1. Given citation for no proof of insurance. Released on OR.
2. Present in court on correct date and sentenced to community service (46 hrs, I think... Never actually told) for failure to produce proof of insurance and due to being unemployed and an impending eviction (had been delivered "final notice" by Sheriff two weeks prior to court date.) Judge was extremely irate about my situation where as others were given the opportunity to make payment arrangements.
3. Performed (at least) twenty-four hours of community service without incident on the following Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and was released for the weekend.
4. Inquired about ability to make payments on the remainder of the fine with various municipal employees (before leaving and on the Sunday prior to returning) and was told that was a normal occurrence but would require approval by the magistrate (Judge only sits for two consecutive days a month - about three weeks later on the day I asked).
5. Obtained a part-time job over the weekend.
6. Finalized removal of personal belongings on that weekend from our home leaving only one room with blankets, clothes and pets.
7. On the following Monday, I arrived early; went to the supervisor and described my intent. He said that was fine, to ask the magistrate when they opened at 8:00. I asked if it was okay for me to leave to do so and was told it would be fine.
8. I then went to the employer to verify my employment would be available (day labor and starting late due to circumstance).
9. Afterwards, I went to the magistrate's office; waited for them to open and was told flatly that I could do no such thing, that I was to obey the Judge's order and that only he could change the order.
10. She stated that I had to return to the community service location immediately.
11. I made a remark to my wife about needing my lunch and needing to change clothes, but left with the intent to retrieve those items, vacate my home (per the Sheriff order as the judge was aware was necessary) and then return to the community service center.
12. As we were packing the car (around 9:00, 9:15), an officer drove down our road. A few minutes later, another officer arrived and they served the warrant.
13. I was never placed into handcuffs. Never given notice of my Miranda Rights. I was allowed to drive myself, my wife and our vehicle to the police department where I was told to go inside to discuss the situation with the magistrate ("Let's go in here and find out what is going on").
14. As I was being (apparently) arrested, my wife was only told that she would need to make 'alternate arrangements' (We had stated our intent to sleep in the vehicle nearby - which she was unable to move due to it being a manual transmission).
15. I was NOT given a copy of the warrant but was told that the warrant had been signed on the day prior. When I requested a copy of the warrant, I was told that I would have to subpoena it.
16. After being released on bond, I returned the following day (on time) to perform the remaining community service (but was instead escorted from the property about an hour later by the same officer who had 'arrested' me the day before). I went to clock out and then went to the magistrate.
17. When asking for some notice regarding my release from obligation to continue to perform the community service, I was told that the bond was being held in lieu of that service and that "WHEN" I was found guilty, any remaining money would be due after the court costs and fine for the FTA (reason for the warrant being issued - I presume) were subtracted from the bond. A written release was flatly refused - as was a written total of my hours performed.
18. A senior officer who I had befriended (and had been given other employment information by during my previous days of community service) upon hearing the details of what I have previously written told me to go get an attorney (quite emphatically) and told me that I would not need money to retain one. He declined to state why (for obvious reasons) but was very firm about my need for a non-court-appointed attorney and the fact that I would regret not doing so.
So, should I seek out an attorney? I do not have much time. The court date on the FTA is impending.
Also, I should say:
That I have a 'perfect record' (both traffic and criminal).
I had previously lived at the same location for three years (without incident)
There has been an ongoing investigation into this particular municipal entity due to employee theft, misuse of NCIC services, etc. off and on for the last couple of years.