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My experience with courts, charges, firearms, appeals, trials, etc. Appeal your case!

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  • My experience with courts, charges, firearms, appeals, trials, etc. Appeal your case!

    Couple years ago I got in a bit of trouble. Got something stolen from our home in our small town, days later I got information that my item may be laying in the grass at a location and I drove to see if the information was accurate. I found my own item laying unattended. Soon after the thieves came out and stirred the pot. I was physically attacked and threatened with a knife while calling authorities. I responded by unconcealing my firearm and putting my hand on it. I did NOT draw as I did not feel it was necessary to deescalate the situation. The tactic worked and they backed off until cops arrived. However, these super stellar criminals claimed I attacked them and one of them presented a self inflicted scratch and I was cuffed for simple battery.

    I was NOT charged with any firearm related activity.

    Because I found the charges to be VERY ridiculous, I was not about to fork over thousands for an atty as I already had a pretty decent case and had a witness. As the typical court system works, the muni court immediately wanted to just reduce the charge and move on. However, that meant pleading guilt to disorderly. That is the lowest misdemeanor charge one can get, and the prosecutor was also going to request no fines to the judge. However, that means I pay court costs and get a conviction on my record over it.

    You may call it ignorance, arrogance, stupidity, or whatever, but I am a man with a spine and I won't back down when I feel I am in the right. I declined the "deal" and proceeded to trial knowing I would lose. Why? Because my small town, just like most others, have a serious judicial flaw.....the Judge is paid by the small town and there is a bit of bias there!! However, I also knew that in KS, a criminal defendant as the right to appeal from a lower court, to the district court. As well, a criminal defendant has the right to a jury trial if one is requested.

    So yes, I did lose in muni court, no biggy. I got some very good information because it became more of an informal deposition of the "victim" (if you care to call them that". There were holes in her story a year long but the judged had his mind made up before I even walked in.

    Probably the bigger point to my long story is APPEAL!! IMO, if you are doing battle in a lower court, you are probably hosed, especially in a small town unless you can get a "good ol'boy deal". What is VERY important here is in a small muni court, they typically pay the judge and prosecutor by the hour to just come on a certain day of the month and work cases. However, if you appeal to a higher court, you get a REAL judge in a totally separate court and jurisdiction. AND the same prosecutor must them come to that court and waste the city's time and money to work the case.

    In other words, you remove the "home court advantage" where they don;t get to decide the time and place for court.

    In criminal matters, you may elect to have a jury. I most certainly did that because I feel it would have been nearly impossible to explain my story to real folks and get a unanimous verdict. I was prepared. I lost plenty of time over this BUT, at the 11th hour, at the court house, when my trial was to take place, the prosecutor finally buckled and dismissed his complaint after the realization that I was prepared to go through with this. A trial that would last most of a day and cost the small town thousands in legal fees.


    I am not sure how some here will view this. I am most certainly not here to gloat, just to help by sharing my experience. I have heard a lot of stories about people getting screwed with bogus traffic tickets, charges, etc. If you are truly innocent, stand your ground!!! the legal process is a friggin mine field. One that was designed BY lawyers, FOR lawyers. They don't want non-lawyers exercising their rights on their own! However, you can file all your own documents, motions, subpoenas, evidence, appeals, etc. This day in age, I really think everyone should have at least some knowledge of "the system". It is pretty sad that the "the people" created "the system", and now "the system" runs "the people".
    Last edited by fastline; 12-07-2017, 05:35.

  • #2
    How much was the stolen item worth?
    Failure is an opportunity to learn.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank for taking a few minutes to post, for me it helps put the Kansas in KSCCW much more than a Google or Facebook link. I'm glad you made it through ok, and found your Justice.
      Originally posted by kscardsfan
      Grain of salt hell, I'm taking it with a salt block from the feed store. Thats a big bunch of crap there.
      Originally posted by zap
      Winning a political debate on this forum is like winning the special Olympics....you would need to be a retard to enter it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you for relating your experience
        "I suppose it's tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail...." ~Abraham Maslow~

