Author Topic: Extortion?  (Read 12666 times)

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Offline kevinhillman

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #30 on: December 25, 2010, 02:40:43 AM »

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Also, please be careful with the term extortion.  I am still the judge in Waynesville until next week and I will speak to the clerk about how she worded what she said.  However, I also know her and my guess is her intent was simply to try and give you options.  Your son could have still just paid the tickets, or pled not guilty and had a trial.  I know you disagree with the amount and the prosecutor there sets the fines higher than I do in St. Robert, but that is his call and it is not illegal.  The bottom line is it was your choice.  Again, I realize that you were not alleging criminal misconduct but I don't want rumors to start.
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Offline 2CardJohnE

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #31 on: December 25, 2010, 02:48:38 AM »
You of all people should know this is true 2card.
seeing the position you Father held.
I have seen many a Military person get a DUI/DWI reduced down to 3 minor charges with a maximum fine.
So it didn't go on there Military 201 file.
yes, but that was done in the courtroom.  he would open up the book and read what it said for 1st offense..2nd..ect  there was never a set fee when someone paid a fine just to keep something off someones record  it was reduced to a minor violation before they ever left the building, not after the fact.  It was between the judge and the violator, not a clerk who job it is to just accept the fine.  People would come to the house when i was a kid and try to plead there case at the front door but was always told to wait until court, that he cant discuss anything until then.  we even had to change our phone to a unlisted # because they thought he could "cut them a deal"
  not sure it is the same way but years ago you get a speeding ticket from a trooper you just sent it in or you could go to court.  never gave you a option to pay a higher fine just to keep it off the books, that was done in the courtroom
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Offline kevinhillman

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #32 on: December 25, 2010, 02:57:26 AM »
2 card, are you talking about DWIs?  That is an entirely different story than a speeding ticket.
 
 
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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #33 on: December 25, 2010, 03:00:22 AM »
2 card, are you talking about DWIs?  That is an entirely different story than a speeding ticket.
   any case...but i did not know a dwi was treated any different then any other violation
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Offline kevinhillman

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #34 on: December 25, 2010, 03:17:02 AM »
Well the more serious the charge, the more seriously it is dealt with.  In municipal court, DWIs are about the most serious charge that is heard in that court.  Those are not dealt with by the clerk nor does a soldier get it dismissed to keep it out of his 201 file. 
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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #35 on: December 25, 2010, 03:57:19 AM »
Well the more serious the charge, the more seriously it is dealt with.  In municipal court, DWIs are about the most serious charge that is heard in that court.  Those are not dealt with by the clerk nor does a soldier get it dismissed to keep it out of his 201 file.
but yet a clerk has the power to "offer" a better deal at a higher price on traffic violations?    and the dui can be reduced to a lesser charge like a moving violation thus keeping a record clean.  which i understand how that works but i dont understand (as junebug stated ) how the clerk is able to offer a different deal then what was listed on the ticket, even tho it aided in keeping the ticket not getting reported to the state, but i can see how she got the title for this thread.  how does junebug even know that the clerk was not going to pocket the extra cash?  Is it written somewheres that in the state of missouri you have the option to keep tickets from being sent in to the state so they wont be reported on your record?  who sets this "fee" and how many speeding tickets can i get before you quit offering me this special deal?   can i never lose my license if i keep paying the extra cash?  tickets never get reported then i dont lose points...i dont lose points i get to keep my license.
 
  It is sending the wrong message to a young driver who in taking there drivers test and reading the manual where it says that you will lose your license for getting to many points taking away.   It dont say in the manual "but if you have a little extra cash you dont have to worry about it, speed all ya want just pay the clerk.
 
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Offline kevinhillman

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #36 on: December 25, 2010, 04:35:23 AM »
I think this is getting overblown.  The clerks get the authority from the prosecutor, or she knows what he does on certain cases because she has worked with them so much.  The prosecutor would still have to approve it.  She does not have authority to act unilaterally, and I am sorry if I confused anyone.  The driving record is in the file and it is looked at before such an amendment is offered or accepted.  I always look at the driving record before amending tickets.  I also allow these to be done ahead of court so that a person does not have to take a day off work or miss school, etc. 
 
