Innocent till established guilty.
That’s a pretty large part of the justice method in America. No matter the proof towards you, the situations surrounding your arrest or the number of dead-certain eyewitnesses who noticed you commit a crime, till a judge or jury hear both sides of a situation towards you, you are innocent.
So, why is not it doing work that way in Montgomery when it comes to proof of insurance coverage?
Under our recent setup in the city, a motorist concerned in an accident should be able to show a responding police officer evidence of a valid insurance coverage policy.
That’s no dilemma. Nor is it a dilemma that the officer will get to make a determination at the scene as to no matter whether the motorist’s insurance is “valid” by employing the state’s new online database.
The dilemma is this: Not only does the officer make the determination, he also then will get to impose the fine. With no a judge ever seeing proof. With no a courtroom ruling of any type. With no the innocent-until-established guilty motorist obtaining an possibility to supply a defense.
And this is no small fine being imposed.
The driver, who’s nevertheless innocent, will be seeking at a $ 50 administrative fee to remove an impound hold on the vehicle. There’s also a $ 75 towing fee made to the towing business and a $ 25-per-day storage fee. There’s another $ 125 fee charged by the towing business following 10 days.
So, at a minimal, before guilt is ever established in a court of law, a Montgomery citizen is searching at $ 150 in non-refundable fees.
Did I mention that, according to Montgomery City Councilman Arch Lee, there have been troubles with the state’s insurance coverage database mislabeling some insurance coverage policies, foremost to some valid insurance policies becoming invalidated?
So, think about this: You simply forgot to change the not too long ago expired proof of insurance coverage card in your wallet with the new one particular. You’ve had an accident. The database kicks back an erroneous report stating your policy is not legitimate.
Now, your auto is going to be impounded, costing you a minimum of $ 150. If you can not pay out that minimal instantly, the price tag rises each day. If it’s 11 days or a lot more right up until payday, you’re hunting at a grand complete of $ 525 simply to get your wrecked vehicle back in your driveway, and the wreck may possibly not have even been your fault.
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Oh, and by the rule of law in this nation, you are still innocent.
Of program, the counter argument here is that the law plainly states a person have to have a copy of the evidence of insurance or maintain it in the motor vehicle. And there are more techniques than ever before, in today’s technologically innovative world, for men and women to show they have legitimate insurance.
Follow the law and you will not have a difficulty, they say. Are you positive about that?
Police officers aren’t superhuman. They make mistakes just like the rest of us. The vast majority of these mistakes are sincere ones, but there have been a handful of cases — in Montgomery and across the country — of police officers breaking the law.
There was an embarrassing incident in Montgomery in 2010 in which a cop was arrested for robbing the Hispanic motorists he pulled in excess of.
A handful of troubles or blunders shouldn’t taint the great perform that police do. It is a harmful, difficult work and I’m glad a person is willing to do it.
But at the exact same time, we have this legal method in area for a explanation — because mistakes occur. Disagreements happen. I’m virtually convinced that 2 men and women cannot observe a automobile wreck and then supply matching descriptions of what happened.
Thankfully, when it comes to legal issues, there’s a technique to handle this kind of disagreements and mistakes. It is not a ideal program, and it does not get every little thing appropriate. But it’s there for a reason.