        "Skill makes you harder to kill" ~ Unknown

        Comment


        • #5
          Interesting story. Can't call standing up for yourself stupid or any of those other things you mentioned. Can call 'DIY' justice bad judgment, and really risky. Nowadays, there are legal-defense programs available at really reasonable rates that will cover all or most of the attorney fees and other expenses. The best one going is US Law Shield; in the situation you described, you would have had legal representation from the get-go, no cost to you except the really low monthly rate for the program. Hate to think what you could lose if the appeal had gone the whole route and you lost. As it is, I'm glad it turned out the way it did. Ace2
          Sometimes the term 'Idiot' is a description and not an insult.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by fastline View Post
            Couple years ago I got in a bit of trouble. Got something stolen from our home in our small town, days later I got information that my item may be laying in the grass at a location and I drove to see if the information was accurate. I found my own item laying unattended. Soon after the thieves came out and stirred the pot. I was physically attacked and threatened with a knife while calling authorities. I responded by unconcealing my firearm and putting my hand on it. I did NOT draw as I did not feel it was necessary to deescalate the situation. The tactic worked and they backed off until cops arrived. However, these super stellar criminals claimed I attacked them and one of them presented a self inflicted scratch and I was cuffed for simple battery.

            I was NOT charged with any firearm related activity.

            Because I found the charges to be VERY ridiculous, I was not about to fork over thousands for an atty as I already had a pretty decent case and had a witness. As the typical court system works, the muni court immediately wanted to just reduce the charge and move on. However, that meant pleading guilt to disorderly. That is the lowest misdemeanor charge one can get, and the prosecutor was also going to request no fines to the judge. However, that means I pay court costs and get a conviction on my record over it.

            You may call it ignorance, arrogance, stupidity, or whatever, but I am a man with a spine and I won't back down when I feel I am in the right. I declined the "deal" and proceeded to trial knowing I would lose. Why? Because my small town, just like most others, have a serious judicial flaw.....the Judge is paid by the small town and there is a bit of bias there!! However, I also knew that in KS, a criminal defendant as the right to appeal from a lower court, to the district court. As well, a criminal defendant has the right to a jury trial if one is requested.

            So yes, I did lose in muni court, no biggy. I got some very good information because it became more of an informal deposition of the "victim" (if you care to call them that". There were holes in her story a year long but the judged had his mind made up before I even walked in.

            Probably the bigger point to my long story is APPEAL!! IMO, if you are doing battle in a lower court, you are probably hosed, especially in a small town unless you can get a "good ol'boy deal". What is VERY important here is in a small muni court, they typically pay the judge and prosecutor by the hour to just come on a certain day of the month and work cases. However, if you appeal to a higher court, you get a REAL judge in a totally separate court and jurisdiction. AND the same prosecutor must them come to that court and waste the city's time and money to work the case.

            In other words, you remove the "home court advantage" where they don;t get to decide the time and place for court.

            In criminal matters, you may elect to have a jury. I most certainly did that because I feel it would have been nearly impossible to explain my story to real folks and get a unanimous verdict. I was prepared. I lost plenty of time over this BUT, at the 11th hour, at the court house, when my trial was to take place, the prosecutor finally buckled and dismissed his complaint after the realization that I was prepared to go through with this. A trial that would last most of a day and cost the small town thousands in legal fees.


            I am not sure how some here will view this. I am most certainly not here to gloat, just to help by sharing my experience. I have heard a lot of stories about people getting screwed with bogus traffic tickets, charges, etc. If you are truly innocent, stand your ground!!! the legal process is a friggin mine field. One that was designed BY lawyers, FOR lawyers. They don't want non-lawyers exercising their rights on their own! However, you can file all your own documents, motions, subpoenas, evidence, appeals, etc. This day in age, I really think everyone should have at least some knowledge of "the system". It is pretty sad that the "the people" created "the system", and now "the system" runs "the people".
            Had you made a police report of the burglary prior to the "news" you got about your stuff in the grass? Doing so would have made your being attacked by the burglars a crime that you were a victim.

            Going to get your stuff without the police being there destroys the evidentiary value of your stuff. I think you were correct to demand your day in court but were the burglars also there? We they ever charged?
            Last edited by Jim Macklin; 12-08-2017, 00:31.
            The people think the Constitution protects their rights; But government sees it as an obstacle to be overcome.
            If your religion says suicide and murder are wrong; Aren't you doing both if you are not prepared to defend your life and the lives of others?
            I am not a lawyer, but I have personal opinions.