The fine would have been paid straight to the city by credit card or cash and if paid by check, made out to the city.  If something else happened, then there is a problem.
 
I am sorry if I confused anyone to think that this is an automatic thing.  The speed, driving record, age, and circumstances are always considered when offering or approving such a deal.
 
As to the cost, I really can't speak to it because it is not my case.  It is higher than I charge.  However, I will say that the policy at the county level in my experience is to charge $270.50 on every speeding ticket that is amended, which is the maximum on every case, no matter the speed. 
 
 
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Offline tpgunbiz

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #37 on: December 25, 2010, 07:57:58 AM »
Unless Waynesville had a new prosecutor it is a city employee
You were givin an option. Extortion is more of a one sided deal.....Pay or else.  If you decided to take the insurance hit then walk on . No need to accuse a system of bieng corrupt. especially if its legal. If they had said pay up or lose your license that would be extortion. You had an option and you opted out of it Not going on your sons record. Yeah your teaching him a lesson, but now hes gonna pay alot more for insurance and his military options might be hampered by having a record. Basically your slowing him down from something he could have bypassed by paying a lil more. you could have let him deal with the problem entirely if you wanted to teach him a lesson. I would flat refuse my son if he got a ticket. I would hope he took the option to fix the ticket rather than pay a  ton extra on car insurance.just my thoughts. Merry Christmas.
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Offline darrellmaurina

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #38 on: December 25, 2010, 10:37:51 AM »
Welcome to the melee, Kevin! I guess it should not surprise anyone that the hard questions are starting even before you take office.

We've had some of these discussions before offline on tickets and plea deals, as well as how the policies of some judges differ from others. I realize what's going on in the court system because I read the dockets, but I think a lot of people in Pulaski County -- and the country in general -- simply do not realize what it costs to run law enforcement the way they'd like to see it run,

I understand the reality is that there is no alternative to the practice you describe without a major increase in funding for the prosecutors, the court system, and the jails. We get the level of government services we're willing to pay for. In Pulaski County that answer has historically been "not much."
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Offline 2CardJohnE

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #39 on: December 25, 2010, 12:43:18 PM »
I am just being curious and not trying to give anyone a hard time or "overblowing" this thread.
 BUT i am just trying to find out who decided that  the cost for not putting a stamp on a envelope( or hitting the send button on the computer which is cheaper then a stamp) to keep a drivers record clean, should be $150.00.   when the fine for the traffic violation is only $45.00 and where it even says in the books that this practice is permissable in a court of law
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Offline matrsnot

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #40 on: December 25, 2010, 01:01:31 PM »
I agree.  And it was not the prosecutor who made the offer as outlined at the beginning of the thread, but a clerk?  That is what makes my eyebrows go up in thought.

Offline Chas

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #41 on: December 25, 2010, 03:17:32 PM »
What other loop holes are out that we should know about. I had a judge plea down a ticket one time.  It got me a LOWER fine. I understand when the PA and judge offer plea bargains save time and money. I have had cop write me a lesser ticket so that it didn't cost me points. So I guess this no different except they charge you more not to report it. This is not done because they care about the people  or it saves time, it is done to raise more money for the city. Why is this not like a kickback? Does the paperwork cost a $100 bucks more to complete, I doubt it. Why not charge what a ticket for a non- moving violation would cost? Don't get me wrong I like this, it good to know I can get out of a ticket for a little extra cash.

Offline igahmah at work

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #42 on: December 25, 2010, 04:07:42 PM »
You were givin an option. Extortion is more of a one sided deal.....Pay or else.  If you decided to take the insurance hit then walk on . No need to accuse a system of bieng corrupt. especially if its legal. If they had said pay up or lose your license that would be extortion. You had an option and you opted out of it Not going on your sons record. Yeah your teaching him a lesson, but now hes gonna pay alot more for insurance and his military options might be hampered by having a record. Basically your slowing him down from something he could have bypassed by paying a lil more. you could have let him deal with the problem entirely if you wanted to teach him a lesson. I would flat refuse my son if he got a ticket. I would hope he took the option to fix the ticket rather than pay a  ton extra on car insurance.just my thoughts. Merry Christmas.







