Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
John asks: I got a ticket recently. I wasn’t speeding but I haven’t got a driver’s license, insurance, or valid registration.
Can I use the Uniform Criminal Code in court where it states an automobile is considered household goods and doesn’t require to be registered, insured and the like? There’s no injured party plus I never signed a contract with them. No case, right?
My reply: Wrong – unfortunately.
I agree with you – in principle – that being forced to possess a valid driver’s license, buy and display tags and purchase insurance are all violations of basic rights (e.g., the right to travel freely using the common right-of-way) and that punishing anyone in the absence of an injured party – harm caused – is an egregious affront, worse than simply robbery or extortion because done under color of law.
But in practical terms, none of that matters. If you get caught driving a car by an AGW without a valid DL, plates or insurance, the AGW will issue you various “tickets” – i.e., extortion demands under color of law – and will probably arrest you on the spot and cart you off to jail, while your car is carted off to the impound lot.
When you get before the judge, he will convict you, on the basis of “the law” – which is what he says it is. And that’s it.
That said, you can “get away” with ignoring some of these obnoxious requirements. And there are ways to end-run some of them, too. For example, by getting a vehicle old enough to qualify for Antique tags (no annual registration fee; no emissions/safety inspections required) or ratty enough to qualify for Farm Use tags. Buy the most basic – cheapest – insurance coverage the state you’re in allows.
And maintain a low profile. Operate, to the degree you are able, under the radar. Trouble avoided is trouble you don’t have to deal with.
. . .
Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!
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Agree with all the below, we live in a lawless society, where the law is whatever some self proclaimed ruler/decider/authority says it is. Liberate your mind, ignore/evade/make their efforts unprofitable. We are here because nobody fought for freedom after the war against southern independence. We put up with income taxes, property taxes, gun control, licensed privileges for everything, because it’s more profitable and safe than doing the honorable right thing and putting our precious asses on the line.
Which is why I’m hopeful about the current situation, the big corona power grab is ripping the blinders off a lot of law and order conservatives, and even some of the less dim leftists. The nature of things is that people give ground until cornered, and a hell of a lot of people are cornered now and realizing it.
What it comes down to is state’s legal codes. Every state has in their legal code something to the effect that all vehicles operated on the public roads must be registered, and operated only by those who have a valid operator’s license…yada yada.
The Sovereign Citizen types will refer you to Black’s Law Dictionary or antiquated documents which define what “driving” is, etc. but those sources are not the law. The state codes contain the definitions that matter- the ones the state uses- so there’s really no way around it.
In the past, some have taken such cases as driving without a license to the Supreme Court ….and the SCOTUS has always ruled in favor of the states.
There really is no rule of law anymore in this country- The government doesn’t uphold the Constitution or many of it’s own laws….they just do what they want- and since they have the big automatic weapons, and the mercenaries who are willing to wield them on command against their fellow man, even when that man has done nothing to cause harm to another person….they win.
The Sovereign Citizen gurus are essentially snake-oil salesmen who promise “liberty”, but unfortunately their advice does nothing but land their followers in legal trouble and in jail, while making them a lot more poor.
The Sovereign Citizens have their hearts in the right place; they are trying to make a case that has moral validity but – as you note – has no legal validity. “The law” is what those with guns – and gavels – say it is and that’s it. And they say it’s statute and code, as enacted and interpreted by them, at their pleasure. The plain meaning, even, of the amendments in the Bill of Rights does not apply; only their parsing of those words – as elaborated by statute – applies. Thus, the 4th Amendment does not protect us against “unreasonable” searches – without probable cause or a court order. Our “right” to “keep and bear arms” has been “infringed,” serially. We do not have the right to “peaceably assemble.” We are required to provide evidence against ourselves.
What remaining freedoms we had were merely some leeway still allowed until it no longer was – Because Corona, now and ongoing.
Good point Eric. They have some fantasy in their heads, that words on paper mean what the words read as. The reality is all about power. With all due respect to the Judge (one of the leading Constitutional scholars of the age) the Law, means what ever those in power, at a given time, say that it means. In other words, those wearing the Funny Hats, get to give orders to the big men with the (clubs/spears/swords/guns). Same as it ever was.
Amen, BJ! A perfect illustration of the corruption of “the learned bastions of jurisprudence”, and their utter contempt for the Constitution and our basic lioberties and dignity, is how they justify “DWI checkpoints”: “It’s not a ‘random search’ if we stop every nth car”. They would have us believe that they are so ignorant of the clear intent of the amendment that they can not figure out that such is a blatant violation of the very principle which the amendment enjoins! What a farce, eh?!
Well-said, on all counts, my friend.
Re: Sovereign Citizens: I do try and make a distinction between those who are just in it seeking freedom, vs. “the gurus” who are giving such people false hope by touting (and selling) a bunch of worthless legal mumble-jumble. The principles are often right….but of course, as a legal defense in the current world, they don’t work to secure one’s freedom.
I wish I had saved it but many many years ago I read an article on how driving became an effective privilege. Someone had gone through the laws and history the way Larkin Rose did for the income tax.
The sovereign citizens are correct in that driver’s licensing and the rest is a big scam but they have this magical thinking that the system will roll over because they know it. That if they play the game correctly and thread the needle or walk a tight rope it will work out. It simply doesn’t. The people operating the system have exactly zero clue to its history. They are told things are this way and carry it out with violence or threat there of.
Brent, I love it when the Sovereign gurus instruct people to reason obscure details of their legal theories with AGWs! Yeah…..you’re dealing with some boob who at best has an IQ no higher than 103- but most likely closer to 70 – but we’re supposed to assume that he’s “in” on the grand conspiracy to subdue our liberties, but if we let him know that we know the scam, he’ll let us go… LOL. “If I just write the appropriate words on my cardboard home-made plate, and explain it to him, I should be good!”.
Wait — I was led to believe that if you just point to the fringe on the flag and tell the judge that you reject his authority, he’ll just mutter, “Curses! Foiled again!”, bang the gavel and dismiss the case.
Are you saying that’s not how it actually works in real life?
Yeah that’s the thing about those sovereign citizen types and a few others. They think that once they know the scam that the system is just going to go “this one can see” and let them go. Of course not. The lower levels of the system are inhabited by and operated by people who are nothing more than drones. They will laugh and then continue as if nothing valid was offered in defense.
The best outcome is that after several appeals and great expense the charges get dismissed. That battle takes years. But if they are argued into a corner they are going to dismiss the ticket and preserve the greater scam. Meanwhile several more tickets were issued that have to be fought the same way.
It’s like the IRS. Sure Larkin Rose proved using the law that the income tax does not apply to wages and salaries and can’t. It simply doesn’t matter because they have the guns and 99% of the population believes it does and won’t listen to reason on it. Same with the motoring registration and licensing laws.
What Brent said. There may be and probably is some technical legal merit to these stratagems but they’re functionally useless. “The law” is what those with guns and badges and robes say it is. You can disagree and argue till you’re blue in the face – and your wallet is empty – they’ll still ticket/impound/arrest/jail you.