a defense attorney; such a lawyer will have more-extensive personal relationships that he can leverage in negotiating the case. Make sure she asks about whatever relationships her potential lawyers have within the prosecutor's office during any initial consults she goes to, as well as how he plans to approach the prosecuting attorney about negotiating a deal and what sort of deal he thinks can be struck.

  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User
    edited September 2010
    She's not going to get a year in jail for this. She'll pay a big ass fine but unless she acts like a nutcase in court they're not going to lock her up.

    The reason to get a lawyer in a case like this is to hope you can plea it out with the DA, to a lower offense or to a lower fine with traffic school or less points with a bigger fine kind of thing. Then you won't have to deal with the judge much at all. The DA won't be much more sympathetic to her telling a cop to fuck off before fleeing but if it's anything like NJ traffic court the DA comes in prepared to plea out as many things as possible. A good lawyer can help you figure out what you should and shouldn't take as an offer.

  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    streever wrote: »
    I actually do. Like I said, I've rarely seen someone receive the maximum penalty when they show up, admit to some of the charges, apologize, and explain their side of the story.

    Yes, the likelihood of receiving the maximum penalty is small. But it's non-zero and worth fighting intelligently rather than just hoping you have a nice judge.

    I've only been to traffic court once, and I completely disproved the incidents surrounding the ticket. The officer admitted he wasn't in position to actually know what happened and told the judge he didn't really think it was worth pulling me over. The judge told me I was an idiot and making things worse for myself by fighting the charge, and then convicted me of a lesser, non-felony offense that wasn't worth appealing.

    I'm sure there's a sympathetic traffic court judge out there. But relying wholly on the good graces and sympathy of the court, especially in the clear-cut situation the OP has described, is a recipe for disaster. In the best case scenario the court can still screw you over if you don't protect yourself.

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  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    She's not going to get a year in jail for this. She'll pay a big ass fine but unless she acts like a nutcase in court they're not going to lock her up.

    The reason to get a lawyer in a case like this is to hope you can plea it out with the DA, to a lower offense or to a lower fine with traffic school or less points with a bigger fine kind of thing. Then you won't have to deal with the judge much at all. The DA won't be much more sympathetic to her telling a cop to fuck off before fleeing but if it's anything like NJ traffic court the DA comes in prepared to plea out as many things as possible. A good lawyer can help you figure out what you should and shouldn't take as an offer.

    So generally speaking, yes, I would agree that it's unlikely she's going to get jail time, but you should never take a Class A Misdemeanor lightly. To contextualize the seriousness of the phrase "class A misdemeanor," assault and battery that doesn't result in serious bodily harm is usually categorized as a Class A misdemeanor (or "Class 1," depending on which state you live in). To further contextualize: driving while drinking is probably around a Class C or D (in Virginia, where I work, it's a Class 4).

    What I'm trying to express is that this is not going to be approached with the passivity with which one normally associates traffic court.

    Don't let this go to trial -- you absolutely do not want the police officer to be present while your girlfriend's trying to argue down on this one, because at some point someone's going to ask about her general behavior at the time of the stop. Get a lawyer so he can contact the prosecutor's office ASAP.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    adytum wrote: »
    streever wrote: »
    I actually do. Like I said, I've rarely seen someone receive the maximum penalty when they show up, admit to some of the charges, apologize, and explain their side of the story.

    Yes, the likelihood of receiving the maximum penalty is small. But it's non-zero and worth fighting intelligently rather than just hoping you have a nice judge.

    I've only been to traffic court once, and I completely disproved the incidents surrounding the ticket. The officer admitted he wasn't in position to actually know what happened and told the judge he didn't really think it was worth pulling me over. The judge told me I was an idiot and making things worse for myself by fighting the charge, and then convicted me of a lesser, non-felony offense that wasn't worth appealing.

    I'm sure there's a sympathetic traffic court judge out there. But relying wholly on the good graces and sympathy of the court, especially in the clear-cut situation the OP has described, is a recipe for disaster. In the best case scenario the court can still screw you over if you don't protect yourself.

    Wut? How is that even a thing?

  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades His love is a prize Rantin' and RavenRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Hockey has pretty much said Lawyer Time, so this is just a post saying Good Idea (tm). I said a couple pages back that you probably wouldn't need one unless an offense carries jail time, and since one does you should have counsel just in case. Even if it ends up costing you a little more cash in the short run, staying in jail can lose your girlfriend her job, among other things. Definitely want a consult, at least short-term.

    ElJeffe wrote: »
    I get by on the knowledge that I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time mucking about inside of my asshole anyway
  • HoovesHooves Registered User
    edited September 2010
    People seem have this notion that the judge/prosecuting attorney want to bend you over and ream you for all your worth. This is generally not the case. As long as you're not obstinate and you don't lie they're going to do their best to work with you.

