Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Twenty five and counting

Included in  the good police work that’s been going on this week at LPD was a little case yesterday that mostly flew under the radar, because their were bigger fish to fry.  Omaha’s KETV ran a short snippet about it.  Officer Jason Hellmuth and Officer Matt Voss nabbed this suspect in the act just after midnight.  At the 0735 lineup, Capt. Jim Davidsaver mentioned it during his briefing. 

I thought the name sounded familiar.  I remembered that Officer Jim Ashley sent me an email a few days ago about this man.  Jim had arrested him on March 8 for driving under a suspended license.  The defendant was jailed and appeared for arraignment the next day, where he pled guilty and was sentenced to a $50 fine, which he sat out in jail. 

Given the fact that we arrested 2,984 people for driving under suspension last year, another one isn’t especially noteworthy.  Officer Ashley sent me an email, though, because he thought the $50 fine was noteworthy, in light of the fact that this was the man’s 25th conviction for DUS.  His DUS convictions are from Lancaster (17), York (4), Seward (2), Sarpy (1) and Cass (1) Counties.  Needless to say, he is uninsured.

I don’t know what to do about criminals like this.  Going to jail is just part of his lifestyle, and the fine is pretty meaningless if he sits it out.  I’ve always thought that after a couple of DUS convictions, we should arrest the car you were driving.  I don’t care if it belongs to your brother, your mother, or Enterprise—at some point it ought to belong to the people of Nebraska, so that you are relieved of the instrumentality of your crime, at least until you can drum up a new weapon.

This guy would be a good one to keep in mind if you are ever wondering whether to spend a few extra bucks on the uninsured motorist coverage.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Obviously, the problem isn't with the criminal repeating the crime, it is with the Judge sitting on the bench that continually slaps the criminals wrist with nothing fines.

I seem to recall this problem popped up a few years ago, with another well known person, Ricky Turco.

Until the day arrives that Judges and the justice system, get real and take accountability for their decisions, it will be as it is now, status quo.

JIM J said...

Was this person under an imposed suspension, Or he did not go reinstate?
It really does not matter as far as insurance, as the driver would not buy it.
I think having to use a coat hanger to attach the plate to the vehicle would be a great signature for those who have a pending citation like this. Also, if you have three or more DUS a coat hanger would seal the deal.
Driving with a suspended license.

Anonymous said...

I can never understand why,when someone goes before the judge for DUS, they suspend their license for a longer period of time. Hell0-0-0-!!That's gonna slow them up at least as much as the first one. I realize a goal is to save jail time for more serious offenders, but a year in the slammer must might get the idea across. At least we wouldn't have to see them on the street for a year. I fully agree, too, with the idea of taking their wheels from them. Unless, of course, it's a bike!

ARRRRG!!!! said...

I think this would be a better deterrent than a fine.

Anonymous said...

That's a good idea! In Alaska they impound your car for 1 year for your first DUI, if you get a
2nd, your car belongs to them permanently! Good laws = good deterrent

Anonymous said...

Chief-About a year ago I was sitting at a stop in a left turn lane waiting to make a left turn when a guy in the next lane used the side of my vehicle as a bumper pad to stop his vehicle. He was unconcious when I approached the vehicle, so I rendered aid and got EMS on the way. I felt badly for the guy as he was hauled off in the back of the ambulance.

I found out the next day he had a medical issue, had no valid license, and of course had no insurance.

Cost to me:$1000 deductible
Cost to my ins co:$2100
Fine for DUS:$50
PRICELESS

256

Anonymous said...

I always wondered if incarceration at hard labor, making gravel out of rocks, or whatever - making serving time even more unpleasant - might have some big-stick effect on a habitual criminal. Worn out 12 hours a day, six days a week.

Anonymous said...

It's a famous dodge to use rented or borrowed property to avoid seizure or forfeiture of an asset. Sure, they've got 500 DUS convictions, but the car belongs to their girlfriend, so you can't yank it. All they have to do is find a really homely significant-other that is desperate for a partner, and then they'll have another car to drive.

