Vindication! (Or Something Like It)

Law & Order: Criminal IntentImage from WikipediaMy traffic court appearance was today.  Yes, April Fool’s Day was the day I was summoned to stand before the judge and plead my case.  I knew all those episodes of Law and Order, Law and Order SVU, and Law and Order Criminal Intent (not to mention Matlock and Perry Mason) would eventually come in handy.

After begin sworn in, the judge asked me if I wanted the police officer summoned.  I declined.  I handed the judge proof of insurance (it wasn’t in my car when I was stopped) and had that charge dismissed.  Then, I calmly and succinctly explained what had happened at the roundabout.  It wasn’t me that failed to yield the right-of-way.  I was already in the roundabout when the police officer nearly pulled into my lane.  He had to slam on his brakes to keep from hitting me.

I wanted to say that if those blue lights hadn’t been on top of his car I would have been practiced various forms of sign language while making sure my horn worked loud and long, but I kept that version of events for the DVD Director’s Cut.

When I was finished, the judge smiled, sat back in his chair and said that the whole yielding thing (OK, that’s an ad lib) was hard to discern.  He took my story at face value and dismissed the charge…sort of.  If I don’t get another ticket during the next six months the charges will go away.  It wasn’t exactly the “not guilty” verdict I was looking for, but I walked out of the court house with my head held a little higher nonetheless.

I would like to think it was my excellent argument that granted me my victory.  But, in truth, I am more inclined to believe it was the general good mood the judge was in after his first case.  A 17 year-old girl approached the bench with her father….and her father’s attorney.  She was charged with speeding (47 in a 35).  The lawyer was there to declare her guilty plea and throw his client on the mercy of the court.  Come on, an attorney in traffic court?  At least he dressed for the occasion: white and Tennessee-orange checked searsucker pants, white socks, two-tone saddle oxford shoes, white shirt, orange tie, and….blue jacket.  What did the judge say? The lawyer should be glad the judge wasn’t an Alabama fan.

I knew it was going to be a good day.

(BTW: I have a new WordPress plug-in from Zemanta that automatically locates pictures that match my blog’s content.  One of the neatest plug-ins I’ve found for bloggers!)


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  1. andraz said:

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  2. Susan Tompkins said:

    So glad to hear that you bucked “the man” and was heard in court. I am glad you knew well enough to decline having the officer summoned, it is always a good thing when the officer does not appear in court (for whatever reason) which only helps your he said/he said part. Perhaps you might consider a livery service for the next 180 days, just to be on the safe side, or at least stay clear of any traffic circles! (P.S. My husband is retired law enforcement so it’s hard for me to take sides but I am glad you got some justice)

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