felony stop for littering!!


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Spoonman
March 5, 2003, 02:18 PM
I had a new and much too exciting experience yesterday.

My 25 year old son and I went to the shooting range (Hannahatchee Wildlife Management Area) to shoot yesterday. This is a pretty nice range and my family shoots there a lot, even though it's about 50 miles away. It was misting rain when we got there, so we shot from the rifle bench area (covered). We had a good father/son experience and there were no other shooters there. Afterward, we swept up our brass/ policed our targets. We had moved the 50-yard target stand to about 25 yards, so we put it back in place.

About 2 - 3 miles down the road, I was blue-lighted by a DNR officer. I put my hands casually on the wheel and awaited his instructions. He instructed me to exit and turn slowly around (from his truck). I was searched, put in the 'position' on his truck hood, given Miranda notification, and arrested (my son, too). I was informed (only after I asked) that we were under arrest for "violating range rules" by moving the target stand and because we failed to pick up all our brass (My bad. I had failed to pick up probably 30 or so .45 empties from the grass in front of the firing line.). We were taken to the Stewart County jail and told (by the DNR officer) that we had to post cash bond of $250 each. He did not set/ request a court date.

At no time was I anything but respectful and cooperative, as was my son. I have stressed to my sons that the DNR officers are among the very best of enforcement officers, with a tough and dangerous job. They are to be afforded the utmost of respect and cooperation (as should all LEOs). This officer seemed over-reactive and used unnecessary measures during this situation. I agree that he should take steps to provide for his own safety but was it really necessary to arrest cooperative citizens (who admitted their wrongdoing) when a citation would have served? Neither of us has any prior legal issues (speeding ticket about 10-12 years ago for me). Even the Stewart County Sheriff didn't understand (he released us on out own recognizance after about an hour). I went back and picked up my brass.

It's hard to reconcile this officer's behavior with my instructions to my sons when their peaceful and cooperative father was treated like Claude Dallas.

LEOs, please help me to understand. One of us out of line. Was it me?

Clif

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Tropical Z
March 5, 2003, 02:35 PM
Sounds to me like that LEO needs a psych exam!

Ian
March 5, 2003, 02:41 PM
It seems to me that if you were arrested and booked, they would have to have charged you with some specific crime. Did they? Is leaving brass on a shooting range a crime?

Anyway, from what you said, the officer is way, way out of line. Perhaps he recently transferred into the DNR from the IRS or ATF.

spacemanspiff
March 5, 2003, 02:43 PM
moving a target closer is a crime???
whiskey tango foxtrot!

Robert inOregon
March 5, 2003, 02:58 PM
Understand that littering is a serious problem in the forest, but this is a bit heavy handed. Not unusual! Your situation is not unique and many experience the wrath of these idiots every year. Just keep in mind that they are not cops in the traditional sense, exercise poor judgment and are more revenue gatherers for the state. They'll write their own mothers a ticket if they could, because its their job. They tried giving me a $350 fine for a extremely minor parking violation during hunting season last year. Judge through the case out.

cordex
March 5, 2003, 03:02 PM
Just FYI, if I'm ever at the range and you drive off without picking up a bunch of reloadable .45 brass, I'll clean it up for you. Don't you worry 'bout a thing.

Or would that be like putting change in nearly expired meters?

*sigh*

Just don't understand things these days.

Spoonman
March 5, 2003, 03:17 PM
Any suggestions on how to handle this? The case is scheduled for Probate Court, not Superior Court. In most cases in GA, the Probate Judge is elected (and often not a lawyer). I fear that this court appearance may be simply to assess a fine, without consideration of the case on its own merit. How can I determine what law I broke (if any)? I want to do what's right, not weasel out, but I don't want to get screwed (I'm a public servant. Money IS an issue for me).

Clif


Ian,

My paperwork reads: Failing to follow range rules, WMA. I (we) were not fingerprinted, etc.

12-34hom
March 5, 2003, 03:20 PM
Sounds as if this officer was "over the top"..