    I got a 500 dollar ticket for tossing a cigarette out my window and I showed up to court, pled guilty and the prosecutor knocked it down to 5 hours community service just because I said I couldn't afford to pay it.

  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Hooves wrote: »
    People seem have this notion that the judge/prosecuting attorney want to bend you over and ream you for all your worth. This is generally not the case. As long as you're not obstinate and you don't lie they're going to do their best to work with you.

    I got a 500 dollar ticket for tossing a cigarette out my window and I showed up to court, pled guilty and the prosecutor knocked it down to 5 hours community service just because I said I couldn't afford to pay it.

    Are you...are you equivocating fleeing from a police officer with littering?

    One of the key reasons that this is treated as a Class A whereas other things are treated as lower-class misdemeanors is that you have to actually know you're doing something wrong when you run from a police officer. There's not really an acceptable excuse you can just whip out in court like "I didn't see the stop sign" or "my speedometer wasn't functioning properly" or "I only had one beer, I didn't realize it was enough to bump me over the limit" or even "I guess I was distracted and wasn't paying close enough attention."

    Showing up and yelling and screaming and swearing is one way to ensure that you get screwed at sentencing; the other, more-popular way to go about fucking yourself is to treat the matter like you don't think it's actually that big a deal.

  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited September 2010
    Zeon wrote: »
    Well, fleeing from a police officer is a crime (and it is fleeing if they tell you to pull over (either waving you, telling you, or lighting you up)). So theres probably a ticket for that. Its most likely worded as "Failure to stop" or "Failure to obey a peace officer" or something like that. Then theyll be a ticket for running a red light. And then probably a ticket for obstructing traffic or something.

    I find it weird that you cant be in the middle of an intersection when a light changes though. Here, you get leeway on that, and its actually accepted that after the light turns red the next 2 cars are allowed to proceed to turn left. There is actually a delay in the cross traffics light turning green to allow for this.

    Just because there's a delay in the cross traffic lights doesn't mean you're "allowed" to cross after the light turns red. It just means they know people are idiots and will go anyway, so delaying the change to green helps reduce collisions.

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  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Zeon wrote: »
    Well, fleeing from a police officer is a crime (and it is fleeing if they tell you to pull over (either waving you, telling you, or lighting you up)). So theres probably a ticket for that. Its most likely worded as "Failure to stop" or "Failure to obey a peace officer" or something like that. Then theyll be a ticket for running a red light. And then probably a ticket for obstructing traffic or something.

    I find it weird that you cant be in the middle of an intersection when a light changes though. Here, you get leeway on that, and its actually accepted that after the light turns red the next 2 cars are allowed to proceed to turn left. There is actually a delay in the cross traffics light turning green to allow for this.

    Just because there's a delay in the cross traffic lights doesn't mean you're "allowed" to cross after the light turns red. It just means they know people are idiots and will go anyway, so delaying the change to green helps reduce collisions.

    It depends on local law. Here, it's called "pushing the light" meaning one car making a left turn can enter the intersection and wait, turning as the light changes and the oncoming traffic stops.. assuming they're able to clear the intersection. Blocking the intersection is illegal.

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  • SpazHappySpazHappy Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Why did she yell fuck you to a cop?


    Restrain her, or else she might yell fuck you to the judge in court and go to jail.

  • HoovesHooves Registered User
    edited September 2010
    SammyF wrote: »
    Hooves wrote: »
    People seem have this notion that the judge/prosecuting attorney want to bend you over and ream you for all your worth. This is generally not the case. As long as you're not obstinate and you don't lie they're going to do their best to work with you.

    I got a 500 dollar ticket for tossing a cigarette out my window and I showed up to court, pled guilty and the prosecutor knocked it down to 5 hours community service just because I said I couldn't afford to pay it.

    Are you...are you equivocating fleeing from a police officer with littering?

    One of the key reasons that this is treated as a Class A whereas other things are treated as lower-class misdemeanors is that you have to actually know you're doing something wrong when you run from a police officer. There's not really an acceptable excuse you can just whip out in court like "I didn't see the stop sign" or "my speedometer wasn't functioning properly" or "I only had one beer, I didn't realize it was enough to bump me over the limit" or even "I guess I was distracted and wasn't paying close enough attention."

    Showing up and yelling and screaming and swearing is one way to ensure that you get screwed at sentencing; the other, more-popular way to go about fucking yourself is to treat the matter like you don't think it's actually that big a deal.

    you uh...have a valid point.

  • FDRFDR Registered User
    edited September 2010
    While yelling "fuck you" to a cop was obviously a dumb thing to do it is a constitutionally protected right in and of itself.

    As others have said: get a decent lawyer; follow their advice over anyone here. Work out a plea deal for a lesser charge involving no jail time or if it goes to trail and you don't like the verdict, appeal. If you can make it clear you're not a dangerous (or belligerent) person and that continuing to pursue charges will end up costing more than the possible fines the DA will most likely offer a deal.

