[Rushtalk] Cops To Collect Traffic Fines On the Spot Via Credit or Debit Card

John A. Quayle blueoval57 at verizon.net
Tue Dec 2 13:54:53 MST 2014

At 09:41 AM 12/2/2014, Carl Spitzer wrote:
>Proof tickets are not about public safety.

         And that includes DUI's as well............

>Under Texas Bill, Cops To Collect Traffic Fines 
>On the Spot Via Credit or Debit Card
>November 12, 2014
>No. 121, introduced on Monday by State Rep. 
>Allen Fletcher, concerns “an alternative means 
>of payment of certain criminal fines and court costs.”
>“Under the procedure, a peace officer making an 
>arrest of a defendant (1) shall inform the 
>defendant of: (A) the possibility of making an 
>immediate payment of the fine and related court 
>costs by use of a credit or debit card; and (B) 
>the defendant’s available alternatives to making 
>an immediate payment,” the bill, still in its initial phase, states.
>The House bill goes on to explain that “a peace 
>officer making an arrest of a defendant: (2) may 
>accept, on behalf of the court, the defendant’s 
>immediate payment of the fine and related court 
>costs by use of a credit or debit card, after 
>which the peace officer must release the defendant.”
>Backers of the bill may attempt to argue it 
>merely provides an additional method for the 
>courts to expedite the collection of outstanding 
>payments, and may say it will free up jail space 
>to be able to hold more criminal offenders, or 
>free up court dockets to deal with more important cases.
>However, should the bill pass, it would deal a 
>devastating blow to the citizenry’s right to due 
>process, which among other things mandates an 
>appearance and assessment before a magistrate 
>prior to a case proceeding to trial, and would 
>set the legal precedent wherein everyday police 
>officers would be empowered to take on the roles 
>of judge, jury and executioner – and charge “related court costs.”
>Not explicitly stated is the fact that, under 
>the bill, traffic cops would be required to 
>carry around credit card swiping machines, in 
>addition to citizens’ private credit or debit 
>card information, which could open the doors to 
>a litany of personal security risks and liabilities.
>If the bill were to pass, it would follow a 
>disturbing trend set by other states such as 
>North Carolina, whose populace recently voted in 
>favor of passing a 
>permitting criminal defendants to waive their 
>rights to a jury trial, allowing law enforcement 
>to pressure them into surrendering due process as part of a plea bargain.
>In areas such as Tenaha, Texas, where 
>were exposed to be running a racket operation 
>tantamount to highway robbery, it would be much 
>easier for police to extract wealth from 
>unsuspecting travelers who would rather pay 
>immediate fines than revisit an out-of-the-way 
>small town for a trivial court appearance.
>Indeed, the passage of H.B. No. 121 would go a 
>long way in destroying the illusion that traffic 
>cops work in the interest of public safety, and 
>would lay bare that the state leverages 
>arbitrary traffic laws to fleece the American public.
>Rushtalk mailing list
>Rushtalk at csdco.com
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