Your attitude & judgement was excellent concerning this matter and in dealing with this matter.

To the poster who stated that DNR officers "were not police in the traditional sense of the word" could not be more wrong.

In Iowa, the DNR officers go thru law enforcement acadmey just as every other officer does to be certified. I suspect this is true where this incident took place.

Please inform your sons that not all peace officers act in this manner. There could be any number of reasons that this officer acted in the manner you cited. I was not there so i won't speculate.

12-34hom.

synoptic
March 5, 2003, 03:24 PM
Out of curiosity, what is a DNR officer?

DeltaElite
March 5, 2003, 03:26 PM
Well to start with it wasn't a felony stop. Those are done at gun point and are much less friendly than what you describe.

I agree that the issuance of a citation on the spot was more appropriate.
Sounds like the guy doesn't have any real crime to deal with, so he makes petty offenses such as yours into major ones to feed his psyche.

I would have a chat with his Chief and find out if this is how they handle all the issues in their jurisdiction, if this is not how they do business, this guy needs to be dealt with by his agency.

There is no way in hell I would ever return to a range where you can be arrested for not picking up you brass, what a bunch of goobers.

Woodchuck
March 5, 2003, 03:44 PM
synoptic
Member

Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Huntsville, tx
Posts: 52
Out of curiosity, what is a DNR officer?


__________________
~Jeremy

Department of Natural Resources

4v50 Gary
March 5, 2003, 03:45 PM
Arrested for littering? Geez? A bit over-reactive perhaps? We generally issue a citation if anything is done at all (and most of the time there's more important things to do).

Leatherneck
March 5, 2003, 03:45 PM
Wow Spoonman, you kept your cool? I'm afraid I might not have been able to in the face of such idiocy. Arrest a man and his son for littering! Amazing. Did the DNR cop see you do something wrong?
What does your paper say? Surely you're charged with violation of XXX, right?

I'd either lawyer up, or talk with the clerk of the court, or talk with the Chief, as DeltaElite suggested. That officer needs an attitude adjustment for sure.
:rolleyes:

TC
TFL Survivor

bogie
March 5, 2003, 03:48 PM
Were the rules posted?

Does the gentleman have evidence, beyond his word, that they were broken? Where's the litter?

Spoonman
March 5, 2003, 03:53 PM
Jeremy,

DNR = Department of Natural Resources.

12-34hom,

The DNR officers in GA are academy trained + extensive training within their agency. These men and women are among the most highly-trained LEOs in the state. They are, as a general rule, very professional and courteous. This officer was professional (just not very courteous).

They DO have a hard and dangerous job. Most of their clientele are armed and sometimes uncooperative, I'm sure.

At least you guys don't think I was the one acting out of line (so far, at least). Well, I guess it was a good opportunity to demonstrate good behavior in the face of a bad situation for my son. I sure hope it doesn't turn out to be expensive.

Thanks for the support.

Clif

synoptic
March 5, 2003, 03:57 PM
So are these guys like game wardens? Do they have the same power? Does Texas have DNR officers?

Spoonman
March 5, 2003, 04:13 PM
Jeremy,

These guys ARE the game wardens in GA. They have the same arrest powers, etc as State Troopers. They probably make as many narcotics arrests as the GA Bureau of Investigation. Unfortunately, drinking and/or "burning one" seems to go hand-in-hand with hunting/ fishing/ boating in GA. :(

If there are any "woods cops" out there, thanks for trying to keep it safe out here.


Clif

DCR
March 5, 2003, 04:32 PM
Curious -

You indicate you left after you were OR'd by the sheriff and returned to the range to pick up your brass. What evidence will he now have of littering, unless he took pictures or you and your son made admissions?

I'd be willing to bet the probate judge will be every bit as confused as you - what code or rule are you being charged with violating? What, if any, paperwork has been delivered to the probate judge? What, if any, have you received? Due Process requires that you be informed of the charge your are accused of.

