Turning the Traffic Tables in California


Turning the Traffic Tables in California

Turning the Traffic Tables in California
A Traffic Strategy that Saved Me


a story related by an FESS member

This demonstration of passive resistance-----

Saved me:
$$$ in traffic fines
Hours of court time
Calories of wasted energy dealing with a traffic ticket
$$ in DMV point(s)
$$ in car insurance increase
Dignity points (yeah, I like this one)

Gave me:
a heroic story to tell my grandchildren
My Cost:
An extra 6.2minutes of travel time.
Maybe you will be interested in this story, but first the theory. On September 14, 2012 an article appeared in the Long Beach Press regarding this theory and proving my point!
My theory:

    In the vast vast vast majority of cases, a traffic officer engages in a traffic stop solely in pursuit of revenue under the pretext of `traffic safety’.  Even though this is a fact, the reality is that once you allow an officer to stop and cite you, the burden is on you to prove this fact (which a judge will never accept of course), or; to pay the ticket (ugh!), or; to defend the ticket (which gobbles up a ridiculous amount of your time and resources while costing the government virtually nothing, the government gets a  freeroll, and the officer gets a paid day off to sit in court to testify).  The above scenario is a classic 'Maróczy Bind' (ie: screw-job).  Therefore, I figured there should be a more expeditious method to stop all this nonsense in its tracks.
    In the vast vast vast majority of cases, a traffic officer is stopping you for an infraction (which is a low-priority 'crime').  Like, the high-profile TV news' chases with all the police cars and helio-officers which are devoted to chasing a car for felonies and outstanding warrants, the media and officers would have you believe that this is what would happen for a simple traffic infraction - I don't buy it.  It's like the IRS proudly prosecuting hi-profile tax victims in April as though they will do that with everyone in the country (ie: cheap propaganda leverage to keep the minions in line).
    If you flee from the officer recklessly and endanger people or property it could be charged as a felony, but if you flee in a 'civilized' manner without committing other collateral violations, it will only be charged as a misdemeanor with the likelihood of reduction to infraction, (an option down the road (which you probably don't want to take).  Keep in mind that you will only end up in court if you actually stop at some point during the chase.  The 'evasion' charge doesn't increase with mileage so why not just keep driving until one of you runs out of gas (or motivation)?  If you run out of gas first and get cited, just tell the jury you were going to stop at the first opportunity when you saw other citizens carrying guns to protect you from a potentially dangerous officer (which of course would be the nearest 'open-carry' state of Arizona).

    And, even if it is charged as a misdemeanor, you will get a jury trial and public defender which the court and prosecutor will want to avoid (giving you all the leverage for a sweet deal). OR, you will go through the trial and win. OR, you will go through the trial and lose.  BUT, since California is under recent strict orders from the U.S. Supreme Court to reduce crowded jail population it's highly unlikely you will do any jail time for such a minor traffic misdemeanor, (after all they are currently releasing real criminals back on the street just to comply with the Supreme Court command - so you do the math).
    If the officer,  prosecutor or Court questions your motive for 'fleeing' the scene of the crime instead of stopping, you steadfastly maintain that you were looking for a 'safe place to stop' (which is justifiable and reasonable using the 'Dangerous Officer' Defense.  Of course, the term 'safe' is subject to a large latitude of interpretation).
    If the officer is a city officer it gets even better because you can lead the pursuit out of the comfort of his 'hometown' advantage into neighboring jurisdictions, or onto a freeway into other counties, or even another state, and make him 'earn his ticket'.  [Caution: This factor is less likely to be relevant with a county sheriff due to their larger jurisdictional coverage, (unless you are willing to drive into another county), and; even less effective with the CHP (unless you are willing to drive as far as across state lines).]  Even though the law allows a officer 'hot-pursuit' privileges past his jurisdictional hometown borders, let’s see how much gas, company time, and resources he wants to expend in order to capture this fleeing infraction/criminal suspect (which in his mind he knows is already a simple revenue-generating adventure for him and he can easily find more compliant/easily-captured customers elsewhere that same day).  And more importantly, how far from his jurisdiction will he want to venture off his beat to complete this charade?  There are only so many officers that are on standby and patrol in his hometown in case a real crime is reported that requires an immediate response, (ie: mass murder, bank robbery, stolen vehicle, etc.), so if this were to happen and he was off on his little infraction-adventure with you 50miles away in another county, how will that look to his superiors? –  "Oh sorry boss for leaving town, but he slow-rolled a stop sign and I couldn't let him get away with that! - sorry I missed the exciting mall-massacre involving 79 deaths including your mother - I'll be sure to come to her funeral."