            Comment


            • #7
              Jim, yes I did in fact make a police report of the theft 2 days prior. I found it rather unnecessary for a formal "booking" over it as they knew I would show up for court. It is possible that their hands were tied on the "legal" side but they made the process as painless as possible, including returning my vehicle to my home with my son in it, and requested an OR bond on the paperwork.

              Yes, the thieves were at court. Yes, i examined them on the stand. Story kept changing.

              More of the story. The thief was a teen. He is already headed down the wrong road and the apple don't fall far from the tree because his mom came out completely psycho. This was all over a higher end bicycle! I honestly figured if a parent came out, we would have a conversation, and leave it at that. Nope. Her kid shows up with some unknown bike 2 days prior, then I show up WITH my son explaining the bike was stolen from us, hmmm. A normal parent would put 2 and 2 together, but on this day, mom is about 220lbs of 'something' and wanted to resort to an altercation. And her teen son wanted to jump in. Verbally threatens to stab me, produces a hunting knife, etc. Im thinking "in this small town, wow, we moved in some winners here".

              I think the angle some assume is that I had some intent to go get our stuff back vigilante style. I honestly just wanted to see if the tip was correct. As soon as we ID'd the bike, I was on the phone. I was literally on the phone with 911 while she was screaming at me.

              I know some here may assume the mother may not have known, but honestly, I am standing there with my son and talking to 911 while holding the bike. If was really "stealing" the bike, I would be gone. She just wasn't real happy that I caught her son red handed. I have very high confidence the mother knew it was stolen or that at least, something shady was going on. How do I know? Because she told cops that she talked to someone that previously owned the bike on the phone. Was that validated by the cops? hell NO! She talked to no one! Her son learned to be con artist from her.

              this was also a stiff lesson for my own children on why we don't steal!

              Thief (teen and his buddy), were convicted, and the one teen received intensive probation, which is not a fun ride for the next couple years. I expect him to slip up and end up in the system. A kid that goes that far over something HE stole is just too bold for that age. Pretty sad really, because I really think he just wanted a bike!!! His mother does not exactly work, if you can understand what I am saying.

              The more and more I think about the case, it really did frustrate me how "the system" (prosecutor and judge) worked to deny all my motions for evidence, even the phone call! That is a BIG deal! Why? because if she told cops she got a call about some bike, but didn't, that is VERY reasonable doubt and suspicion of involvement. Thus, she would have ZERO credibility on the stand.

              ALWAYS bank on criminals to lie!


              Last edited by fastline; 12-08-2017, 02:07.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by fastline View Post

                ALWAYS bank on criminals to lie!

                Words of wisdom. Unfortunately, "he said" vs "she said" usually results in the female party getting the benefit of the doubt. In this day and age; you would think we would have wised up to this on the local levels but that is not the case.

                Thank you for imparting this experience with us. It had to be a highly aggravating and a stress filled process. Personally, I don't care if the "teenager" is 13 or 19 if they intend to stab me. I would have not reacted kindly. I would have been letting the cops know after I had drawn if a knife was presented.. I don't think I would brandish without outright drawing but I don't know all the dynamics that you dealt with in a short notice. It's easy to judge from hindsight of other accounts when you never experienced their perspective; so who knows?

                In the end I trust that changing venues to remove rube Judicials and their biased pretenses allowed you to make a case with someone less biased.

                So what I'm getting out of all this for dealing with local courts: Sometimes you gotta saddle up and move when they think you'll stand down,
                For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
                And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
                And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
                And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!
                -Lord Byron (=5 lines)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yes fixxer, really my whole point is help others understand it is the DA/prosecutor's job to act like an insurance adjuster. They want to get things settled quick while giving as little as they have to, all while making you believe they hold all the cards. In this instance, I assure you when the prosecutor learned I was not retaining counsel and going to trial, he was not concerned about losing. However, I highly doubt he anticipated me appealing the verdict OR actually following through, or being smart enough to file for a jury trial. it is truly like playing chess or poker!!