It's like having an dope-farm operation going on in a rental house. Bad landlords that didn't screen their tenants and don't ever inspect their properties in mid-lease can't have their property seized, nor is it likely that they will they be charged with maintaining a DH, or anything else. They'll just rent to another problem tenant of some sort.

Trevor Brass said...

Meh, we give vehicle licenses to anybody with a right arm and a blood pressure above 90/60, so does anybody truly know what to do without one? No reason to not simply keep on as they do...

Grundle King said...

Yikes 256...might want to give your insurance company a call and find out how much it would cost to lower your deductible. After 3 little punks decided to shoot out my wife's rear windshield last fall at a cost of $450, we inquired how much it would cost to lower our deductibles from $500 to $250. It was literally no more than a couple bucks a month.

Tom Casady said...

11:34,


Well, legislators and taxpayers from Washington to Lincoln are whining about the high costs of incarcerating people for non-violent crimes. I'm not so sure I'm jazzed, either, about paying for this guys dental work, eyeglasses, and law library for the next five years.

I guess that's what is appealing about taking the wheels from beneath him each and every time he is convicted: it might be his girlfriend's $200 clunker, but it's still made it tougher for him to continue to drive right now, and his girlfriend is going to be a little more reluctant to let him borrow her wheels in the future.

I know there are some due process issues involved in depriving someone of their property without due process of law, but I've always thought we could create a rebuttable presumption of some sort that would put the burden on the owner of the seized vehicle to prove that he or she did not know, and could not reasonably be expected to know, that the defendant was suspended. Otherwise, following conviction it would be forfeited and sold at pubic auction.

I'm not a lawyer or a legislator. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Grundle King-

Changed my deductible shortly thereafter.

By the way, add the cost of EMS transport and an ER visit paid by Medicaid to the cost of my incident. So you got hosed a little too as did all of the taxpayers.....

Thanks,

256

Steve said...

Arrrrg;

I suggested that a couple of weeks ago, but it's still a good idea.

Timmy Fireballs said...

Horatio Caine: Looks like this driver... (puts on shades)...

... is in need of a lift.

YEEAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(cue music and intro credits)

Anonymous said...

Sorry Timmy: I spend far too much time trying to figure out what you mean. Would you explain?
JJ

Anonymous said...

Regarding forfeiture of property, I hope you can make the case for the landlord knowing what was going on at these houses. Criminal conspiracy, that kind of thing, seize, auction, etc. While you can't sell the weed you seize, you ought to be able to sell the houses.

Multiple "farm" houses rented from the same blissfully unaware local landlord is just way too coincidental to be believable.

Anonymous said...

11:00,

This short parody video might shed some light on things.

Grundle King said...

Anon 11:00, watch the opening sequence to CSI Miami sometime and all will be explained.

Steve said...

My wife absolutely hates the Who music that comes on so loud at the beginning of that show. I think it's funny.

Anonymous said...

@1:58;

That's 1 minute 47 seconds of my life I'll never get back.

Timmy Fireballs said...

Heh... didn't mean to confuse. This might be a better example of the parody I have been lampooning.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeeyWvo1rNg

Also, little known fact. CSI Miami's Horatio Caine character is based off of our very own Chief Casady. Though, the Chief doesn't put on shades to add dramatic effect to his sentences. He puts on a hat.

tspuckhead said...

1149 said,
"All they have to do is find a really homely significant-other that is desperate for a partner"...wow. As a "really homely" person, I'm a bit offended that you believe we're all so desperate for partners we'll take any low life who comes our way, and then proceed to aid their criminal ways. Some of us are quite happy in our solitude, and comments such as yours should illustrate why. As for seizing property, if the car belongs to them, absolutely. If it belongs to a relative who we presume is probably aware they have a suspended license, absolutely. When you start talking about friends and such, a little less clear. If that "really homely" significant other was so desperate, chances are they aren't going to ask for a backround check and may not know.