Sometimes probate judges do whacky things - like dismiss cases when the accused appears before them, but there is no case file or citation, and none has been given to the accused. I learned of judges who held court in their front rooms, wearing a bathrobe, and ate the evidence for supper after a fellow pled guilty to fishing without a license. Yours will probably be more formal than that, though.

Assuming you don't intend to hire an attorney to protect you from a possible reaming, you will want to do the things an attorney would do to CYA. You will probably get something in the mail; pay close attention - DO NOT miss your court date or time. You may have to call the probate judge's clerk to get a case number and have the paperwork sent to you. I'd recommend a personal visit, though - that way they put a face to the case. Get a copy of the specific rule or code you are accused of violating. If the prosecutor or state attorney is involved, send a request for discovery of all evidence they have, witness names and addresses, exhibits, LEO / DNR reports, photos, audio/video recordings, etc., they have that relate to this case, so you can see what they have against you. Send a copy of this request to the probate court as well.

You may want to sit back and make them prove their case - even if you don't testify yourself. You owe it to yourself to exercise your rights, even if you did commit the heinous acts of leaving some valuable brass at the range and moved the target.

Wait until after everything is done before you lodge any complaint about the DNR officer's behavior, if you choose to do so; do it in writing, and send it to several levels above the officer so many people are aware. Word it nicely; it's easy to ignore inflammatory letters. And please keep us posted.

Robert inOregon
March 5, 2003, 04:33 PM
To the poster who stated that DNR officers "were not police in the traditional sense of the word" could not be more wrong.

Yes, they go through the same process of being a police officers, blah, blah, blah, but that is where the similarities end. Traditional police use discretion, forest fuzz does not! The world of the forest fuzz is black and white, its about writing citations to show activity and common sense, its out the door. Their behavior is almost predatory. That is the way they are trained to be. They are lower than snot in my book. Feeling comes from experience.

Russ
March 5, 2003, 04:55 PM
Too bad he had to treat you like dirt to get his quota in. Just think, he could have escorted you back to the site and made you pick up that brass and let you go. Ah, but that would take common sense and courtesy. Certainly not a requirement for a DNR officer. I agree with Robert about them. From experience with them.

DeltaElite
March 5, 2003, 04:56 PM
We have standardized POST (Police Officer Standards and Training) training, but not all go on to Le careers.
Some become glorified security guards and meter maids.
They are technically cops, but so is my Chief. :D

We have a local city where all they do is "traffic enforcement", when they have a crime outside of that venue, they call for help since they are totally inept outside of doing traffic.
IMHO they are not cops, they are meter maids.
In fact, most are rejects from other depts FTO programs, but that is another issue entirely.

Of course, I have a bad attitude for the most part. :evil:

CZ-75
March 5, 2003, 05:05 PM
A DNR-type officer in Alabama (?) killed some guy he pulled over for speeding (apparently they are authorized to do so in AL) after the guy reached for his wallet.


Despite what has been said about them getting standard LEO training, it would seem that most are ticket writers first and foremost.

Carlos
March 5, 2003, 05:22 PM
Unbelievable. Keep us posted on the court date. I'm quite frankly shocked about how much of a moron this Ninja Cop proved to be. Can't wait to hear what he says in court.

Jeezzz!!

DCR
March 5, 2003, 05:25 PM
Don't know how your states work, but here our Fish & Game dept relies heavily on their portion of fine money and civil penalties for game violations for their funding. Naturally (no pun intended), that is quite an incentive to try to find and cite any possible thing they can, whether founded or not, which leads to abuses. I can't tell you how many times they tried to tell me they really didn't snoop through unoccupied hunting camps and unlocked parked vehicles (credible, uninvolved witnesses came forth) or that they had PC to stop pickups that didn't stop at game check stations because they "looked like they were weighted down in the back with an elk." :rolleyes: (It's a pickup, designed to carry heavy things like firewood; it's a commercially licensed truck with a big plumbing advertisement on both sides of the truck and pipes and things clearly visible in the bed; it's winter, there's snow on the ground, ever hear of traction sand?)