    Stolen shamelessly from yahoo answers, but I've seen other sources:
    Spoiler:

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Good thing he didn't ticket her for the language. ;-)

  • GdiguyGdiguy San Diego, CARegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    FDR wrote: »
    While yelling "fuck you" to a cop was obviously a dumb thing to do it is a constitutionally protected right in and of itself.

    As others have said: get a decent lawyer; follow their advice over anyone here. Work out a plea deal for a lesser charge involving no jail time or if it goes to trail and you don't like the verdict, appeal. If you can make it clear you're not a dangerous (or belligerent) person and that continuing to pursue charges will end up costing more than the possible fines the DA will most likely offer a deal.

    Stolen shamelessly from yahoo answers, but I've seen other sources:

    Yes, but there's a difference between "constitutionally protected right" and "something that will piss off a cop so much that he won't let other minor but legitimate infractions slide". If she got a ticket for some b-s "pissing off a cop" activity, that would be one thing, but the ticket is legitimate and not dependent on what she said.

    What people have said about contesting a ticket is true - basically, going to court does two things (outcome-wise). It lowers the average fine that you'll have to pay, but dramatically increases the variance. So whereas if you don't go, you'll pay the fine, if you go, you might get away with paying nothing, or you might get unlucky (or have pissed off the cop so much that he shows up) and have to pay the fines + court costs + etc. Now, with the severity of the last ticket, you're definitely going to want to get a lawyer (if only to ensure that she doesn't get nailed for the most severe penalty), but for general things it's more a question of how much you're willing to risk getting the worst outcome (even though it's possible to get away freely).

    As for the red light / intersection thing - it depends on the state, some states are explicit about allowing one car to turn left after the light turns red, in NY (when I took driver's ed) it was explicitly stated as illegal. However, in cities it's generally enforced more tightly, as this is one of the easiest ways to get gridlock - someone pulls into the intersection to make a left when they clearly can't make it before the light turns red, but because of traffic gets stuck there when there's no room to turn... but is now blocking anyone from the side streets from going straight through the intersection. It's a giant pain in the ass when you have 3 cars trying to do this, as it makes it difficult to just go straight through (and significantly hinders traffic flow).

  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Except she didn't get a ticket for telling the cop to fuck off, she got it for the various illegal things she did. So cases regarding her right to tell the cop to fuck off don't matter. Also, it may be your right, but it's still really damn stupid to do if you are in the process of breaking the law in other ways.

  • FDRFDR Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Except she didn't get a ticket for telling the cop to fuck off, she got it for the various illegal things she did. So cases regarding her right to tell the cop to fuck off don't matter. Also, it may be your right, but it's still really damn stupid to do if you are in the process of breaking the law in other ways.

    No one is arguing that telling a cop to fuck off is a good idea. Yes, it was a dumb thing to do. It is probably the reason she is facing 3 tickets instead of a warning. I just wanted to establish that by itself you can legal tell a cop to do so and if she makes a deal with a DA, it never has to come up and really shouldn’t have any bearing on discussion of the tickets themselves.

    As far as the most serious offense, fleeing an officer, did the officer ever tell her to pull over or step out of the car? She could argue that she was never aware that the officer was detaining her and that when opportunity presented itself (traffic cleared) she resolved the incident (cleared the intersection) unaware that she was meant to pull over.

    At this point the discussion should really be for the benefit of the board. When there's (even a slight) possibility of jail time, you should be playing it safe and talking with an attorney, not an internet forum (except possibly a legal forum).

  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User
    edited September 2010
    FDR wrote: »
    Except she didn't get a ticket for telling the cop to fuck off, she got it for the various illegal things she did. So cases regarding her right to tell the cop to fuck off don't matter. Also, it may be your right, but it's still really damn stupid to do if you are in the process of breaking the law in other ways.

    No one is arguing that telling a cop to fuck off is a good idea. Yes, it was a dumb thing to do. It is probably the reason she is facing 3 tickets instead of a warning. I just wanted to establish that by itself you can legal tell a cop to do so and if she makes a deal with a DA, it never has to come up and really shouldn’t have any bearing on discussion of the tickets themselves.

    As far as the most serious offense, fleeing an officer, did the officer ever tell her to pull over or step out of the car? She could argue that she was never aware that the officer was detaining her and that when opportunity presented itself (traffic cleared) she resolved the incident (cleared the intersection) unaware that she was meant to pull over.

    At this point the discussion should really be for the benefit of the board. When there's (even a slight) possibility of jail time, you should be playing it safe and talking with an attorney, not an internet forum (except possibly a legal forum).
    A cop (on foot) came up and rapped loudly on her window, yelling at her to pull over to the right.


    Right in the OP.

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