Another Day, Another Dollar.... lost that is. I called around to price the DUI classes. Jeez they want around 1,000 bolas for the 9 month class. The whole reason why I took the jail time is because I don't have the money, and these guys give me the 9 month class instead of the usual 3 month class for first time offenders. What part of "I am on a limited income" do they not grasp? 12 units at Cal State University Dominguez Hills costs around 1,300$ and this is 4 classes that run for about 4-5 months. So comparing a single 9 month course that costs almost the same as an entire full 12 unit semesters tuition at the university... I've done my 3rd grade math and realized this is a very over-priced course. Unless we are using diamond studded clip boards and using pens filled with the blood of Jesus, this is a sincere rip off. This class is ridiculously over priced. I have a feeling it is going to cover a bunch of stuff I could learn on the Internet for free or buy in a textbook for 60-100$ and teach myself. There is no excuse to over price a class this much. I seriously doubt this DUI class is really deserving to rival an entire semesters tuition expenses. These guys are just ripping us off to make money for profit. I guess they think regular people have big money to burn. I can understand if they want us to attend classes and see a counselor but I could see a counselor at school for the cost of the tuition as well. My point is this course is not necessary in length and price for a first time DUI. They are just gouging me financially for money I don't have that I could use elsewhere.
This is why I am losing faith in my system. How am I supposed to get ahead and become a functioning, contributing member of society when I have to bankrupt myself instead on overpriced court costs and court ordered programs? Its as if they are saying they want one thing while taking action to inflict the exact opposite. I cant afford the 1,700$ court fee or the 1,000$ in enhancements so I'm going to jail. I cant afford the 1,000 court program that is trumped up to 9 months but I guess they think I'm going to shit money while in jail to pay it.
The system is really gouging low income people. I have looked at tickets I got, and they are ridiculous in price. I rolled through a stop sign without making a complete stop and they gave me a 300$ ticket. I was going 65 on the Terminal Island Freeway and they gave me a speeding ticket because it turned out to be one of the few freeways that has an unusually low 40 mph speed limit. These tickets are also over priced. I can understand tickets not being too cheap, but when every ticket over every little thing is 3-4 hundred $ minimum; this is ripping us off. Where is this money going? Do they realize over priced tickets like these really cripple low income people? When I couldn't pay they doubled the amount owed and issued a warrant for my arrest. It will go into collections and end up damaging my credit later causing further long term crippling of my ability to become self sufficient.
If I want to fight the ticket I still have to pay it first. So according to the law only wealthy people can fight their tickets because only they can get a case by first paying it. If you are low income you do not have the right to fight your ticket because you cant get a case scheduled until you first pay it which we cant afford to! So I actually do not have a right to fight my case unless I can first afford to pay the ridiculous fine . Low income people are supposed to have the same rights as high income, but apparently California Law doesn't care. My ticket went to warrant and now I have a chance to go to court but for a warrant which most likely disqualifies me from fighting the case now. The ticket has doubled in fines as well. Who designed these laws? They don't hurt high income people but they prevent low income people from having the same rights in court.
I wish I could of fought my DUI enhancements because the police lied in the report and made me out to be Rambo. But I cant afford a private lawyer so I took the plea bargain to avoid getting my sentence maxed out. Once again, we supposedly have a right to a fair trial, but if we dare ask to enforce that right then the government that brags about protecting that right comes after us and retaliates against us for daring to exercise it. They try to throw the book at us and max our sentence out to teach us a lesson, that lesson being -You dared to enforce your rights and now you will suffer the maximum punishment we can inflict to teach you and others to surrender your rights to us and take the plea bargain we "offer" you." So do I really have a right to safely go to trial free from retaliation and increased attack????? NO. It is an unsafeguarded, ceremonial, cruel joke towards low income defendants such as myself.
I had a public defender, I got screwed by my last one and I wasn't too trusting of this one. I doubt he is going to really put the time and sacrifice into my case that a private lawyer would. So I took the plea bargain to avoid getting hurt worse by the system. If I was higher income I could actually exercise my right to a fair trial and feel safe about it. I probably could of dropped almost every enhancement and only had a 1st time DUI through a trial. But the reality is the America on paper and the America in real life are not the same. Only the wealthy can safely exercise their right to a trial or even request a trial because only they can pay the fine first as mandated and only they can afford a private attorney that will fight tenaciously. If you are low income you cannot safely exercise your rights although supposedly we have them. They are ceremonial myths. I don't have the right to contest my ticket or fight my DUI case because I cant afford it. Its too expensive for me. Low income people do not have the same chance in court. Financially wealthier defendants can pay their fines and walk out the door with summary probation, a suspended license and merely take the classes. I have to go to jail cause I cant afford to pay the ridiculous fines. I get treated like a 3 time DUI offender and maxed out with enhancements and a 9 month DUI course instead that will hurt me financially. I dared to exercise my right to refuse a breath test and they tripled my sentence because I dared to exercise that right to say no to the BAC . Once again I have rights on paper but I am not safe to exercise them. The very government that brags about safeguarding these rights punishes me for daring to exercise them.
What is the point to having rights if it is not safe to exercise them safe from retaliation?
It makes them a lie.
