Monday, September 11, 2006
Help Me Howard: License
They say blood is thicker than water, but Kyle is out for blood with his brother. It seems Kyle keeps getting speeding tickets after his brother gets stopped and tells police he's Kyle. Howard is on the case. Here's Seven's Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- This is a story about Kyle: A busy family man who has a wife, an adorable daughter and a nosey dog.
Kyle's Wife: "Here comes Buddy, because you always have to be in all the shots."
Like most people, Kyle is busy.
Kyle: "I'm going to school at night. I'm working full-time during the day."
So the last thing he has time to deal with are traffic tickets. Especially ones that are not his.
Kyle: "I haven't had a ticket in five years, five years. I have not had a ticket in five years."
But he says his brother, on the other hand, is not the safe driver poster child.
Kyle: "He's always in trouble with the law, at least with his license. He's a crazy driver. He's not a good driver; he's a bad driver. He's the one who is always getting his license suspended."
But Kyle says his brother keeps driving and getting stopped.
And when he does, he tells the officer his license is at home, and then he brings Kyle into it.
Kyle: "What he does is he'll use my name -- or, who knows, he may use other people's names as well."
The first time it happened, back in 2004, Kyle says his brother ignored the ticket.
Kyle: "First time it got out of control because he failed to appear and all this stuff. And it turned out to be like $400 in fees. I went down to the courthouse. The first thing they did was tell me that I had to pay the fee, even though it was not me."
And of course Kyle confronted his brother about it.
Kyle: "He just mumbles, and he says 'I don't know what to tell you. Uh, uh, uh, uh, I don't know. I can't get arrested.' That's all he says; not even an apology."
So Kyle put a flag on his license.
Kyle: "The flag should have been sufficient enough to prevent it from happening again."
But you guessed it. Kyle says his brother got stopped again.
The alert should have raised a red flag for the police officer to ask for more identification. He apparently didn't, so Kyle has to go to court for another ticket that was issued in his name.
Kyle: "That's why I turned to Help Me Howard, because I have the fraud alert on my driver's license. And he got away with it."
And now Kyle's brother has gotten stopped again. This time he allegedly used their third brother's name. Frustrated that police won't do something, Kyle called Help Me Howard.
Howard Finkelstein: "The brother has committed a crime that could land him in jail for a year. Unfortunately, the answer is: no, you cannot force a police officer to arrest anyone. However, if you feel the police should have filed charges, you can ask to speak to a supervisor and ask them to review the case."
Kyle did that and the supervisor did put him in touch with the arresting officer.
But the officer told him it was his decision on whether or not to make an arrest and he chose not to.
Howard says Kyle could go over the officer's head.
Howard Finkelstein: "You can take a case directly to the State Attorney's office and ask them to prosecute the case. The best way to get your case through is to first make an appointment. Second, make sure your presentation is clear and concise. The more difficult you make it to understand, the less likely they are to do anything."
And he's going to do that. Kyle says it may be tough love -- getting his brother arrested -- but someone has to teach him a lesson.
Kyle: "My other brothers, they're great. Just one black sheep in the family. I want this stopped, and I want to prevent it from ever happening again."
Patrick Fraser: "We actually get this complaint a lot: a person using another name when they get stopped by police. Most of the time it's a family member doing it since they know their brother or sisters' address and other information.
If it's happening to you, file a complaint with the Division of Motor Vehicles at this website: www.hsmv.state.fl.us. They will issue you a letter that you keep with you.
If the person trying to use your license gets stopped, the cop runs your name, asks for the letter, and, when they can't produce it, they are caught. But, of course, that only works if police do their job. And, in this case, the officer did not.
Run across someone that thinks they have a license to steal from you? Want to I.D. them? Contact us, and let us name your solution.
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