I fought the law...

I fought the law… it was a draw. “It was a draw?” you question. Oddly enough, yes. I had very specific goals for my trip to traffic court. These were, in this order.

Goal Number 1. Not get arrested for contempt of court due to yelling, screaming, and ultimately indiscriminately punching various and sundry magistrates.

Goal Number 2. Keep the “2 points” from getting on my license.

Goal Number 3. Pay less than the $110 that the officer trumped up for me.

I went to the court date assigned to me by my ticket. I even got there early. Unfortunately, in my naïveté, I did not realize that these court proceedings were “first come/first serve.” I got there not early enough to not spend 3 hours in a rather uncomfortable bench waiting on my name to be called. That’s a couple of difficult “nots.”

I get to the court house and wait in line for the security check point. I guess the people in front of me didn’t realize that they were in line for a metal detector, because they seemed to have no idea that you needed to remove all metal prior to going through the detector. At least 7 of the 9 people in front of me didn’t remove their keys and/or cell phones. It was at this point, I knew I was in for a long-long morning.

I find my way to the court room where I will be judged, and notice the severe lack of empty seats. I was at least 50th in line. Yippee. One of the clerks was prepping the cases prior to the judge hearing them. He would call out a name, and someone would stumble up to his chair. He would talk with them for about 3 minutes, they would say something. Then they would write something down and go sit back on the benches. He was doing his none too swift business when I arrived in the courtroom, and continued his slow processing of we unwashed masses even after the judge arrived 30 minutes late. The cases that the clerk had processed were the ones that the judge heard. It was not until the clerk gave you the once over that you could see the judge. It was tiring.

The clerk finally calls my name, around 2 hours into this fiasco of a day. I approach his table. He gives me this blah blah blah spiel in a dull monotonic voice where he read my ticket to me. He then asked me for my plea. I said in the most confident voice, “Umm.. not guilty.”

Clerk: “So, you are saying that you did not, in fact, run a red light?”
SRH: “That is correct, the light turned yellow for me, when I was only 15 feet from the entrance of the intersection. I was going 20 mph in a 25 mph zone, and could not have stopped within that space and not end up in the intersection.”
Clerk: “So you wish to fight this in court.”
SRH: “Yes.”
Clerk: “How about we reduce the ticket from a moving violation to a muffler violation?”
SRH: “Say again?”
Clerk: “We will reduce the charges from running a red-light to a muffler noise violation.”
SRH: “What will that do?”
Clerk: “It will be about the same cost, but there will be no points on your license, and you won’t have to set up a new court date to fight your current citation.”
SRH: “Ummm… Sure.”

I sat back down in the horribly uncomfortable benches and waited for the judge to tell me my final costs. Judge calls my name about 45 minutes later and tells me that in addition to the $75 for court costs, I owe $25 because I have a loud muffler. Justice, Baby! I asked the judge if anyone actually got a ticket for actually having a loud muffler, and he said for me to take my case to the clerk and pay my fine. We were tight like that.

I paid the $100 and went back to my car to go to work.

To Recap:
Goal Number 1: Check
Goal Number 2: Check
Goal Number 3: Check (but just barely)
Now my car’s muffler is officially loud
Oh, the injustice of it all
Best name of someone called before the judge: Johhny Cool
He wasn’t cool at all
Honestly, when you name yourself something like Johhny Cool, you have to be sooooo freakin cool that there is no question about your level of coolness
People shouldn’t look at you and think, “Meh, he ain’t that cool”
There were 7 mullets in that room
I haven’t seen that many mullets in one room since I was in 7th grade.
Best jacket: One man had a picture of himself airbrushed on his leather jacket smoking some weed
The smoke was outlined by silver rhinestones while the joint was studded with amber rhinestones
The judge was politely non-lenient to him