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Old 04-18-2006, 08:01 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Im not so sure it is a great Idea to have the representative instead of the actual officer. I thought you had the right to face your accuser in this case the officer involved. How can a officer that is on light duty speak to the circumstances that were involved if he indeed was riding a desk that day or not even working that shift? I agree if you were wrong and there are rules forbidding that activity at that time of night pay the fine or call the DA and see about a reduction or possible community service. If infact this is a bogus charge that you can prove I say fight it. My guess is you were caught on a little enforced rule and just have to eat it. Dont worry about the officer's attitude I am sure we all have those days or nights just be as polite as you can and chances are you'll stay out of trouble.
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Old 04-18-2006, 08:34 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snyiper
Im not so sure it is a great Idea to have the representative instead of the actual officer. I thought you had the right to face your accuser in this case the officer involved. How can a officer that is on light duty speak to the circumstances that were involved if he indeed was riding a desk that day or not even working that shift? I agree if you were wrong and there are rules forbidding that activity at that time of night pay the fine or call the DA and see about a reduction or possible community service. If infact this is a bogus charge that you can prove I say fight it. My guess is you were caught on a little enforced rule and just have to eat it. Dont worry about the officer's attitude I am sure we all have those days or nights just be as polite as you can and chances are you'll stay out of trouble.
Many “rights” people think they have are not rights at all, or are not what they think they are. For example, a good portion of the time someone is accused of a crime they are not in reality allowed to face those who actually accuse them. They are however given the right to directly face the charges and defend themselves. The “side” accusing them is represented, but in a good many cases the actual accusers are not there.

You do have a point on not being able to speak on the circumstances of each ticket issued though. There are often drawbacks for each choice made. But if you have 5 officers writing tickets and a given day the tickets will be on the docket, you would then require all 5 officers be in court the entire time “just in case”. That IMHO is a gross misuse of manpower. And some communities have determined that a “representative” would better serve the communities.

What I would suggest would be a better system is that if someone got a ticket and wanted to dispute it, they send in a “dispute ticket” form instead of their payment. Then a date given and the officer told his/her ticket is disputed. This “show up if you dispute” policy is not fair to the system or the officer. And the system I just suggested would be fair to ALL parties involved and take away the abuse of disputing tickets we see now.
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Old 04-18-2006, 09:17 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I'd fight it. Sounds like the guy was on some kind of power trip.

Shartley,
Sorry man, cops aren't always right. They are human too and are subject to all of our short comings. To pass out $300 worth of fund raising to some kids who were obviously doing nothing is kind of low. There is no need to bust everyone all the time.
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Old 04-18-2006, 09:31 AM   #14 (permalink)
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It sucks, but you were tresspassing. The cop was a jerk, and didn't have to give you a ticket, but that's not the point. You were tresspassing. Every park I've ever been in that didn't allow overnite camping, from national down to local kiddie parks, closes at dusk. Your not supposed to be there. Next time, run away!

Tressapassing is always wrong. Just 'cause it was dark and you couldn't see the signs does not make it alright. Ignorance is not innocence.
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Old 04-18-2006, 09:37 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Although I probably would have given a warning had I been the officer, I have to agree with Shartley here. (Sam, don't have a heart attack, I'm sure I'll be back to disagreeing with you soon!)

You were there after hours. I'm positive there are posted hours at the park. I've never been in a public park where that wasn't the case. Ignorance of the law isn't an excuse. Yeah, $92.00 is a lot of money, however you DID break the law regardless of how innocent your intentions may have been...

I would definately go to court and be VERY polite to the judge, and they may deem that there were mitigating circumstances and reduce your fine, or they may not. You're not loosing anything by rolling the dice there. However, you are completely guilty of the crime.
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Old 04-18-2006, 10:03 AM   #16 (permalink)
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um, we are assuming that there *was* a crime.....

unless it is posted somewhere that the property (if it is public) was closed between certain hours, you were doing nothing wrong.
that would be like a cop ticketing me for loitering when entering a public gov't building.

while cops to get the short end of the stick, they are humand and subject to shortcommings. I once got ticketed for 'jaywalking' on an empty street at 3AM while walking home from work . a $70 fine for crossing a deserted road, and i was polite to the officer, until he decided to be a prick to me.

then i got his badge number, his supervisor's extention and called the next morning (at least up here, an officer has to give you their badge number if you ask for it) wound up in civil court a week later, and had the ticked thrown out. the judge stated that it was a 'poor interpretation of a law designed to protect pedestrians and motorists'

i was indeed technically wrong. However it was taking a little enforced rule (and usually a $20-$40 fine when enforced) to the extreme.

while i agree with shartley to a point, i don't think that blindly paying a fine that you may not have deserved is a good thing. I would go back to that park today (preferably with a camera) and take pictures, and look for any notices around main entrances about it being closed after a certain point.

there is only one park in my city that ever 'closes' at night, and it has gates at the road entraces that are actually closed.
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Old 04-18-2006, 10:04 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Thank you everyone for your posts, no matter the “side” posted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FLUNKN
I'd fight it. Sounds like the guy was on some kind of power trip.