                  See, I have heard this in court before. People say they want to appeal. Paperwork is generated, but then folks back down and just take the hit because it will cost $100 in KS to appeal. I would honestly LOVE to see how many small cases get tossed once they are appealed due to the huge costs incurred by the small town. They have to REALLY want it then....AND better have a good case.

                  What really pisses me off is if I would have retained counsel, my atty and the prosecutor (who are likely buddies) would have schmoozed, and the "reduced" charge would have been "my counsel at work". And he would implore me to take the deal! Then charge me $500 for his services.

                  How do I know this? Because I also got a bogus speeding ticket last year in another small town. 99% just pay them. I don't. I watched as people's attys talked to the prosecutor and got "the deal", which is essentially a double fine, but don't send it to the state (non-moving). They offered me the exact same deal. However, I did NOT take the deal. Then I produced an informal "motion to dismiss" based of errors on my citation, that were never corrected. According to statute, a citation must have the correct time/place for court. That it did not and I showed up on the wrong day due to that. If it was the other way around, I would have a warrant! They were quick to sweep that under the rug. The prosecutor wanted my ticket back and said "my apology, let me get you a new citation written", I said I will need that original back...... LOL. Lets put it this way, I have never seen a more confused looking prosecutor. He honestly thought I was either an atty, or very tight with one. He knew this one was not going under the rug so easy. I walked out free and clear.


                  Regarding my resistance to draw, all I can say is it was a judgement call. I know a cops would have instantly! Though I carry, I have martial arts experience as well as many other real world experiences that have been MUCH more stressful. Even if I got a cut, he was not going to inflict a life ending jab and it honestly would have taken a lot for me to actually put a hole in that kid. He made a lot of bad decisions. I wanted him to get a chance to learn from them.
                  Last edited by fastline; 12-08-2017, 04:21.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Kid threatens to stab and produces a knife. That is aggravated assault, a felony. Was it made in a public place such as the court house?

                    Why were you making motions? Theft of the high end bike is a felony and the city or county prosecutor should have been doing all that.

                    You should have filed a formal complaint and then the courts would be forced to do the prosecution.
                    The people think the Constitution protects their rights; But government sees it as an obstacle to be overcome.
                    If your religion says suicide and murder are wrong; Aren't you doing both if you are not prepared to defend your life and the lives of others?
                    I am not a lawyer, but I have personal opinions.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You go to a house where you heard your stolen property was laying in the yard with a gun and allow your child to tag along?

                      If I remember correctly a man in Texas was convicted of murder for doing something very similar. He went to a house, while on the phone with 911, to complain about loud music. While standing across the street from this house 3 party goers become aggressive and actually get physical with him. He shoots each of the three. I believe one died.

                      Look at the trouble going to that house caused you, and think, it could have been much much worse. Over a bike.

                      I have a decent bike in the garage that ran me roughly $1k. That's a boat load of money to me. Still not worth the hassle.

                      Would you have gone over there without your gun?
                      Failure is an opportunity to learn.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yes, i believe I remember that story. However, I think you are leaving out some details like the guy was walking down the street with a gun IN HIS HAND, and screaming at the people while waving the gun.

                        To answer your questions honestly and not to sound condescending, yes I would do it all over again, with or without a gun. I have realized many people just don't value their stuff like I do. Someone victimized me for no reason at all. I want my stuff back and I feel letting criminals get away because "it ain't worth it" is what has criminals overwhelming the cops these days.

                        Your comments are about spot on with the way the courts twisted it all up. "I went to a house with a gun" YES I DID. I and just before that I want to Walmart with a gun, the gas station with a gun, and even a terrifying daycare facility with a gun! Did I just show up waving a gun, saying "give me my stuff back now"? NOPE, I responded only to a threat, and with what I feel is more than reasonable force.

                        I am sorry but I guess my personal belief (not to dilute anyone elses) is your rights just ended when you decided to violate mine. That does not mean I want to shoot them, but I most certainly want them charged for their crimes.