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Offline okie the thread killer

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #43 on: December 25, 2010, 04:14:02 PM »
How many tickets has he had? How could one speeding ticket cause so much havoc?
I have it on good authority that the Hokey-Pokey really IS what it's all about.

Offline matrsnot

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #44 on: December 25, 2010, 05:12:24 PM »
Hell, bring it up when the officer gives you the ticket.  Then they can try to get you for attempted bribery

Offline darrellmaurina

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #45 on: December 25, 2010, 06:42:45 PM »
What other loop holes are out that we should know about.

If you want the best answer to your question, ask a paralegal in one of the busier law firms in any community and you'll get the answer on what does and doesn't "work" in a particular jurisdiction with the local prosecutors and the local judges. Every state is different due to important differences in state law and court precedents, regions within a state are often different based on local needs and circumstances, and as Kevin pointed out, there are sometimes even differences between two cities in the same county like Waynesville and St. Robert on how much gets imposed in fines.

However, the issue is a lot broader than the mere fact that some judges are tougher than others and some prosecutors are tougher than others, and some communities have decided to place higher priorities on some types of crimes than others.
 
The problem is that the court system is so overwhelmed that prosecutors and judges don't have any choice -- not just here but nationwide. (I grant that things are especially bad in our county, compared to other rural areas, though not as bad as what I've seen in larger cities.)
 
Spend a few years as a reporter and you'll be shocked for the first two years. As you see stuff like this all over the place, you'll realize it's the way things work, it's the way things have worked for many years, and nothing can be done without paying **FAR** more than most people want to pay to support the legal system.
 
Does this mean people get the "best justice they can buy?" Not necessarily, but it's sure not what most people got taught in American government classes about how the judicial branch is supposed to operate. The simple fact is that lots of defense, especially on traffic offenses or the lower levels of misdemeanors, can be done by the average layperson who goes in and talks to the judge -- but most people don't think to do that.
 
Furthermore, there have been cases right here in this county where cases against people got dropped without even needing to do that.

Remember the time I wrote the article on the circuit clerk's office having to send back thousands of dollars in fines paid by people who had gotten traffic tickets but on whom Deborah Hooper didn't file charges, and once the statute of limitations expired so the charge never could be filed, the money had to be sent back? That's the alternative if we have a prosecutor who thinks somebody's signed guilty plea on a ticket isn't enough evidence to file charges because perhaps there's something wrong with the ticket. I don't think anyone wants that -- and I'm being gentle here, because there might perhaps be other reasons some of those tickets didn't result in charges getting filed.
 
Hooper has been saying for the last year that the local lawyers didn't like her because she wouldn't cut deals with attorneys for their clients like her predecessor, and there's some truth to her point.

On the other hand, Deborah Hooper's position has been for the last four years that she would only file solid charges that could stand up in court, and the result was that anytime she didn't feel the charges were good enough, the person walked. That may sound like a good policy, until it's realized that often there's something missing here or there in a probable cause statement, or maybe the police officer who arrested a driver for DWI failed to also write a citation for the illegal lane change or broken taillight or whatever that gave probable cause for the traffic stop that led to the officer smelling the alcohol on the breath that justified the arrest.

Here's the underlying issue behind all these "loopholes," which aren't really loopholes at all but rather valid examples of prosecutorial discretion and plea bargaining:

Many prosecutors take the position that if the police have something missing, they'll file the charge anyway and see if the guy pleads guilty rather than fight, or wait to see if the defense attorney notices something wrong. Even if nothing is wrong in the charging documents, a good lawyer with enough money to burn can create enough paperwork for a prosecutor's office that most prosecutors will decide pretty quickly that the case isn't worth the trouble and will propose a plea bargain, or maybe drop the charge entirely.

The key is that most people don't know that if they want to fight, a prosecutor will typically offer a deal. Most people just pay the ticket or plead guilty.