I don't know why the court, tickets, and sentencing is so ridiculously over priced, but low income people such as myself simply cant afford this price gouging. It is bankrupting me. I can understand paying a fine but this is ridiculous. The fine does not fit the crime. Someone is getting greedy and it is very cruel and unfair towards low income people. I cant afford much with these crazy fines. How am I supposed to actually get ahead in life under such extreme penalties? I cant. This doesn't just punish me, it cripples me by causing my entire life to get put on hold and leaves long term side effects that will prevent me from having decent credit. Why are they ruining my life so much over a misdemeanor? It is because I am low income. Standard fines and penalties that will discipline decent income people cripple low income people such as myself and carry much longer negative side effects on us legally and fiscally. The law does not treat us the same.
I would of designed a law that first assesses our income and then fines us according to our income. They instead placed a flat rate penalty that cripples low income and tickles high income. Middle Class are the only ones that probably feel the sting the way the framers meant for it to inflict. All of this over zealous hefty fines and punishments strikes me as a very lazy way to write legislature and get results. Any extreme penalties will get results but it does not mean they are fair and balanced. It just means someone was either very emotional or lazy and they wrote a bunch of ridiculous laws that were legislated into action.
I did some research on the DUI and traffic court system and found that it is very cruelly designed to gouge people and sabotage any attempts to contest anything. It is not designed for the people, it is designed to effectively gouge the people. Everything is overpriced. I had my car towed less that 2 miles and instead of the 50 dollar fee that I paid privately, they charged me about a hundred twenty dollars to literally tow it a couple blocks away. Twice I have had my car towed and the price was so unreasonably high that It made me wonder why the unusually high fees? Private towing is 3 times cheaper. but whenever the police have your car towed they must have unicorns towing the damn thing in because the same tow now costs a ridiculous amount of money. I thought maybe they used a flatbed truck but I found out it was the same old standard tow truck. They raise the price and gouge us on everything they possibly can get away with.
I don't know what to do. Do I have to become a bank robber to survive these ridiculous costs and fees? I'm on Social Security and sort of locked into poverty due to the stupid laws their system has, I can pay the court in Pedro and let Long Beach go into collections or vice versa. I cant pay both. I don't know how they expect people to go to school, pay bills and become functioning members when they inflict so much debt over any trivial excuse. It makes it impossible to get ahead in life and makes me want to give up. This is impossible with my current financial situation. Unless I win the lottery I don't think I can legally find a true solution and I'm already bracing for more collection agencies to come after me.
It seems that the only only thing the courts or government is good for is hurting us and making things extra impossible and frustrating. It is almost as if they are performing acupuncture on us to hit pressure points hoping to get us to explode. I'm sick of the court saying "the people verses blah blah blah..." They do not represent me at all. They need to say "The systems verses blah blah blah..." because the people are overwhelmingly in the other side of the court room getting gouged by the court and the system is who the suits and ties really represent.
Its as if a faction of indifferent, ruthless, tyrants took over our court system and they use it to just inflict ridiculous pain and punishment on the people they brag about serving. Its like we are held hostage to this faction that took power of our court system. I hate going to court. I think I would rather go to a funeral than go to court. I never feel safe there or like I have a voice at all. I just sit there and wonder what crazy story and verdict they are going to agree on to each other and how much it will hurt me. I never get a chance to explain ever. Most of the time I don't even know what the fuck is going on. Complete strangers on the street are more willing to listen to me explain myself than the court is. I'm sick of these courtroom clowns claiming to represent me while unfairly gouging me, exaggerating and blatantly lying. But once again everyone plays the role of Pontius Pilate, everyone is a victim to the system and their hands are tied. No one can do anything because "I just work here and these are the set rules." No one is truly empowered and can do anything to make things more reasonable or fair. The way this system is so hopelessly aloof to the people it is hurting upsets me. This is not how a democratic free system is supposed to be. It is supposed to be user friendly and flexible so that it can serve the individual needs of the people. Instead it is very rigid and cold. There is no reasoning with it and no where to complain. No one cares or the people that care don't have the power to do anything except still screw you so their concern is of very little value. This bureaucracy reminds me of a steam locomotive. It is stuck on a track and uses us for coal to move. It can do very little except stay stuck on the track it is on and takes forever to even slow down much less change course.
What gets me upset is the reason why I was so rude to the police and refused to exit my car was because I was so sick and fed up with cops pulling me over and stopping me. I've had so many cops pull me over to search my car and to search me that I was getting sick of it. They never find drugs or guns in my car ever. Yet I get stopped and searched more by them in a period of 6 months sometimes than most people do in their entire lifetime. I had been getting stopped by cops so routinely at that time that I was reaching my limit and getting really fed up with it. When the cop pulled behind me in the parking and shined their spotlight into my car all I could remember was me thinking, "Not this again, I want to eat the hamburger I just bought. I dont have time to go through this song and dance right now." I'm not a violent or suicidal person. But I did tell the cop off because I was so sick of cops bugging me. I snapped. Now they are prosecuting me in court posing as a victim due to my not being a strong enough person to put up with all of their constant harrassment. I seriously doubt that if anyone had had the consistent bad luck getting stopped and searched I was having that they would of been able to keep their cool and calm either. Most people would of refused and been rude. Most people would not have been tazered. I can only take so much and finally lost it. Usually I do comply with police searches.
Now the court is consistently screwing me over. Its as if they designed this system to overload and break people. Almost as if they are purposely hitting pressure points on us to attempt to get us to break and lose our composure. I dont know who designed this system with its ironic timing, but it seems designed to get under peoples skin and get to our nerves in hopes of getting people to explode. Then it punishes us for it afterward by adding increased penalties.