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Are Georgia state "super speeder" laws unconstitutional?

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  • Are Georgia state "super speeder" laws unconstitutional?

    Are Georgia state "super speeder" laws unconstitutional?

    While so many individuals in previous threads appear to be willing to sacrifice or forfeit their Constitutional rights and protections in the name of public safety, I for one am not.

    The purpose of the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution is to protect people from multiple punishments or successive prosecutions arising from the same conduct. The Double Jeopardy Clause, provides that no person shall “be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.” U.S. Const., Amdt. 5. In the state of Georgia, double jeopardy is known as multiple prosecutions for the same conduct in Georgia. It is further defined by Georgia Law as: “When the same conduct of an accused may establish the commission of more than one crime, the accused may be prosecuted for each crime. He may not, however, be convicted of more than one crime if: 1. One crime is included in the other; or 2. The crimes differ only in that one is defined to prohibit a designated kind of conduct generally and the other to prohibit a specific instance of such conduct.” Ga. Code Ann. § 16-1-7 (West 2020). Multiple prosecutions for the same conduct applies to all felonies, misdemeanors, and juvenile convictions in Georgia. Under the statute, the accused may be prosecuted for two crimes based on the same conduct, but they may not be convicted of more than one crime if one crime is included in the other.

    Many individuals, especially out-of-state drivers, elect to pay the associated fine and forfeit the right to contest a speeding ticket in court. Paying the fine associated with a Georgia Uniform Traffic Citation, Summons and Accusation, constitutes a conviction for specified offenses. As previously mentioned, Georgia state law prohibits conviction of more than one crime “if one crime is included in the other.” In order to be charged with violation of the Georgia state “super speeder” law, one must actually have been speeding. The only way possible to be convicted for violation of the Georgia “super speeder” law is for one to already have been convicted for speeding. In other words, to subsequently be charged with and found guilty of violation of the Georgia “super speeder” law, after already admitting to guilt for speeding and paying associated fines/fees, is conviction for a one crime that is included in the other. The application and subsequent conviction for violation of “super speeder” law is unlawful in accordance with existing Georgia state law and section 16-1-7 of Georgia Code. Ga. Code Ann. § 16-1-7 (West 2020).

    Further, in United States v. Dixon, 509 U.S. 688 (1993), the Supreme Court of the United States upheld that the protections afforded under the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment “applies both to successive punishments and to successive prosecutions for the same criminal offense.” United States v. Dixon, 509 U.S. 688, 696 (1993). The application of Georgia state “super speeder” law is unequivocally a “successive punishment” and “successive prosecution” for the same criminal offense. The requirement to be first be convicted for violating Georgia state law prohibiting speeding, in order to then subsequently be charged with violating the Georgia state “super speeder” law, highlights the fact that the Georgia “super speeder” law relates directly to a “successive punishment” and “successive prosecution” for the same criminal offense.

    Alternatively, the requirement to pay “super speeder” fees may be considered to not be a “successive prosecution” and simply related to an additional fee resulting from a previous criminal conviction. However, the requirement for the Georgia Department of Driver Services to receive a qualifying ticket (otherwise known as a Georgia Uniform Traffic Citation) and notice of conviction, before notifying offenders of the imposition of “super speeder” fees, emphasizes that the imposition of “super speeder” fees undeniably are a “successive punishment.” Ga. Code Ann. § 40-6-189(b) (West 2020). As previously stated, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld that the protections afforded under the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment “applies both to successive punishments and to successive prosecutions for the same criminal offense.” United States v. Dixon, 509 U.S. 688, 696 (1993) (emphasis added). In other words, the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, is applicable to “successive punishments” without necessarily also requiring “successive prosecutions.”

    In Dixon, the Supreme Court of the United States stated, “in both the multiple punishment and multiple prosecution contexts, this Court has concluded that where the two offenses for which the defendant is punished or tried cannot survive the ‘same-elements’ test, the double jeopardy bar applies.” United States v. Dixon, 509 U.S. 688, 696 (1993). See, e.g., Brown v. Ohio, 432 U.S. 161, 168–169 (1977); Blockburger v. United States, 284 U.S. 299, 304 (1932) (multiple punishment); Gavieres v. United States, 220 U.S. 338, 342 (1911) (successive prosecutions). Notably, Georgia state law does not provide any elements specific to violating the “super speeder” law and relies only on a ‘previous conviction’ for “driving at a speed of 85 miles per hour or more on any road or highway or 75 miles per hour or more on any two-lane road or highway, as defined in Code Section 40-6-187.” Ga. Code Ann. § 40-6-189 (West 2020). The Georgia “super speeder” law lays out the requirement to already be convicted for a violation under section 40-6-187 of Georgia Code. This effectively explains that the elements of both offenses are exactly the same. Violation of an offense, as defined in Georgia Code section 40-6-187, is literally included in the elements to meet the requirements for violation of the Georgia state “super speeder” law and the application of its associated fee. As such, the Georgia “super speeder” law, under section 40-6-189 of Georgia Code, is un-Constitutional, in violation of existing Georgia state statutes, and in violation of existing case law as established by the Supreme Court of the United States.

    I understand the importance of abiding by applicable traffic laws regarding speeding. I understand that traffic laws are designed and intended to protect the safety of one's self and others. I likewise understand that violation of those laws results in consequences. However, those laws and related consequences should not inherently violate U.S. Constitutional law, the Constitutional rights of those individuals that they apply to, existing Georgia state law, and/or established and applicable case law.

    Anyone convicted of violating the Georgia state "super speeder" law and has the associated additional fine of $200 imposed on them, should appeal to the Georgia Department of Driver Services. While the Georgia Department of Driver Services may not have the legal authority to amend, modify, or otherwise create Georgia state law, it does have the moral and ethical responsibility to not enforce laws or impose associated fees that are determined to be unconstitutional or otherwise unlawful. In fact, the purpose of such an appeal is to determine if the Georgia Department of Driver Services indeed will act “in accordance with the law in taking such action.” Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. 375-1-1-.06(1) (West 2021). Additionally, those affected individuals should be encouraged to contact the office of the governor for the state of Georgia and express their concerns. Even if not a constituent residing in the state of Georgia, anyone potentially issued a Georgia Uniform Traffic Citation is affected by Georgia state law. Until Georgia law has been appropriately modified or amended to be in compliance with U.S. Constitutional law, individuals who fall under the current version of section 40-6-189 of Georgia Code (Georgia's "super speeder" law) will continue to have their Constitutional rights violated by the state of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Driver Services.

    Respectfully,

    jtalbert78

  • #2
    individuals who fall under the current version of section 40-6-189 of Georgia Code (Georgia's "super speeder" law) will continue to have their Constitutional rights violated by the state of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Driver Services.
    More hogwash from the lunatic fringe that also believes you have a right to drive without a driver license and that the US income tax is voluntary and you don't have to pay it. Quotes from case decisions always are one or two sentences taken out of context. When the full decision is read it invariably turns out not to support the writer's contention.

    I pity any fool who wastes his/her time reading and believing any of this crap.

    Comment


    • #3
      Well I for one think it's is spot on!

      And something has to be done about this crazy over-ticketing in some GA areas. (as many discussions and many people here note)

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