Sometimes a loss is personal victory
After being put through my first court case where I knew without a doubt that I was right, and was completely innocent of all accusations.
It has been over 13 years since I was arrested for anything mind you. But as a teen I served some jail time for possession of marijuana, which in fact I was 100% guilty of the accusations. I don’t feel like I comitted a crime per say, but I was responsible for possessing and consuming marijuana, which the state of Utah claims is against the law. I think the first amendment and other constitutional rights protect our right to consume cannabis. But either way, on June 12th when I was arrested for “use of streets without a permit” and “disorderly conduct”. I was innocent, and I have written eye witness testimony stating as such. The police say that I argued with a pedestrian, but the pedestrian didn’t complain, and there is no police report from any pedestrian who felt slighted or wronged in any way. But, as the system works out you can spend thousands and thousands of dollars by going to trial, or you accept a plea deal and pay a $140 fine, no jail time, no criminal record, etc..
After hiring one lawyer who is/was running for governor of Utah, and enjoying his summer vacation in New York. I realized that he didn’t have time for me when he got annoyed with me and started asking me for $$ for each email that he has to read from me, which wasn’t a part of our original deal. Even though he’s a good lawyer and his prices are fair, I didn’t like having to renegotiate our arrangement after a deal had already been made. In his defense, he refunded me $300 of the retainer that I paid him.
The second lawyer that I hired I paid him a retainer, and sent him my paper work on a Sunday. A week later after going on vacation to Humboldt County CA, and coming home. I wrote him and asked him to clairify some things on our contract. I didn’t hear back from him, and I called him the next day. He answered, then hung up on me. I talked to him via email and he didn’t answer any of my questions about “did you get any discovery evidence, are there any papers I need to sign, etc”. So I checked with the prosecutor, and Im still representing myself. In a week, not only had he not obtained any discovery evidence, but he hadn’t even entered himself with the court as my council. So the $300 that I got back got absorbed by the “Utah’s Best Lawyer”, and he didn’t even earn it. He did absolutely nothing.
I decided to take the plea deal that we had worked out months previous when we were working with my first lawyer. I think that the prosecutor was happy to give and happy for me to accept this plea deal. As I said, there were no “victims” to this crime, and eye witnesses that contradicted the police statements. So it was to their advantage that I live 1000 miles away, and can’t properly interview lawyers from this distance. I would have fought it had I been able to find the right council.
Anyway, this is the victory video that I made a while back. This is when I realized that I would probably have to take a plea deal.
I was happy about my first lawyer in some ways. But disappointed in the adjustable rate.
We did in fact get a law changed in Springville Utah. He didn’t seem to know about the change in law when I spoke to him.
But when I applied to get this stupid “protest permit’ I was informed by the City Administrator that as of July 20th 2010, the city code 8-4-108 (that had been on the books for over 40 years) no longer applied to small groups and individuals.
But on June 11th, I have the chief of police on my voicemail telling me that this permit was absolutely required before protesting.
He required only me to get a permit, as hundreds of other promoters of politics and protesters of certain agendas participated inside and outside of this parade. There were other passing out political flyers like I was doing, and promoting their causes. But for some reason only I was required to get this so called “free speech permit” as I learned via a GRAMA request, that no one else had applied for or received a ‘free speech permit’ in years and years. Yet these people were doing the same thing that I got arrested for without getting hassled.
Its still a victory to have gotten a law changed. Despite that it cost me time, money, and a good camera.
Springville City just wanted to censor the message. That I am sure of.
But what can you expect, where it is forbidden for the majority to even drink tea or coffee?!
This is the following day, after being arrested. In front of the police station.