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Double Jeopardy – Update

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A news story at: http://www.chippewa.com/articles/2009/09/29/news/doc4ac21e4fed6f2658433102.txt provides some interesting further details about the prosecution of Michael Kozlowski on Federal charges of log falsification.

The story says in part: "…However, after the conviction, Judge Barbara Crabb narrowed the definition of “used” that the prosecution needed to show and threw out the conviction. She said the prosecution did not show that Kozlowski used them, only that he possessed them."

The prosecution originally appealed this decision, but has now filed a motion to dismiss, since they can’t prove he was in their jurisdiction when he falsified them.

Interesting.

This story brings to mind an incident that happened to me some years ago.

I got stopped at a scale in Georgia, and had my logbook inspected. The DOT man was flipping through the pages and counting hours. After a couple of minutes, he told me to pull around back and come in with my license, bills, and permits. (BTW, these are words that strike fear into the heart of every truck driver).

When I got inside, the DOT man was behind the counter with a couple of other DOT types. They were all looking at my logbook and laughing, and making comments like "You’ve really got this one". This wasn’t looking good. At all.

I went up to the counter, and asked the DOT man if there was a problem with my logbook. He replied that a couple of days before, I drove two hours more than the legal limit. I immediately said that it had to have been a simple clerical error. He replied that it didn’t matter, he was going to cite me anyway.

This all came as quite a shock to me. I didn’t remember driving that long. In fact, I didn’t (and still don’t) want to work anywhere near that hard.

I asked him to show me exactly where I did this. He then counted hours, flipped the page, counted hours, flipped the page and counted some more hours. Yup. The way he did it, it showed me two hours over. The problem (at least from his end) was that he was looking at the original and duplicate logbook pages for a single day, and counting them as two different days.

When I pointed this out to him, showing that I was in fact in compliance with the regulations, he got *really* mad. He slammed my stuff down on the counter, pushed it across to me, and told me to get out of there, which I did. Quickly.

So, here’s a chance for IB’s attorney members to show off some of their legal expertise. If I had violated the HOS regulations in this case, it would have taken place several states away from Georgia. Would Georgia have had jurisdiction? What’s the law on this?