Am I now a criminal?

by David Alan Carmichael

September 16, 2002

Though most of you do not agree with me, all of you are aware of my conviction that the SSN is the number of the beast referred to in Revelation, chapter 13. You are also concerned that the government is made it so people with convictions like mine cannot live in America ("A Free Country.") You are aware of the struggle that has been going on in Federal Court and the recent progress we have made convincing the U. S. Court of appeals that we have an issue at law that must be addressed. Now, we have another case pending but this time I am not plaintiff, but defendant in a criminal case (Commonwealth of Virginia v. Carmichael).

Since my letter of rescission to the Commissioner of Social Security on October 1, 1996, I have done everything possible to clear the erroneous association of a SSN with my name. That has cost me a Navy Career, banking privileges, at first the right to vote (corrected later), and home ownership. I communicated my convictions to the Department of Motor Vehicles and presumed they had changed their records. When it came time to renew my license, they would not issue a new license to me or my wife unless we affirmed a Social Security Number as our identifiers. I wrote a letter to the Commissioner of the D. M. V. requesting that he correct his records to indicate we do not have Social Security Numbers or in the alternative, cancel the original applications and allow us to apply anew. The Commissioner responded that he had no authority to grant my request.

To the contrary, the statute that requires him to ask for a number also states "The Commissioner may, on a case- by-case basis, waive any provision of such regulations for good cause shown."

I sent several letters and the Commissioner continued to refuse my requests. Finally, we transferred all vehicle titles into a trust (no number required) and mailed our old driver's license cards to the Commissioner with a notice of cancellation. And yes, we have continued to drive.

It is a class 2 misdemeanor to drive without a license in Virginia. It is a jailable offense. You may wonder how we can profess Christ yet violate the law? The answer is that we are in compliance with the law. The actual law breaker is the Commissioner and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Law is made up of more than just statutes. Statutes must conform to the law. Commissioners must not only conform to statute but they must also conform to law. One rule of law in Virginia is "Where the state creates a mechanism for legitimate individualized exceptions but fails to include religious uses among these legitimate exceptions, discriminatory intent can be inferred... Failure to make allowance for bona fide religious uses tends to exhibit hostility, not neutrality, towards religion. Horen v. Com.,
23 Va. App. 735, 479 S. E. 2d 553 (1997).

Another rule of law in Virginia is "A state cannot grant a privilege subject to the agreement that the grantee will surrender a constitutional right, even in those cases where the state has the unqualified power to withhold the grant altogether, and where such a condition is imposed upon the grantee, he may ignore or enjoin the enforcement of the condition without thereby losing the grant." Alexandria v. Texas C., 172 Va. 209, 1 S. E. 2d 296 (1939).

I was detained, while parked at a gas station, for an administrative infraction that was later dismissed. But, I was also charged as driving without a license (a crime). I appeared in district court. I presented a statement to the judge, via the clerk of court office, that stated.

1. I did not understand the charge (the reference on the summons did not cite the statute and I did not have access to know what the specific charge was).
2. I did not understand the jurisdiction (it is tied to the specific charge and the statute said a higher court had original jurisdiction).
3. I stated I could not consent to a summary trial but instead needed a trial by jury.
4. I stated "If all the evidence of facts surrounding the circumstances are examined by a jury, the defendant will be exonerated."
5. I stated I needed legal counsel and did not have the financial resources to retain one.
6. I stated that I had told the arresting officer that the Commonwealth was challenging me to; forsake the obligations I owe Almighty God according to the Holy Scripture, or be punished for doing things that would otherwise be lawful.
7. I stated that my defense rested on common law, constitutional law, and natural law. (areas outside the jurisdiction of the district court)
8. I moved that the court dismiss the charges because the prosecution failed to apply the correct jurisdiction.
9. In the alternative, I asked the court to exercise their power to correct the warrant to indicate the circuit court had the jurisdiction to proceed with a trial by jury.
10. As a final alternative, I asked for a continuance in order to prepare a defense with the aid of counsel.

Some of you who have not dealt with the modern court
(concerned more about efficiency than the rule of law or the rights of the citizen) may be shocked at what occurred. The rest of us do expect it and have to deal with it. Here are the summarized events of the proceedings.

The Court calls David Carmichael. I approached the bench and said good morning your honor.

The judge asked how do you plead to the charge of driving without a license? I noticed the information in the judge's hands that had been submitted through the clerk. I stated, I can't plead yet your honor, I do not understand the specific charges or the jurisdiction of the court. Let me give you my background. I then went on to tell the history of my confession of Jesus Christ as Lord in 1975 and my obligation to obey his word and specific commands. I explained my conviction about the SSN as the number of the beast and the actions and prohibitions required of me. I gave the history of losing my Navy career, being refused employment and business licenses, losing my house and finally the refusal of the Commissioner of DMV to grant me and my wife a license to drive. And because of all these things and other facts and things surrounding the particular circumstances, the issue needed to be scrutinized by a jury in a lawful constitutional court or record.

The judge candidly stated that he did not have the jurisdiction to address the matter. I said I gave the whole background to the arresting officer and that he should not have made a warrant to appear in this court. I asked the judge if he received and read the papers submitted to the court. The judge affirmed. I said, then you saw where I contested the jurisdiction of this court. The judge affirmed.

