Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Judge: Driver Responsibility surcharge unfair, 'unconstitutional'

Another judge critical of Texas' Driver Responsibility surcharge, via a Lubbock TV station:
Lubbock County Justice of the Peace Jim Hansen is one of the many Texas judges working to get this law abolished.

"Because what a surcharge represents, it's double jeopardy and it's unconstitutional. You are being punished over and over and over again for the same one offense," Hansen said.

Surcharges are racked up based on convictions. Such as a DWI, or driving without valid insurance or a drivers license.

"This has created a whole new criminal class of citizens in Lubbock County," Hansen said. "I would estimate we've got about 15,000 people driving today with their drivers license suspended because of the surcharge program. And many, or most, of those don't even know that they're in this criminal class." ...

"Let me put it this way, I despise red light cameras, and I put surcharges in the same category. It's a money scam, in my opinion, even though it funds a worthy cause," Hansen said.
Radio discussion of Driver Responsibility surcharge
Lege ponders effect of 'Driver Responsibility' surcharge on DWI convictions


Anonymous said...

Hope your friends at the lege are listening to you judge.

Anonymous said...

Similarly, the sex offender registry is double jeopardy. Laws and restrictions being enforced exclusively for registrants. Even after finishing probation/parole. Sex offender drivers license fees.

Anonymous said...

@3:48, the CCA recently punted on whether the sex offender registry is double jeopardy, see http://www.texasobserver.org/texas-court-criminal-appeals-retroactive-civil-penalties/.

Kerrie Peacock said...

At least someone is willing to stand up against double jeopardy. I've heard from some people that they are alright with double jeopardy because the people are criminals anyways. So wrong!

rodsmith said...

no surprise there 4:02 the United States Supreme Court has been doing the same for over a decade.

sorry but when a court tells you that what your doing is legal BECASUE your not doing "x", "y", and "z"

then you walk out of the court and begin doing all those things. Guess what YOUR now the criminal.

that is where we have been in sex crimes law for over a decade.

the United States Of America's gov't and the lower state and local gov't have now become bigger and more dangerous criminals than those they now illegally persecute.

Unknown said...

about 5 years ago I pulled over and arrested for an insurance ticket that was 4 years old that I had forgotten about (had insurance just didn't have card at time). since I was in jail, I just pled guilty to get out. was not told anything about surcharge. I got pulled over two years ago and was notified by dps that my license suspended. thought I had paid a lawyer to take care of ticket and it was not. had to pay the ticket. dl was suspended until end of september. owed $900 for the 1st surcharge that I did not know about, plus another $300 to have dl reinstated. because of those fees, I still haven't gotten dl valid. plus I now owe new surcharge of $900. got pulled over for a license plate light being out Halloween (work in midland live in Austin, returning home to vote) got taken to jail for getting another dwli ticket. now I owe ANOTHER $900 and dl is further suspended