Wasn't too popular with them for moving for dismissal in those cases. They didn't like that I just spared them and the taxpayers a long and expensive process that wouldn't have been successful anyway BECAUSE THE EVIDENCE GOT SUPPRESSED AS HAVING BEEN OBTAINED ILLEGALLY! They also didn't like it that the judge agreed with me when he made me explain the reason for my motion to dismiss.

And they never took me up on my offers to train them on the subjects to avoid these situations in the future. :banghead:

Yes, they have tough jobs, but their mindset is warped. Be very suspect if your states are set up the same way.

Kobun
March 5, 2003, 05:30 PM
Get some evidence.
-Get a copy of the range rules.
-Go to the range and take pictures, of the range, of the posted (?) rules etc.
-Take pictures of other litter at the range. Find other peoples brass in the grass.
-Get the paperwork from court, and find what law you might have broken and have been charged with. Then READ up on that part of the law. Learn it by heart, and figure if it realy applies to your case.

-NEVER admit wrongdoing!

There is a bunch of lawyers on THR. Can some of you guys take a look at the evidence and come with some suggestions?

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?s=&postid=43854

cratz2
March 5, 2003, 05:50 PM
The only input I have is concerning the posting of the rules... I doubt if the rules have to actually be visibly posted. When you utilize the range, you must understand and abide by their rules, publicly posted or not.

No doubt they do use funding from citations issued and if you left some brass and moved a target, he probably was in the right but still, it seems excessive to me.

Good luck. :(

Ryder
March 5, 2003, 06:16 PM
I gave up using state land about 10 years ago due to the DNR gestapo. Came very close to being arrested for target practice my self.

DNR laws are proclamations. State land does not belong to the people, it belongs to the DNR and they will farm you as a crop.

I've saved a whole lot of money in permits and license fees since that day. :)

hammer4nc
March 5, 2003, 07:35 PM
spoonman,

(Non leo opinion here) Based on your story, the response seems out of line. I don't know how much time you have to spend on this, or how far you want to take it, but I'd wager you're not the first person that's been shaken down in this manner.

You might check court records, previous actions this ranger has been involved with, etc.; public records of citations by written out of this dnr office. Could even contact other "offenders", who might have had contact with the ranger and be willing to testify. The idea is to show a pattern of behavior. I've known people who have been able to document "less than professional" behavior by having a friend positioned with a video camera...use your imagination. The rambo types are easily stirred.

Most folks just pay the fine and move on. However, it sounds like the experience conflicts with principles and attitudes you've tried to teach your boy. Fighting and winning could help reinforce those. Plus, its a shame to lose a nice range that you enjoy.

DMK
March 5, 2003, 07:41 PM
Man this is absolutely ludicrious. What is up with people in authority lately. Have they all gone insane?

I know for sure that I leave a lot more than 30 shells laying around when I leave my public range. However, I also know for darn sure that I leave it a *lot* cleaner than it is when I get there. I guess that doesn't matter though. I'm still a criminal in the government's eyes. How sickeningly sad that is.

Marshall
March 5, 2003, 07:58 PM
Under the circumstances, I would lawyer up so damn fast someones head would spin. I imagine the fine was healthy or is going to be if the dude prevails. Your lawyer will get the man on the phone and see what's up, and proceed from there.

Again, what is "the charge"? Are they going to try to get you with committing a felony while in possession of a firearm? That may be the deal you face or, did face and you don't know it?

I suggest getting council to be safe!

George Hill
March 5, 2003, 08:22 PM
Get a lawyer and sue that guy.
Arrested for not picking up ALL the brass and for moving a target?
That is bogus.
I'd sue the crap out of the officer and anyone else a good bulldog attorney can come up with.

Two reasons for doing it.
1: slap that cop's hands.
2: prevent this abuse of citizens in the future... Someone like me may not have kept his cool... and the situation could have become ugly.

