Archive for the ‘Deferred’ Category

Pay That Ticket?

November 6, 2011

Recently, I tried a case to a jury in a local Municipal Court. It really didn’t take long at all and the jury’s decision was Not Guilty. Why would someone want to spend their time and money and contest a ticket?

I initially thought that Don wanted me to get him “Deferred Disposition” to keep the citation off his driving record because that is what most people want. It is easy, relatively inexpensive, and avoids the risk of conviction. I’m glad Don insisted on a trial in his case.

Don was charged with driving through a business parking lot to avoid congestion, as were many other citizens. We all know that we aren’t supposed to cut through the corner gas station to avoid the intersection, but Don’s situation was different. Yes, Don wanted to avoid the congested intersection. Don’t we all want to do that at times? I’d rather drive all over town for an extra 30 minutes, than sit still in traffic. Anyway, Don turned into a marked left turn lane to take a left off of a major roadway onto what appeared to be a public roadway. Once he turned left, the only options he had were two make a U-turn and go back or turn right in front of a Montessori School. It appeared that a road for “thru traffic” will be completed in the future.

At trial, we learned that many people were doing the same thing and the Montessori school had been complaining about it. It looked like a public street and there were no signs notifying the public otherwise. By the way, if you ever decide to cut through a parking lot, make sure you come to at least one complete stop during the crossing then it won’t be an offense. As the Court was excusing the jurors to deliberate, one of the jurors asked, “How many other tickets were issued to others at that location?” The judge couldn’t answer, but I appreciated his question. I wonder how many of our citizens received the same citation and gave their money to the city?

All of us should seriously consider using our resources to contest charges in Municipal or Justice Courts, especially, when we feel the accuser made a mistake. Like George Roland said, “If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, they’ll keep doing what they’ve been doing.” Regardless of the jury’s decision, our accusers will be held accountable. Our system works better when “the people” run the show.

Is it really just a ticket?

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