Shartley,
Sorry man, cops aren't always right. They are human too and are subject to all of our short comings. To pass out $300 worth of fund raising to some kids who were obviously doing nothing is kind of low. There is no need to bust everyone all the time.
I didn’t say anything contrary to what you posted. I don’t however get emotional and make judgment calls on a situation that not all the facts are presented. I look to what is legal first, not what is “nice”.

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I don’t think police are always right…… and this comes from a former officer. I KNOW about police.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robertsr
I would definately go to court and be VERY polite to the judge, and they may deem that there were mitigating circumstances and reduce your fine, or they may not. You're not loosing anything by rolling the dice there. However, you are completely guilty of the crime.
I will also add that in most cases Judges take into account the ability of an individual to PAY the fines. More times than not, when it comes to juveniles, the judge will offer (or accept if asked by the defendant) public service as payment in place of the fine. This means that you may end up simply working at the place you were given the ticket for.
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Old 04-18-2006, 10:09 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I was in a park after 11:00 one night, a freind and i were fishing and lost track of time. 2 officers rode up, checked out what we were doing, asked if we had any luck, and told us to mind the time next time, but to take our time and head home before it was too late.

In your case, well, its a bit harsh, but the ticket is probably $15, and then the taxes and fees pile on. That's what bugs me (that and the fact you have to pay before you even have a chance of defending yourself)
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Old 04-18-2006, 10:13 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walking_Target
um, we are assuming that there *was* a crime.....

unless it is posted somewhere that the property (if it is public) was closed between certain hours, you were doing nothing wrong.
that would be like a cop ticketing me for loitering when entering a public gov't building.

while cops to get the short end of the stick, they are humand and subject to shortcommings. I once got ticketed for 'jaywalking' on an empty street at 3AM while walking home from work . a $70 fine for crossing a deserted road, and i was polite to the officer, until he decided to be a prick to me.

then i got his badge number, his supervisor's extention and called the next morning (at least up here, an officer has to give you their badge number if you ask for it) wound up in civil court a week later, and had the ticked thrown out. the judge stated that it was a 'poor interpretation of a law designed to protect pedestrians and motorists'

i was indeed technically wrong. However it was taking a little enforced rule (and usually a $20-$40 fine when enforced) to the extreme.

while i agree with shartley to a point, i don't think that blindly paying a fine that you may not have deserved is a good thing. I would go back to that park today (preferably with a camera) and take pictures, and look for any notices around main entrances about it being closed after a certain point.

there is only one park in my city that ever 'closes' at night, and it has gates at the road entraces that are actually closed.
Absolutely. No arguments from me. But that “assuming” goes in both direction.

And I agree that if someone has doubt that they actually committed a ticketable offense they should do as you suggest… research it. Go back and look. Take pictures if need be.

I also agree that there are times when the “spirit of the law” trumps the “letter of the law”. But we have no idea if in this case that park has had problems with improper use after hours or not. It could very well be that they are now simply trying to send a message they hope will take care of a problem they are having. Then again, maybe not. But none of us know for sure.
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Old 04-18-2006, 10:30 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I would go to court and see if the judge will either throw it out or reduce the fine/let you do community service. Find out about any curfews and the posted hours at the park, if there are any. Take a camera with you as well just in case the hours are posted on a sign, but the sign is covered by tree limbs, shrubs, etc. (and no, don't go and cover it up yourself ). If it's covered or obscured, take the picture and submit it to the judge to help your case. Tell the judge the truth, that you weren't aware of the hours and were just throwing some Frisbee with friends.

Now, as for the officer telling y'all to stop when you started walking towards him, I have no problems with it. I think there's a rule of thumb that a knife is dangerous within 15 feet, so y'all encroached on that distance. With it being dark, he possibly saw someone reach for their wallet to show him their license and not being able to see well did the right thing and ordered y'all to stop. Three guys, one cop, and possibly three or more weapons on y'all is what was going through his mind.

Above all, be polite, respectful, and honest. Good luck!
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