Monday, March 31, 2008

RacecarDaddy, Part 4 and 5

A follow post on the speeding ticket I got back on January 31.

Since I appeared at Municipal Court and was willing to pay the ticket within 10 days I could have been done with the whole mess for about $170 plus parking fees downtown. But I decided to beg the judge for a probated sentence, so they got no $ from me that day.

Instead I was scheduled to see the city prosecutor to try to work out a plea arrangement. I did not think I had an option to skip this step. But in the info the city gave me, they said that if I did meet with the prosecutor, then I would not be allowed to ask the judge for a probated sentence later on.

So I decided to waive that meeting and move to the trial. I was nice to the tax payers, though. I also waived the jury and the court reporter. Heck, I don't even care if the cop shows up.

On the way downtown I am stopping and picking up a copy of my driving record, to show the judge that I am not, in fact, a speed-crazed teenager in a souped up Camaro Z-28. I am just a dad in a Saturn. Who can't take Defensive Driving because I have that dang Commercial Driver's License. Which I haven't used in 6 years. Fat lot of good it had done me now, right?

This morning I finally have to meet my destiny. Downtown at 9:30. There will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth. Whatever it takes to keep this cheesy little ticket off of my driving record.

After all, I have watched a lot of Law and Order. I know my rights and if all else fails, I'll order up an autopsy and some DNA tests. that should slow things down enough that I don't have to write a check today, right?

But I am betting that I'll now be out more than the original $170. I am sure they will be more than willing to tack on some court costs and all that stuff.

Any bets on what this $170 ticket is going to cost me in the long run?

And now,Part 6 as an addendum:

After I got downtown, I found FREE parking. So the $5 I would have spent on that went to a nice breakfast at a little walk-in bakery after I made sure I was early and in the right place for Municipal Court.

After I watched a couple of entertaining cases and I realized that the judge was assessing full fine costs PLUS $101 in court costs after finding each defendant guilty, I started thinking about cutting my losses.

My 9:30 time came and went with no sign of a police officer. So I was feeling good. An easy dismissal? Turns out that was the case for everyone who had been ticketed by that officer - EXCEPT me. Because of that @##$(*&#$%^ Commercial Driver's License. No dismissals allowed for CDLs. The judge wanted me to talk to the prosecutor and reschedule for a date in April.

While talking to the prosecutor, he made me an offer and I finally decided to just take the ticket on my record and plead no contest. I would not have to pay the full fine, only the court costs, plus at least $1 for the fine. He assured me that with the CDL I would not get the judge to allow anything better.

In the end, I am out about $150 on this ticket since I made one extra trip downtown with $5 of paid parking to get it all handled and I missed out on work today. Wah Wah :(

I could have just plead No Contest and written a check for $167 at the beginning to get it all handled. After all is done, I saved about $15.

Not the easiest way to pay for a couple of cases of Dr Pepper, but it'll work.

1 comment:

~ Ms. Cute Pants ~ said...

I was going to ask you if it was worth it but I see that it is...worth a couple of cases!