Have you ever gotten a parking ticket or been stopped for speeding? I have. The thought of simply ignoring it never occurred to me. It appears that about three-quarters of the people in Virginia just rip them up.
According to the AP, Nearly half the fines and fees levied by Virginia courts went unpaid over the past five years, according to a state audit. And for traffic cases, it was much, much worse.
District courts assessed more than 80 percent of the total fines and costs because that's where traffic cases go. The collection rate for the traffic court was 27%. Think about that. That means that about three quarters of the people who get traffic tickets simply ignore them.
And what happens when you don't pay? Pretty much … nothing.
The attitude of the legal system is that they don't have the manpower or time to actually go after the people who simply ignore them. They also claim that some of the scofflaws are either in jail or too poor to pay the fines. So if you're poor you quicly learn that you can speed or park anywhere without worrying about the consequences. Gaming the system can involve just ignoring fines, or it can involve calling 911 over 100 times to get a ride to town in an ambulance, figuring it's just part of your Medicaid benefits at a cost to taxpayers of about $400,000. Which makes paying fines sort of like the income tax. If you have some money and grow up in an environment where you are taught to obey the law you pay all the fines, if you're poor the government lets you skate. Welcome to America.
Just after reading about this I read this heartfelt story about the son of legal immigrants, Ray Tranchant, who lost his daughter to an illegal alien. Here's part of what he wrote.
Alfredo Ramos, the illegal immigrant who killed my daughter Tessa and her friend Allison Kunhardt as he blindly drove his car at 70 mph through an intersection in Virginia Beach, was invisible. He had been stopped many times by local law enforcement, brought in front of judges, released.
It reminds me of the recent releases of deportees due to sequestration, authorized by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and ICE Secretary John Morton. They must not have known about Ramos and his kind, whom the system brushes with invisible paint.
Imagine, Homeland Security has enough confidence in these deportees that they would trust them to return to court for their hearings. Do we have any idea what it cost to catch them?We trusted that, after several stops and arrests for DUI, Ramos would just be deported. He was only stopped after he killed those beautiful girls.
This is what brings these two stories together. I have zero confidence that even if the amnesty program is implemented and works as designed, the criminals who don’t bother with background checks and fines will be painted with invisible paint. Just like it does the three-quarters of those who don’t pay their parking tickets and the 40% who don’t pay the fines assessed by District Courts.
Ray Tranchant again:
It reminds me of the gun laws that we are so desperately trying to change. America can sure track the people that follow the law, but the ones who don't stay invisible until a heinous crime is committed.There were close to 500 gun deaths last year in Chicago by criminals with "invisible" guns, who somehow didn't bother to register the weapon or take National Rifle Association gun safety courses. I wonder why?
Meanwhile the rest of us are the victims, like Ray Tranchant and his daughter, of people who the government doesn't want to see. Just as ObamaCare is now viewed by its main Senate sponsor, Max Baucus, as a train wreck, “Illegal Amnesty II” could well be America’s Hiroshima.