Friday, January 26, 2007

My day in court

Well ok, it was more like a small room with chairs. I went today to my mitigation hearing to see if I can defer my "inattention to driving" traffic ticket. I have never been to municipal court before so it was quite an interesting experience. I had to be there by 8:45 which of course is an ungodly hour to get up but can't be late for court I guess. When I got there, I had to sit with about 20 other people that also has mitigation hearings today. They piled us into a small court room with one judge and one clerk. Then we each get called up to plead our case to the judge who then decide whether to reduce our penalty. They called alphabetically so I am pretty late in the list so I got to hear everybody else beg for forgiveness first. The judge was actually quite lenient, she almost always reduced your fine even if your excuse is as lame as "I didn't see the speed sign". Most people were there for speeding tickets. There was one girl that was there for a carpool violation. She pleaded her case that she doesn't have any money to pay for the fine. The judge asked why she was in the carpool lane when she wasn't suppose to be. She mumbled something about forgetting she didn't have kids in the car that day. Her circumstances was quite desperate in that she has no income and 2 kids to support. But then the judge asked her why she has a previous carpool violation. She couldn't say anything. By then I can hear the entire room thinking "if you have no money, then stop getting traffic tickets by driving in the carpool lane!!". The judge was nice though and she got away with 10 hours of community service. Two people got their ticket dismissed because the police didn't file on time ( lucky!!). There was one russian guy there who needed a translator to tell him he couldn't get deferral because he has a commercial license. A seatbelt violator who got penalty reduced. When it was my turn, I went up there and asked for deferral, which is basically I pay 100 dollars, and then if I don't do anything stupid for a year, they will dismiss my ticket. The judge was super nice in that she then saw my ticket was for 500 dollars and she promptly reduced it to 101 dollars like everyone else. I didn't even have to ask for that. So all in all, it turned out to be a nice day. So going to court was not as scary as I thought and a million people imed me to ask how come I am at work so early (so bad for my image). :)

5 comments:

Kungfucius said...

Hurray for super nice judges! If you don't mind me asking, how do you get a ticket for "inattention to driving"? Because I was like o_O when I read the ticket was $500.

Kabitzin said...

OMFG $500 ticket WTF!!!!!

Were you inattentively running people over or something?! That or they just set it super high to scam all the people who don't care and then give an 80% discount to people who show up to argue so they have nothing to complain about.

And how late do you show up to work where you can go to court at 8:45, sit through 20 other judgements, and still have people comment that you are at work early....?

moonfleck said...

Sadly, I was indeed "inattentively running people over". I rear-ended someone at a stop sign ( they were barely damaged). Hence the need to get a new car LOL. But even the judge was shocked at my ticket amount. Incidentally, the "inattention to driving" kind of ticket is not a state code, it is more of a city code so I think the cop probably hated me or something.

Velius said...

Yeah, I was looking at my clock and it only said 11:45, and I thought to myself, @work by 9:45? It must be an imposter...Thank goodness you don't play WoW, as then you probably won't come in at all!

Ender said...

Waaait a minute...what time do you usually go to work?