I've had several civil rights lawsuits against the officers over the last 10yrs due to their flagrant and abusive practices (mostly litigated by myself).  Recently, I was toying with the above strategic idea just to see what would happen.  So with this foundational theory in place, I was ready to test it out and it wasn't long before it happened .   .    .     .        . 

A Lesson in Low Speed Pursuit
    Last Sunday, during a  Los Angeles sunny summer day, I pulled out of a parking lot, turned left into a merging lane, increased speed, merged into traffic ahead of a slagging car.  It didn’t take me long to notice a local city police car tailing the car behind me for about 2 blocks.

    In a sudden flash the car behind me moved to the other lane leaving the officer directly behind me, “uh-oh,” I thought.  I stopped at the next light, waited, then proceeded through the intersection, when sure-enough, police car lights started flashing (so predictable).   I had not violated any obvious traffic law so I concluded that this must be one of those everyday ticky-tacky-revenue-generating 'crimes' - a perfect opportunity to test my new strategy, (i. e.,  this officer will have low commitment to a slow speed chase, and that he is a city officer with limited jurisdiction).   Game on!!  

    I drove past my home (obviously), engaged my pocket voice-recorder, (which I carry for events just like this), locked my doors, shut my windows, then stopped at the next red traffic light.  The officer’s car lights were blazing and sirens were blaring continuously so I turned right unto a busy street, stayed in the right lane, acting as though I would stop, but continued driving at a slow safe pace, stopping at another red light.  The officer then actually came to my driver door, pounded on my window to "pull over." I cracked my window and explained that "I'm looking for a safe place to stop, sir,"  (No, now that I think about it, I left out the 'sir' part).  Anyway, the  officer actually tried to open my locker door then returned to his car, completely flustered.
    I continued to drive safely into the next city and headed for the freeway on ramp, ('oh boy this will be fun - San Diego here I come!').  I checked my rearview mirror, and sure enough the officer had shut his lights down and turned away in search of 'easier prey,' (what a party pooper), and left me in peace (a true 'peace' officer).  So far, so good, the score, Me one, the government zero.  And, “no,” I never did receive a citation in the mail!

Disclaimer:  Even though I would like to hear additional stories testing this theory, I do not necessarily recommend this strategy to everyone especially if you are incapable of following up on it correctly in court, and; I do not assume any liability for your actions.  Oh, and this isn't legal advice, just a really fun story.

News Flash

Uncertainties of the Income Tax
(Courts At War with Themselves)

by Larry Becraft, Attorney

For several years now, a variety of high public officials have openly declared that the federal income tax laws are incredibly complex and need to be either substantially revised or scrapped.   But after making such statements, these officials invariably fail to identify what  specific parts of  the tax laws suffer from this condition, choosing instead to conceal them. Are the objectionable parts of the federal tax code secretly and quietly discussed behind closed Congressional committee doors? If they are, why doesn't someone inform the American public of these deficiencies so that they may likewise participate in this debate? Is it possible that it is the major and not various minor features of the tax laws which are complex, even uncertain? Is it possible that these major features are so fundamentally flawed that they simply cannot be repaired? If so, what is the legal consequence of this complexity?

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