Don't like that system in which people get deals pretty much automatically if they hire a lawyer and fight? Okay, here's your solution. Vote for a tax increase to add at least three assistant prosecutors to the Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney's office to match the staff in Phelps County. Vote for a tax increase to add enough jail cells to the Pulaski County Jail so that you can have a credible threat to throw people in jail for misdemeanor offenses rather than just major felonies. Then vote for a law enforcement tax in each of the county's five cities and countywide for the sheriff's department to increase both training and pay levels to the point that, using Hooper's words, the local police are "brought up to speed" on what the prosecutor needs to file airtight charges. (And no, that is not an attack on the police; Hooper's 2006 opponent, John Garrabrandt, said similar things, the difference being that Garrabrandt viewed it as being the role of the prosecutor to help train the police to file better charges, based on his experience in counties considerably more rural than Pulaski County that local police usually mean well but cannot be expected to know the law as well as a trained attorney, especially if they are new to the police force.)

When you've done that, all you've done is bring Pulaski County up to a standard comparable to our neighbors to the east and west; you still have the problem that in rural Missouri, police forces are training grounds and younger upwardly mobile officers often go somewhere else after getting trained in rural communities. The same is often true in counties not much larger than ours with the staffs in their prosecutors' offices.
 
How do you hang onto those young officers and young assistant prosecuting attorneys rather than losing them after spending huge amounts of local tax revenues to train somebody who ends up in Springfield or Columbia or Fort Leonard Wood DA police in a few years? The only government entity around here that has ever figured out a solution to that dilemma is the Waynesville R-VI School District by offering pay levels so high that people come here from suburban St. Louis and Kansas City because they can get comparable pay with lower living expenses, and the school budget is paid in large measure by federal impact aid funds.

Don't like it but don't want higher taxes?
 
Donate several million dollars to the county to build a jail and additional money each year to pay to run it. Since assistant prosecutors don't come cheap, donate at least a quarter million dollars per year and probably more than that, every year from now to eternity, to pay for three assistant prosecutors and their staffs. And then after you're done, donate enough money to pay and equip police at levels comparable to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. (Hint: salaries for some of the guys you see in blue on the road make Waynesville teachers look pretty poor.) Oh, and while you're at it, you'd probably better add training for each of the five local municipal judges and lots of money for each of the five city prosecutors and their court staffs.
 
I trust that makes my point clear.
 
These are the realities Kevin Hillman is going to face. He simply does not and will not have the money to do what needs to be done in his office. The voters clearly will not stomach a massive tax increase the likes of which would be required -- it would take an increase far in excess of anything anybody has discussed heretofore in Pulaski County. After all, we live in a county where the voters seem to be happy with the sheriff not getting a single penny for patrol car purchases out of the county budget, and he has to use special funds to do that. Does that indicate something about the level of "normality" we've become used to around here?
 
Since Hillman doesn't have the money to do the job right and there's no way he'll ever get that kind of money, we're going to have to decide whether the things he lets slide are those we're willing to tolerate sliding. One thing we can be sure -- lots of things will slide, and have to, because trying to do everything without setting priorities is a big part of what got Hooper booted out of office.
Darrell Todd Maurina
Check out the Pulaski County Daily News online newspaper at
http://www.pulaskicountyweb.com
Cell: (573) 433.6733 * FAX: (573) 774-2349
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Offline tpgunbiz

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #46 on: December 26, 2010, 10:18:53 AM »
If you want the best answer to your question, ask a paralegal in one of the busier law firms in any community and you'll get the answer on what does and doesn't "work" in a particular jurisdiction with the local prosecutors and the local judges. Every state is different due to important differences in state law and court precedents, regions within a state are often different based on local needs and circumstances, and as Kevin pointed out, there are sometimes even differences between two cities in the same county like Waynesville and St. Robert on how much gets imposed in fines.

However, the issue is a lot broader than the mere fact that some judges are tougher than others and some prosecutors are tougher than others, and some communities have decided to place higher priorities on some types of crimes than others.
 
The problem is that the court system is so overwhelmed that prosecutors and judges don't have any choice -- not just here but nationwide. (I grant that things are especially bad in our county, compared to other rural areas, though not as bad as what I've seen in larger cities.)
 
Spend a few years as a reporter and you'll be shocked for the first two years. As you see stuff like this all over the place, you'll realize it's the way things work, it's the way things have worked for many years, and nothing can be done without paying **FAR** more than most people want to pay to support the legal system.
 
