My question involves civil rights in the State of: Georgia
Ok back in like 2000 I was with my family in their car...a friend wanted to go with us...we parked in a shopping center parking lot and the guy went into the store and apparently tried to walk out with a door hinge without paying (25 bucks)..he threw the door hinge down outside the door (the store employee took it back inside the store) and got back in the door as we was leaving etc etc.
I never got out of the car..I was just a passanger. Well about 2 weeks later I see a help wanted sign so I go in and fill out application and consent to background check...2 cops walk in and arrest me. They said I have a warrant (apparently someone recognized me in the car and said my name). They told me I had a warrant for stealing a door hinge.
Well I bonded out etc...then I go to a "plea" hearing.. I was told all I would have to do is say guilty or not guilty...of course I'm pleading not guilty. So my name is called..I go up and say "not guilty"...judge looks angry at me and tells me to sit back down...this repeated about 6 times...every 30 minutes I'm called up to the stand and I calmly say "not guilty" and each time I'm told to sit back down. Gets to where only 2 people left in the court room waiting to be seen. Cop walks over and wispers in my ear and says "say not guilty SIR". So 7th time Judge again says...how do you plead....I again say not guilty. This time the Judge gets very angry and raising his voice at me and says something like....YOU WILL CALL ME SIR!!! I calmly say that I do not feel comfortable calling someone I do not know SIR and my belief is that all people are equals so I feel calling someone sir would be me saying people are not equals and my belief is that calling someone sir would be a form of idol worship and against my religious belief (I do NOT feel comfortable giving anyone a SUPERIOR title much less a complete stranger, I leave the SUPERIOR titles to parents, grandparents, and my God)....I calmly told him I was only told I would just have to say guilty or not guilty and I choose to plead not guilty because I am no where on the store cameras and the suspect is a foot taller than me with blonde hair and receding hairline and does not wear glasses...all of which shows I am not the suspect and I also have witnesses to show I was just a passanger in my families car and never got out so I would like to just plead not guilty.
I then proceeded to calmly state that I still have not been able to get any legal counsel and handed him paper work which showed I had been approved for legal counsel (was a paper given to me by the D.A I believe). The paper stated I was APPROVED for legal counsel and the D.A is who handed it to me. The judge looks at me and says...only I can approve you a lawyer or legal counsel not anyone else and I am denying it. I asked why since I was arrested they said if I can not afford one then one will be appointed to me and I have no job and was trying to get a job at the time of arrest. Judge says...you having no job does not give you a right to counsel, lawyers, attorneys etc etc then he says...do you think the tax payers of this county should HAVE to pay for your counsel just because you have no job????
I tell him calmly....look I just want to plead not guilty and would like a jury trial....instantly he stands up and says "Even if your found not guilty you are paying court fines and for every time you said not guilty in MY court room you are being fined 250 bucks" then yells "PUT HIM IN CUFFS NOW!!!". I'm thinking ummm wtf you know....I say..wait a minute if I'm found not guilty why would I have to pay all the court costs and have to pay 250 everytime I pleaded not guilty during a plea hearing?? At this time I was being cuffed and the judge says "I make the laws in my court room and as of right now your being arrested for contempt of court for refusing to call me SIR". I was put in a holding cell and I was told I would not be able to get bonded out and would have to stay there until my court date. I was in there from Friday to Monday. On Monday I was told I would not be able to get out till my court date which may be 6 months from that Monday unless I plead guilty. 3hrs later I'm taken out of my holding cell and lead to a table where a woman walks in and says her name then says I need to plead something I can't rememeber...it was someone's name vs state of North Carolina (I was told it was a supreme court case and means they can't charge me with anything)...I only seen this lady maybe 10 minutes tops....hr later I'm lead to the court room with my hands cuffed, jumpsuit..and chains around my waist. Best I can tell is this was another plea hearing since that's all I heard being said in there...my name is called and judge said..guilty or not guilty..so I say the person's name vs state of North Carolina....Judge looks at me weird and then a court employee tells judge, that means you can't charge him with that crime....Judge said he never heard of it and a employee leaves then comes back and says..yes it is in the supreme court cases. This makes Judge even more angry....he tells the cop to take me back to my cell. 2 hrs later I'm taken out of the cell and given a paper that says I'm ordered to anger management classes, I'm ordered to 1 year probation, have to pay 37 bucks every 2 weeks, and court ordered to have a job, and have to visit a probation officer 4 counties from where I lived every single week, was given my belongings and sent out the jail door. I never cussed, never raised my voice, or anything like that in the court room. One my paper work it shows nolle on the shoplifting and guilty for criminal trespassing. Well I put in numerous job applications and no job would give me a call back because this recent arrest was now on my background...so I was given violation of probation and was put in small holding cell for about 38 days str8 where I informed a guard I could not sleep so I was given some sleeping pill and lithium along with several other pills for about 32 days in the holding cell...after 38 days I was brought into the court room again and put back on probation....I kept being brought in for not finding a job....was in and out of that jail for the following 2 years over this "not finding a job" thing. For the anger management they said I was not following instructions...they would ask me what makes me angry and things like that and I kept telling them I do not get angry and I have done nothing in a angry fashion to warrant anger management. Sorry if this was long but it has always bugged me and I have a feeling I was done very wrongly...I have even gone over my paper work to see if that lady was a lawyer or anything but I do not see a lawyer on my paperwork at all. My court records can be viewed online for free to the public and can see where it shows I was fully 100 percent denied any form of legal counsel (it states it on the public court records). Anyway would just like to hear from others on their opinion. The judge was just flat out refusing to accept me saying not guilty even though I had witnesses and their store security video showed someone other than myself.