Friday, 13 March 2015

DUI: Can You Afford to Live Above the Law?

Please excuse me while I rant for a minute.

Our new phone book showed up at the door the other day. Nothing newsworthy or unusual about that; it happens every spring. But unlike previous years, this time I took a second look, mainly because the style and size had changed.

I did a quick flip through it, something that I probably won't do again until next year's issue comes out, when an ad in the Lawyers section caught my attention. It was just a random fluke; I wasn't looking for anything in particular, and I certainly didn't need a lawyer. What caught my attention was what I read between the lines, and that was this:

Apparently the law doesn't apply to you if you have money.

Now please understand, I'm not an unsympathetic old fool, and I realize that any of us can and do have momentary errors in judgment, but the fact is, if these lawyers "have successfully defended thousands of persons charged with impaired driving over the last 22 years," and if they "currently defend over 300 impaired driving cases each year" as their ad claims, then either no impaired driving charge should ever go to court, or all impaired driving charges ought to be dismissed. As an aside, it would be interesting to find out what percentage of the proverbial "get out of jail free" cards this represents, but I've digressed; that's not my point.

Please hear what I am saying and not what I am not saying. I am not suggesting that it's OK to drink and drive. Nor am I suggesting that people who break the law should get away with it; far from it. But I am suggesting that the law seems a little unfair to the poor slobs who cannot afford the best lawyer to get them off the charges like the people who can afford to hire these fancy lawyers apparently can (and regularly do).

But this two-tier legal system transcends simply DUI charges; we've all seen cases in the media where even the wealthy murderer beats the law, simply because he's had the money to hire the very best smooth-talking shyster lawyers.

Something is very, very wrong with our judicial systems if/when the outcome of the legal process is determined by who has the bigger bank account. What kind of justice is that? That's nothing but glorified bribery! Then again, I suppose I'm preaching to the choir here.

Moral of my rant: Unless you've got a fat wallet, better abide by their laws, because you probably can't afford the rich-man's version of the law. That's the way I see it. Peace.

Traffic Sign Photo Credit: 911 Bail Bonds Las Vegas; Flickr Creative Commons

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