Does this mean people get the "best justice they can buy?" Not necessarily, but it's sure not what most people got taught in American government classes about how the judicial branch is supposed to operate. The simple fact is that lots of defense, especially on traffic offenses or the lower levels of misdemeanors, can be done by the average layperson who goes in and talks to the judge -- but most people don't think to do that.
 
Furthermore, there have been cases right here in this county where cases against people got dropped without even needing to do that.

Remember the time I wrote the article on the circuit clerk's office having to send back thousands of dollars in fines paid by people who had gotten traffic tickets but on whom Deborah Hooper didn't file charges, and once the statute of limitations expired so the charge never could be filed, the money had to be sent back? That's the alternative if we have a prosecutor who thinks somebody's signed guilty plea on a ticket isn't enough evidence to file charges because perhaps there's something wrong with the ticket. I don't think anyone wants that -- and I'm being gentle here, because there might perhaps be other reasons some of those tickets didn't result in charges getting filed.
 
Hooper has been saying for the last year that the local lawyers didn't like her because she wouldn't cut deals with attorneys for their clients like her predecessor, and there's some truth to her point.

On the other hand, Deborah Hooper's position has been for the last four years that she would only file solid charges that could stand up in court, and the result was that anytime she didn't feel the charges were good enough, the person walked. That may sound like a good policy, until it's realized that often there's something missing here or there in a probable cause statement, or maybe the police officer who arrested a driver for DWI failed to also write a citation for the illegal lane change or broken taillight or whatever that gave probable cause for the traffic stop that led to the officer smelling the alcohol on the breath that justified the arrest.

Here's the underlying issue behind all these "loopholes," which aren't really loopholes at all but rather valid examples of prosecutorial discretion and plea bargaining:

Many prosecutors take the position that if the police have something missing, they'll file the charge anyway and see if the guy pleads guilty rather than fight, or wait to see if the defense attorney notices something wrong. Even if nothing is wrong in the charging documents, a good lawyer with enough money to burn can create enough paperwork for a prosecutor's office that most prosecutors will decide pretty quickly that the case isn't worth the trouble and will propose a plea bargain, or maybe drop the charge entirely.

The key is that most people don't know that if they want to fight, a prosecutor will typically offer a deal. Most people just pay the ticket or plead guilty.

Don't like that system in which people get deals pretty much automatically if they hire a lawyer and fight? Okay, here's your solution. Vote for a tax increase to add at least three assistant prosecutors to the Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney's office to match the staff in Phelps County. Vote for a tax increase to add enough jail cells to the Pulaski County Jail so that you can have a credible threat to throw people in jail for misdemeanor offenses rather than just major felonies. Then vote for a law enforcement tax in each of the county's five cities and countywide for the sheriff's department to increase both training and pay levels to the point that, using Hooper's words, the local police are "brought up to speed" on what the prosecutor needs to file airtight charges. (And no, that is not an attack on the police; Hooper's 2006 opponent, John Garrabrandt, said similar things, the difference being that Garrabrandt viewed it as being the role of the prosecutor to help train the police to file better charges, based on his experience in counties considerably more rural than Pulaski County that local police usually mean well but cannot be expected to know the law as well as a trained attorney, especially if they are new to the police force.)

When you've done that, all you've done is bring Pulaski County up to a standard comparable to our neighbors to the east and west; you still have the problem that in rural Missouri, police forces are training grounds and younger upwardly mobile officers often go somewhere else after getting trained in rural communities. The same is often true in counties not much larger than ours with the staffs in their prosecutors' offices.
 
How do you hang onto those young officers and young assistant prosecuting attorneys rather than losing them after spending huge amounts of local tax revenues to train somebody who ends up in Springfield or Columbia or Fort Leonard Wood DA police in a few years? The only government entity around here that has ever figured out a solution to that dilemma is the Waynesville R-VI School District by offering pay levels so high that people come here from suburban St. Louis and Kansas City because they can get comparable pay with lower living expenses, and the school budget is paid in large measure by federal impact aid funds.

Don't like it but don't want higher taxes?
 
