16 January 2013

Holiday Lull

Things seem to be picking up in criminal court now that the holidays are over. We have had a little lull in criminal charges being filed. Whether this is for the reason that most law enforcement has been on vacation or they have felt the Christmas spirit is undetermined. It is unlikely that the level of crime itself has dropped; it is possible everyone has been so busy they just didn't notice. But it would appear that all are back to work now watching diligently for lawbreakers and other malcontents. Associate District Court in Jasper County was busy this morning and it was not the usual run of the mill charges such as OWI, assault, domestic assault, driving under suspension or shoplifting at Walmart. One defendant was in court for stabbing someone-a rather unusual occurrence in Jasper County. A second defendant was charged with counterfeit money which is very unusual. Although being on the Interstate, one would think that passersby would be using the counterfeit stuff here more than we see. There is the occasional drive off from a gas station usually by someone living in California or some other far distant land where an intrastate arrest warrant will never appear. Once the pot smokers and the driveoffs bond out and disappear they seldom return to court and face the charges. That appears to them to be a satisfactory disposition of the case since they verbally announce their intention of never returning to the State of Iowa or if they do return, doing it surreptitiously. Unfortunately I-80 flows from New York City to San Francisco and Iowa can be difficult to miss. My advice to them would be not to drive a rental care and not to rent a car with California, Washington, Colorado, Arizona, or Nevada plates. We also have a slough of new deputies and policemen in the county who, being really green, see it as their duty to maintain law and order for the protection of the citizenry not realizing, of course, that it is the citizenry they are citing or arresting. Again we make the distinction between those charged with a crime and those not charged with a crime. Committing a criminal act doesn't count as long as the person is not charged.