                        I think I might have a wild hair about thieves because when I was a child, I worked countless hours to fix up a mini bike my dad bought us. We were proud how nice it was. One day we had it out for sale in the yard. Some Ahat fired it up and rode off with my child self and my dad chasing him. Lost him but he was caught on it a day later. The bike was completely destroyed and he did not pay a dime. My childish side wanted to find something he cherished and bash it right in front of him!
                        Last edited by fastline; 12-09-2017, 03:33.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Even a law student could have given you some advice, paying a a newly licensed attorney wpould have solved many of your problems in dealing witha court.
                          The people think the Constitution protects their rights; But government sees it as an obstacle to be overcome.
                          If your religion says suicide and murder are wrong; Aren't you doing both if you are not prepared to defend your life and the lives of others?
                          I am not a lawyer, but I have personal opinions.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by fastline View Post
                            Yes, i believe I remember that story. However, I think you are leaving out some details like the guy was walking down the street with a gun IN HIS HAND, and screaming at the people while waving the gun.

                            To answer your questions honestly and not to sound condescending, yes I would do it all over again, with or without a gun.I have realized many people just don't value their stuff like I do. Someone victimized me for no reason at all. I want my stuff back and I feel letting criminals get away because "it ain't worth it" is what has criminals overwhelming the cops these days.

                            Your comments are about spot on with the way the courts twisted it all up. "I went to a house with a gun" YES I DID. I and just before that I want to Walmart with a gun, the gas station with a gun, and even a terrifying daycare facility with a gun! Did I just show up waving a gun, saying "give me my stuff back now"? NOPE, I responded only to a threat, and with what I feel is more than reasonable force.

                            I am sorry but I guess my personal belief (not to dilute anyone elses) is your rights just ended when you decided to violate mine. That does not mean I want to shoot them, but I most certainly want them charged for their crimes.

                            I think I might have a wild hair about thieves because when I was a child, I worked countless hours to fix up a mini bike my dad bought us. We were proud how nice it was. One day we had it out for sale in the yard. Some Ahat fired it up and rode off with my child self and my dad chasing him. Lost him but he was caught on it a day later. The bike was completely destroyed and he did not pay a dime. My childish side wanted to find something he cherished and bash it right in front of him!


                            You may call it ignorance, arrogance, stupidity, or whatever, but I am a man with a spine and I won't back down when I feel I am
                            in
                            the right.

                            I think the angle some assume is that I had some intent to go get our stuff back vigilante style. I honestly just wanted to see if the tip was correct. As soon as we ID'd the bike, I was on the phone. I was literally on the phone with 911 while she was screaming at me.

                            I know some here may assume the mother may not have known, but honestly, I am standing there with my son and talking to 911 while holding the bike.

                            I lost plenty of time over this...


                            Bolded in pink: Calling on the people paid to handle criminal matters doesn't mean you don't value your stuff. How much time, energy and money did this decision cost you?

                            Bolded in red: Do you not understand why the courts may have "twisted it all up?"

                            Bolded in blue: Going to Walmart, the gas station, or wherever else to perform your daily stuff while carrying is not the same as going to someone's house to take back your stolen property while carrying.

                            Bolded in green: If you didn't have "some intent to go get our stuff back vigilante style" and just wanted to ID the bike why were you outside of your vehicle with the bike in your hand? Did you have to enter their property to get your stuff back?
                            Failure is an opportunity to learn.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mjkeat View Post

                              Did you have to enter their property to get your stuff back?
                              No, more gray area. Bike was indicated to be laying in grass in commons area of an apartment complex. Looked at bike, picked it up to look it over, called cops. Then the criminals came out to claim their stolen goods. Technically, by legal definition, I was already in possession my own property and they were trying to rob me, again! These are all places I was headed for the district trial.

                              Let me explain this another way.... I was a track sprinter/tailback/linbacker in my athlete days. If I wanted to "take the bike back", I would have been gone way before anyone knew I even showed up. My truck was only 20ft away. I tried to do the right thing and call the police and follow all the red tape. I think as some have indicated, it becomes MUCH easier to sit in the easy chair and say what should have happened.


                              All I can say is though the small town seemed to have issue with my actions, my county that prosecuted the kid certainly threw the book at him. Denied him diversion even on the first offense and put on intensive probation for 2yrs.
                              Last edited by fastline; 12-09-2017, 20:27.

                              Comment

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