Up to that point, there was not a trial. I did not plead, I only challenged the jurisdiction of the court. In each case prior to mine, the judge heard the pleading of the defendant, discovered whether the defedent wanted counsel or not, gave information how the defendant could apply for counsel if they could not afford it and then issued a continuance to obtain counsel. Otherwise, the judge would swear in the arresting officer and the defendant, and then have a summary trial whereby the arresting officer would give witness that the crime charged had actually occurred.

In my case, the judge only heard my challenge of the court jurisdiction (pretrial procedural) and he affirmed that his court did not have jurisdiction. At no time was anyone sworn in, neither I nor the arresting officer ever affirmed that the crime in question was ever seen to be carried out, my request for dismissal was ignored, my request for a continuance was ignored and my request for counsel was ignored. Now let's see what actually happened.

Judge: Mr. Carmichael, I am just going to find you guilty. Me: Your honor, we just acknowledged that the court does not have jurisdiction and I have not yet plead. Judge: I know, but I'm just going to find you guilty and put you on probation for a year. Me: But I have not even had the benefit of counsel. Judge: I know Mr. Carmichael. Me: (I said with a huge questioning look on my face) You're going to find me guilty without a trial? Judge: Yes. Me: (I then took a few seconds to get my composure and said) I understand I can now submit an appeal to a court of record within ten days and the case must be prosecuted by the Commonwealth de novo (meaning a new trial as if the first had never occurred). Judge: That is correct. Me: (I then began to say with a bit of trepidation) "With all due respect for you and this court your honor.. (I then paused realizing that most people say that sort of thing when they want to excuse disrespectful behavior. So I change to an apologetic demeanor and said,..) This is very awkward. I feel like I am arguing with a judge but I realize I need to relax a bit. After all, this is just part of what makes our country work. It is just part of the process. We are all friends, aren't we?" Judge: Yes, we're all friends (the arresting officer nods.). Me: Good, I feel better now. Your honor, is there anyway we can make sure that it goes on record that I challenged the jurisdiction of the court? Judge: Yes. Me: And that I did not even plead? Judge: Yes. Me: And that I requested a continuance to obtain counsel and it was denied? Judge: Yes Mr. Carmichael. I will staple these documents to the order and write on here that you challenged the jurisdiction of the court. Judge: You really shouldn't drive without a license. Me: It is not illegal for me to drive without a license. It is a rule of law in Virginia that if the Commissioner of a regulated activity says he will give you a license only if you give up a right, you can engage in that regulated activity with immunity. Another rule states that if an exception is made for non-religious reasons and denied for a religious one, that it show hostility toward religion and is unconstitutional. Judge: (with a questioning look) You had a choice, it was just an election you made. Me: I do not have a choice your honor. Even if it would cost me my very life. I would have not given up my career and my retirement check for life, or have my wife say I hate you, I hate you, I hate you (in a fit of passion over the loss of the life we knew, understandable reaction, totally repented of and totally forgiven, but remembered only because it is a feeling we can all imagine having and is ultimately humorous). I would not give up my life for an election your honor. I am absolutely prohibited from identifying with the number of the beast. Judge: But DMV will put a different tracking number on the license. Me: "But they will not issue the license unless I identify myself with the number of the beast. Judge: True. Me: Is that it your honor? Judge: That's it. Me: Well gentlemen, this has been very stimulating and I pray that God blesses you both. (We all departed as friends).

I am now on record as a convicted criminal. I did not violate the law based upon the rule of law in Virginia. I did however drive without identifying myself with the number of the beast. Participating in the Social Security Retirement and Disability Benefit Program is voluntary. But unless you participate and forever identify yourself with it's account number, you cannot vote, drive, work, marry, fish, keep and bear harms, obtain title to a car, or a house, obtain a bank account, credit,....... thanks, in part, to a particular section of the United States Code, 42 USC A7666. It is even rather difficult to find yourself on staff at a church. It seems the only thing you can legally do in America is preach the gospel.

Next, the Commonwealth Attorney has to prosecute me as a criminal. I will execute my right to a trial by jury. I intend to make them have to prove all elements of a crime, including criminal intent. I will raise the constitutional defense citing many parts of Article I of the Virginia Constitution (Bill of Rights). I pray that I am exonerated by a jury of my vicinage and by the rule of law. The principal issue at stake is: Who's law is supreme? God's or the magistrate's? Modern evolutionary thinkers believe man has invented God, that man elects a particular belief system and that society's government is actually sovereign. In truth though, God has created all things including man. We, the people, are accountable to God for our actions and the order of society. Because of that, we have instituted government to maintain order, giving government coercive power towards those who act contrary to God's law in a way that is destructive to good order or in offense to their brother. Government is not instituted so that it might coerce or entice people to abdicate their allegiance to God. It is critically important to all of us that the principles of religious liberty are strictly adhered to in this case. You may not have the same particular convictions as me; but if my convictions are not protected, neither are yours.

"Prove my theology wrong by securing my liberty." David Alan Carmichael


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