On February 22, 2000, a "jury of my peers" found me guilty - of the heinous crime of DRIVING. It's a felony, in case you're not aware of it. There are no accidents involved, no injuries, no property damage, not even any "driving while intoxicated" charges. In essence, I have committed no crime except through a legal fiction - There are no victims as a result of my actions. However, the government of the State of New Hampshire is now demanding that I spend at least a year in jail - while burglars, batterers, child molesters, even killers, are slapped on the wrist and sent home.

"How is this possible?" you may ask. "Surely there must be more to this story than you have told."

Indeed, there is:  I have been stopped for doing what everyone else on the road does every day:  I was stopped for driving faster than the posted speed limit. Why does this send me to jail? Because, after being stopped several times, I dared to ask "If 90+% of the population on any given highway is driving over the speed limit, why is the government enforcing this law against the clear will of the people (as shown by the actions of the majority of the population)? Is this the way democracy is supposed to work?" and for asking "How can police officers issue speeding tickets when they break the same law all the time? Isn't a law supposed to apply to everyone?"

I have never received a satisfactory answer to either of these questions. As a result, I could not justify continuing to pay the fines imposed without just cause. From my point of view, this appears to be a conspiracy to commit armed highway robbery:   The legislature and courts have dispatched gun-toting individuals with orders to stop passing traffic and collect money from them. Although they are using uniforms, badges, and the guise of legal procedure, it does not change a simple fact:  The government has no authority to issue itself a license to commit these crimes against the public it is supposed to be protecting.

The government has told me to stop driving, on more than one occasion, first by suspending my license, then the registration for my vehicles, then by declaring me a habitual offender. It's true:  I have, as an act of conscientious civil disobedience, continued to drive in spite of these orders, but only since I believe they are crimes against the public. They are attempting to deprive me of my liberty, and a significant part of my life, solely on the grounds of their expressed opinion that I am, allegedly, an unsafe driver. They cite statistical evidence, supposedly in support of their position. That is, however, SCIENTIFIC FRAUD:  Statistics can be used for categorizing the past behavior of large groups, but is completely useless for predicting the future behavior of an individual - which is precisely what they are attempting to do. In legal terms, the law is trying to effect PRIOR RESTRAINT - which the U.S. Supreme Court has declared to be unconstitutional, at least with respect to "freedom of speech" issues.

If my driving is so dangerous, where are the bodies? Where are the victims? I could have driven to the moon and back with the amount of driving I've done, yet I am being punished because other motorists were going faster than they should have and ran into innocent bystanders or their property. What sort of abrogation of justice is used to claim this is right and proper?

For years, the government has been telling us that driving is a privilege, not a right. How did it get to be a privilege? Only through the public's acquiescence, initially when it was not a necessary part of everyday life. In today's world, however, we are as dependent on driving as our forefathers were on riding a horse. By saying we don't have the right to drive, the government is telling us we don't have the right to come and go as we please, that we cannot freely choose where to live, work, and play, that employers cannot freely hire distant talent to fill specific needs. What happened to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?" The right to drive is the right to be free. If we concede this right, how many more can we expect to fall behind it?

I was jailed on April 14 at a bail revocation hearing, after being stopped while going to pay my rent on April 1. Since that time, I have met, in jail, an individual who was given a 90 day sentence for vehicular homicide - while I am serving a year for nothing more than driving down the road. Meanwhile, I lost a lucrative computer programming contract, my fledgling business has been destroyed, my entire Internet presence (Web sites, email accounts, etc.) has been terminated, and I lost my residence when my landlord would not renew my lease, forcing my family to move my possessions into storage.

I am, and always have been, fighting for my freedom. Sage advice tells us that nothing worth having is ever cheap. The price I am being asked to pay for my liberty, however, is not only astounding, but indeed outrageous:  Why I should have to suffer catastrophic failure of my personal circumstances simply because I tried to live a rational, independent existence is really incomprehensible.

My incarceration violates Article 18 of the New Hampshire Constitution on two accounts:  First, because of the disparity in sentencing, "people are led to forget the real distinction in the crimes themselves, and to commit the most flagrant with as little compunction as they do the lightest offenses." Second, during my time in jail, prior to my sentencing hearing on May 11, I found myself with more time to read, giving me access to points of view I had not previously considered, and to think. I came to the conclusion I had been doing things the wrong way, setting a bad example by breaking the law, and trying to use the courts to change the law, rather than the legislature. I decided to work within the law to effect any changes I might seek in the future. Thus, I had been "reformed" by the time of my sentencing, and further imprisonment has only damaged my personal circumstances, and prohibited me from making any useful contributions to the community. This is unconstitutional in that it violates the phrase "The true design of punishment is to reform, not to exterminate, mankind."

I am facing a second "driving as a habitual offender" trial in early October. If I lose my case, the State has said they will ask for a consecutive term of 1-1/2 - 3 years in prison, plus an additional 3-1/2 - 7 years for having committed a "crime" (driving) while "on bail" (waiting for sentencing on the first conviction). Thus, the State is proposing I should spend 6 - 11 years behind bars, for driving without any accidents, while I personally know of someone who served 90 days for killing someone else with his car.

These actions cannot be allowed to stand. If they do, they will be used as dangerous precedents, in actions forever less valid, until regaining the right to drive is beyond the reach of private citizens - if it is not already lost.

Help fight this injustice by passing or sending copies of this position paper to everyone you know. Write to your Congressman, Senator, state legislator, and to newspapers, radio and TV stations. Lodge complaints with the courts listed below. If you write to the government or media, please send me a copy.

The liberty you save may be your own.

Fred Koschara
8220 Cleary Blvd., Unit 2213
Plantation, FL 33324-1382 USA
email: wfredk@StopHighwayRobbery.com
Fred Koschara's Web page

c/o < parents >

  • Nashua Superior Court
    30 Spring St.
    Nashua, NH 03061
  • Manchester Superior Court
    300 Merrimack St.
    Manchester, NH 03101
  • New Hampshire Supreme Court
    One Noble Drive
    Concord, NH 03301

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