If I'm wrong, I'm wrong... and I'll take it on the chin. But if I am not wrong - and some jackarse is pushing is authority to get his rocks off.... Then I have a serious problem with that.

Waitone
March 5, 2003, 08:36 PM
Don't risk it. You're involved in a charlie-foxtrot and you will lose!

I've been there and done that.

Lawyer it up pronto. I'll cost some money but you'll come out without overhang.

They have no business tossing you and your son if they can't or won't tell you the specific charges.

Something is wrong here. It don't add up.

WonderNine
March 5, 2003, 08:41 PM
What the hell is a DNR officer? I have the feeling if he had tried that on me the situation would have ended very badly for both of us. This "DNR officer" (whatever that is) is not only out of line, but a complete idiot.

Blackhawk
March 5, 2003, 10:47 PM
Nice range. Tough unposted "fees". Draconian collection methods.

Think I'll stick with my not so nice private ranges. :D

Coronach
March 5, 2003, 11:01 PM
I'll echo the 'very odd' sentiment.

There would appear to be two issues here. The first is whether what he did was even an arrestable offense. If it was an arrestable offense, it would seem that everything was done properly pertaining to the arrest (thats so very hard to say, without having been there, but nothing jumps out at me), assuming the officers in question had probable cause on BOTH arrestees.

Now, before anyone gets their dander up, I'll be the very first to say that issuance of a summons, or simple citation, would be far preferable to arresting someone on something as cheesy as a littering offense. This sounds like a poor use of discretion, and is issue #2 in all of this.

This sounds like someone up the food chain at DNR has decided to start a crackdown on petty offenses at the DNR's range(s). When the higher-ups get bright ideas, the lower downs usually end up getting ulcers.

*sigh*

Mike

TearsOfRage
March 5, 2003, 11:36 PM
Did Officer Obie take twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against you?

Sodbuster
March 5, 2003, 11:48 PM
They'll write their own mothers a ticket if they could, because its their job.
Not one bit of hyperbole in that statement. Back when I hunted in Nebraska, we called them game wardens. One had this exact reputation. A power and control freak to the nth degree. Seems like a guaranteed way to pass through life alone and lonely. Glad the sheriff did what he could.

Autolite
March 6, 2003, 12:01 AM
we call them 'Fish Cops' and I fear them more than I do the R.C.M.P. I find that these 'cop-wanna-bees' act a little over zealous at times because they're trying to compensate for the fact that they're not real cops in the eyes of the general public. There job is less important than regular LEO so they 'act' more authoritative.

Gordon
March 6, 2003, 12:27 AM
Fits the term "Mall Ninja " to a 'T'! Please get a lawyer and sue, you might get the shaft otherwise. Dig up the guys past ect. Your kid can't sleep and has authority figure issues , go the whole 9 yards for your and OUR sakes!:barf:

HABU
March 6, 2003, 01:43 AM
Did Officer Obie take twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against you? TearsOfRage, Good one! I only get to hear Alice's Restaurant once a year on Thanksgiving at noon.



It's hard to reconcile this officer's behavior with my instructions to my sons when their peaceful and cooperative father was treated like Claude Dallas. .....son, some cops are just pigs........ Claude Dallas would probably have shot this guy too. It was that kind of treatment that got the two fish cops killed. Claude wasn't squeaky clean, but the one fish cop was known locally as a JBT and lots of the locals weren't dissapointed he wasnt going to be harrassing them any more. Nevertheless and not withstanding, everyone is loved by somebody and its too bad (at some level) when anyone gets killed.


Spoonman, Was Officer Stadanko hiding in the bushes or what? How did he get the lowdown on you if you and your son were alone?

Matthew Courtney
March 6, 2003, 02:04 AM
Whoa, fellows, this is supposed to be the high road. A lone officer stopping two armed men requires a bit of caution. The original poster admits to behavior that may be reasonably construed as littering. Sure, an arrest for littering is a little over the top, but after stopping two armed men, perhaps the DNR officer was shaking so bad he couldn't hold a pen steady enough to write tickets.