Donate several million dollars to the county to build a jail and additional money each year to pay to run it. Since assistant prosecutors don't come cheap, donate at least a quarter million dollars per year and probably more than that, every year from now to eternity, to pay for three assistant prosecutors and their staffs. And then after you're done, donate enough money to pay and equip police at levels comparable to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. (Hint: salaries for some of the guys you see in blue on the road make Waynesville teachers look pretty poor.) Oh, and while you're at it, you'd probably better add training for each of the five local municipal judges and lots of money for each of the five city prosecutors and their court staffs.
 
I trust that makes my point clear.
 
These are the realities Kevin Hillman is going to face. He simply does not and will not have the money to do what needs to be done in his office. The voters clearly will not stomach a massive tax increase the likes of which would be required -- it would take an increase far in excess of anything anybody has discussed heretofore in Pulaski County. After all, we live in a county where the voters seem to be happy with the sheriff not getting a single penny for patrol car purchases out of the county budget, and he has to use special funds to do that. Does that indicate something about the level of "normality" we've become used to around here?
 
Since Hillman doesn't have the money to do the job right and there's no way he'll ever get that kind of money, we're going to have to decide whether the things he lets slide are those we're willing to tolerate sliding. One thing we can be sure -- lots of things will slide, and have to, because trying to do everything without setting priorities is a big part of what got Hooper booted out of office.
Yeah what Darrell Said.  100%
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Offline Valor7

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #47 on: December 26, 2010, 02:34:06 PM »
Way to go DTM!!!!!  Damn well said. And right on the $$$$$$$$$$$$$.
 
     JB

Offline Chas

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #48 on: December 26, 2010, 03:25:02 PM »
Like I said I understand plea bargaining, you have been charged with a crime they offer a Reduced sentence. That means a lower fine or less jail time. They donít say you have been charged with murder but if you plea to manslaughter we will add 20 years to your sentence and that is 20 years that you wonít have to pay rent what a deal for you.  This is not plea bargaining. This is the PA or even the legal system is saying you have been charged with a crime. It is a small crime but it may cost you by causing you to have higher insurance premiums. But hey donít worry about that.  For a Higher fine we will reduce your charge and the insurance companies wonít have to know about it. It is a win Ė win for both us, you get off by paying more and the city gets more money.  Now this may be legal but doesnít sound ethical. Makes me want to speed in Waynesville just to try it. 
DTM while most of your post makes sense (money makes the world go around) that is not what happened. They went to pay the ticket no judge or PA was directly involved; they did not talk to either of these parties.  They talked to a clerk who I guess has pre-approved list of what to charge if you want a higher fine but a lesser charge.



Offline kevinhillman

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #49 on: December 27, 2010, 03:15:25 AM »
Darrell, you sure you're not a lawyer disguised as a reporter.  It sounds like you have a handle on the situation pretty well.
 
By the way, I welcome this healthy debate.  This is why I asked Rick for the forum.  I want people to be able to ask and understand the system.  Far too many people think there is some grand design or all powerful being up in the courthouse making these decisions.  It's really more like when Dorothy figures out the Wizard of Oz is a regular guy.  That's us, regular folks trying to do what is best and the best with what we have.
 
Several folks have asked me about when I will be making announcements about the direction of the prosecutor's office.  I will be making some announcements after the first of the year once I am in office.
 
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Offline darrellmaurina

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #50 on: December 29, 2010, 07:54:13 PM »
Darrell, you sure you're not a lawyer disguised as a reporter.  It sounds like you have a handle on the situation pretty well.

Well, I was in a 3/2 program that, if I had finished it, would have given me a bachelors degree in political science and a masters degree in public policy in a total of five years, with guaranteed admission to the University of Michigan law school after that, provided that I maintained a certain GPA. Also, I did an internship in the Michigan Legislative Service Bureau, which is the agency that drafts laws upon request by the legislators. The result is that I am far from ignorant when it comes to legal issues, though I am well aware of my limitations when it comes to specifics of legal practice and statutory knowledge.

Let's just say reporting makes much less money but is much more fun.