Byron Quick
March 6, 2003, 02:21 AM
but after stopping two armed men, perhaps the DNR officer was shaking so bad he couldn't hold a pen steady enough to write tickets.

If that was the case, the DNR officer had best find another line of work. Being as about 90 percent of the folks he stops will be hunting or target shooting.

I shoot at the Yucchi WMA range sometimes. The rules are posted. The rules about cleaning up brass, removing targets, ammunition type, target material, etc. are blatantly violated. The place usually looks like a trash dump. I've witnessed a couple of guys receiving a citation. It was justified and handled professionally.

Sounds like you ran into Officer Obie for real. They are out there.

Matthew Courtney
March 6, 2003, 02:35 AM
Experience takes time.

Even a car salesman shakes a little the first time.

The fact that some people get away with breaking the rules is not a defense.

WonderNine
March 6, 2003, 04:48 AM
Sure, an arrest for littering is a little over the top - M. Courtney

Huh? Just a little?

The fact that some people get away with breaking the rules is not a defense. (for over the top cops I'm assuming you're saying) - M. Courtney

So then you must realize this is not just a "little over the top", but WAY over the top. Somebody is alot more likely to get killed over overreaction and idiocy than apathy over possible misdemeanor litter charges.

Kahr carrier
March 6, 2003, 05:50 AM
Boy that is a little too much drama over leaving brass at the Range.At my range the guys fight over left over brass left behind by other shooters.I would get a Lawyer .Hope it works out for you.:)

Matt1911
March 6, 2003, 07:58 AM
Wow! i am really amazed to hear so many have had such bad times with DNR.:what:
I myself have never had one that wasn't fair ,and/or given me a break.
Guess i've just been lucky......

spacemanspiff
March 6, 2003, 12:31 PM
DNR= Department of Natural Resources

i think ours are called Fish & Game Officers. they have the exact same training as our State Troopers and i dont recall ever hearing about them overreacting to anything. seems to be real levelheaded up here.

M1911
March 6, 2003, 12:42 PM
Spoonman: You MUST get yourself a lawyer. It will be pricey, but believe me it will cost a lot less to get a good lawyer now than to pay a lawyer to try to get you out of a jam if you get convicted on whatever it is they are charging you with.

Put it this way, you can't afford NOT to get a lawyer.

Navy joe
March 6, 2003, 12:53 PM
I can't believe no one has noticed. Fish Cop is obviously not a reloader :D. Seriously, wear them out over it and don't back down. Keep a spare witness and a tape recorder if you talk to the boss. If you can't get him fired that way, sue the dept. Broken rule or not, you have a right to expect one american to treat you as they would want to be treated while enforcing petty rules. Don't be cowed by authority or worried about being polite, that is what they count on to make their little act work.

beemerb
March 6, 2003, 01:24 PM
I used to think that DNR officers where allso there to safeguard animals.
I was deer hunting in southeren Minn.Its bucks only for the most part.I saw a doe coming through a field with her insides hanging out.I was using field glasses so I was able to see where she went into a patch of woods.As luck would have it(i thought) a game warden drove up.I told him what I saw and told him I would take him over so he could put her out of her misery.The offer was declined.I then asked if I could go over and put her down.Would dring the doe back to him and it could donated to whoever.He went ballistic on me and told me he would put me in jail if he saw me anywhere near the are that the doe was.
SO ONE DOE DIES A LONG AND BAD DEATH BECAUSE OF A BLANKTY BLANK PERSON.
Bob

Blackcloud6
March 6, 2003, 01:40 PM
Consult a lawyer, period. Don't take internet advice.

Selfdfenz
March 6, 2003, 02:03 PM
Just like with any other type of LEO, Game Wardens, Wildfire Enforcement Officers, DNR or P&W Officers represent a specrrtum of skills and professionalism.
Some are great.
Some otherwise.This Officer seems like he was in the otherwise camp.
It could be the DNR has been having problems at the range and you were just one of the lucky fall guys.