Also, reporters can do a lot more good than most lawyers until they reach the upper levels of major law firms. That's not an attack on lawyers, just pointing out the reality that except for small town solo practice lawyers, it takes many, many, many years to reach the point in a legal career where you have enough autonomy to actually do much more than deal with minor cases and file paperwork for the senior partners in a major law firm.
 
I am so strongly pro-police that I probably couldn't work as an effective criminal defense attorney, except for a few cases where I really believed my client had been abused by renegade officers, and there are very few options for young lawyers whose goal is to become a prosecutor without first spending many years in criminal defense work. Prosecutors' offices in large cities have lousy pay scales and chew up young lawyers like cannon fodder; in small cities and counties, the offices are either one-man offices filled by election, which usually means you need to have been a local lawyer there for years to have a chance of winning, or they're run by one elected prosecutor with a few assistants who are generally patronage jobs given to people who have years of ties to the area. It is a simple reality that the "best and the brightest" from law schools do not go into prosecutors' offices unless they have personal ties with a prosecutor who probably would have hired them regardless of their grades or where they went to school.
 
The end result is that I decided decades ago that a law career meant ten to twenty years of doing things I didn't want to do in order to earn the right to do things I really did want to do. I don't have that kind of patience to wait decades to be able to actually do what I want.
Darrell Todd Maurina
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Offline mae

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #51 on: February 15, 2011, 10:38:14 PM »
After reading all of this I went and obtained my own speeding ticket...I'm not happy but I did it. So I went to the Prosecuting Attorney's office as suggested and was told I had to get a lawyer they could do nothing for me and this was just last week... So do I really need an attorney or can I just go to the Prosecutors office and if so whom do I speak to? Because I tried that, and it didn't work for me.  I would rather not get the attorney.

Offline JuneBug67

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #52 on: February 15, 2011, 11:48:38 PM »
It depends on where you get the ticket.  I know someone who walked into the Waynesville Municple building, just last week and ask how much did they have to pay to keep it off their record. A HIGH price was paid, but they were able to keep it off their record.  This person plead not guilty to a moving violation and guilty to a non moving violation.  I was told the clerk came to the front and made the statement she had a municiple judge and a prosicuter in the back.
There is NEVER a right way to do the wrong thing!

Offline mae

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #53 on: February 16, 2011, 12:22:44 AM »
interesting as mine was in Waynesville as well and it was last week and I got told to go to the prosecutors office then went there and was told by the lady at the window to "get a lawyer" she was nice about it but why can some just take care of it and others need a lawyer?

Offline JuneBug67

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #54 on: February 16, 2011, 12:31:37 AM »
Who issued the ticket? It sounds as if it were the PSCD or the highway patrole. Tickets issued by Waynesville are paid in Waynesville (not the courthouse)
There is NEVER a right way to do the wrong thing!

Offline mae

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #55 on: February 16, 2011, 02:07:21 AM »
Now it makes since, it was HP but still Hillman was on this thread talking about contacting him, didn't say anthing about going through a lawyer but guess I will call one tomorrow......HP was doing his job and lets face it I'm in EMS knew better was letting my mind wander so now I guess I'll let it pay the fine......

Offline kevinhillman

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #56 on: February 16, 2011, 03:39:23 AM »
Mae,
 
Please give me a call at 774-4770 and schedule an appointment to see me.  The girl at the front was telling you what the general policy is.  I am happy to speak with you about your ticket.
 
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Kevin
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Offline brucerhowell

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #57 on: February 20, 2011, 04:03:36 AM »
Here is a site that post fines from the Missouri Court and what Crimes gets reported to Dept of Revenue.Its rather long but its the bench guide
 
http://www.courts.mo.gov/file.jsp?id=1764

Offline mae

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #58 on: February 20, 2011, 02:47:22 PM »
Thanks for all the info. I ended up with a lawyer. It's all good, Mr. Hillman has great office staff they protect that man better than I protect my Doctors.  lol

Offline kevinhillman

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Re: Extortion?
« Reply #59 on: February 23, 2011, 05:07:59 AM »
Just for folks info, I usually set aside Friday afternoons for appointments.  There are times when I am not there, but if you want to talk to me, they will make you an appointment.  There are some ethical limits such as I can not speak to you if you are represented by an attorney.
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