Recently I seem to meet more Wildlife Officers that seem to be environmentalist wackos or..... frustrated cops that couldn't get the jobs they wanted as State Troopers. They are looking for the smallest infraction. They rule the woods like it is on orders from God. That mindset has to start at the top.

Soon they will have the woods to themselves as there are fewer hunters going afield each season. More birders and hikers and pot growers, but fewer hunters. Maybe that's the idea.

S-

blades67
March 6, 2003, 02:13 PM
One of us out of line. Was it me?


No, Cliff, that ------ with a badge was way out of line.:barf:

standingbear
March 6, 2003, 07:10 PM
by any chance was this guys last name fife?(as in barney):neener:

ajacobs
March 6, 2003, 08:21 PM
While I don't have any imput that hasn't already been mentioned in this thread, I am supprised at the low opinion of "wildlife" officers (not this one in particuler but them in general. I know each state runs there's diferently but I guess we are lucky in the north east. Every one, in every state I have delt with has been very professional and extreemly well trained. Up here in most states people who can't make it into the game wardens or enviromental conservation officers etc end up as state police.

Gordon
March 6, 2003, 10:57 PM
NO EXCUSE not to just issue citation at the worst. This moron needs to be stopped before he shoots somebody for grabassing or less!:cuss:

SCarruth
March 6, 2003, 11:55 PM
I believe in April 2001 the Supreme Court of the US ruled that it was ok to arrest for minor offenses such as traffic. I believe the case was a lady was arrested because she failed to buckle her kids up.

I'll echo everyones advice, get a lawyer. Also, file a complaint with the officer's agency. I am sorry you had to go through that. I am a paralegal for a criminal defense lawyer and I hear about that crap all of the time. Good Luck

M1911
March 7, 2003, 10:05 AM
Every one, in every state I have delt with has been very professional and extreemly well trained. Up here in most states people who can't make it into the game wardens or enviromental conservation officers etc end up as state police.I've dealt with several during hunting season, when they were checking my hunting license and firearms license. All were polite, professional, and easy going. I suspect that it helped that I was polite, cooperative, properly licensed, and following the rules.

2nd Amendment
March 7, 2003, 11:47 AM
In Indiana they're often called 'possum cops and they are an odd breed. They are either the finest cops you'll ever meet, with professionalism and attitude beyond reproach, or the most crooked, apathetic ticket-writing power-mongers you'll ever encounter. I've never met one that wasn't either/or. Amazing how there can be such total opposites in the same profession and with no middle ground at all.

The Plainsman
March 7, 2003, 05:36 PM
As several folks have already recommended - get an attorney. As the eldest son of an attorney, many, many times have I witnessed the futility of "remedial" law when a little up-front, "preventative" law would have resolved the entire matter. It's money well spent, considering the alternative. I'm sure the lawyers in our midst would heartily agree.

From a strictly amateur detective perspective, I would ask - can the DNR officer prove that you and/or your son moved the target? And, can he prove that any or all of the empty shell casings were left by you and/or your son? In other words, can he produce any evidence (fingerprints, etc.) to support his accusations? Was he an eye witness to your transgressions? If so, where was he situated? Given what you witnessed at the range, could he have observed any of this without you or your son seeing him? Any reason he couldn't/wouldn't have cautioned you at the time, assuming he actually observed you?

If you and your son haven't already, make LOTS of notes - when, where, who, why, what, times, dates, circumstances, etc., from start to finish. If you actually wind up in a courtroom proceeding, your memory won't count for crap. Odds are, the DNR officer has made few, if any, notes and you (or preferably your attorney) and your notes can make him look pretty foolish in front of the judge.

Mute
March 7, 2003, 05:59 PM
First, that guy is an idiot. Second, if the law does give him the authority to arrest you for what you did, then the law is screwed and needs to be done away with.

I have no need for lousy LEOs or lousy legislation. :fire:

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