Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Day In Court

It is a well known fact that the entire city of Selma is a speed trap; I even read about it in a book before I even moved back to this state. If anyone nearby ever says that they got a traffic ticket, we all say "Selma?" The answer is almost always in the affirmative. After twenty plus years of casually speeding through Selma, Texas, I got a ticket.

I got a ticket for speeding on the access road because I did not see a sign indicating the correct speed. I could have argued with the nice police officer about that(the nearest sign was over a mile back), but I did not. I have a strict "NO ARGUING" policy when there are guns involved. I was speeding, whether I saw a sign or not, and I try to take responsibility for my actions. In my opinion, listening to my husband lecture me all the way home was punishment enough, but I doubt the police officer would agree.

I was supposed to send a letter in pleading no contest and requesting to take Defensive Driving. Except the ticket stated that you were supposed to send in a check, too. If I were paying the entire fine, the amount would have been around 200 dollars, but if I were going to take Defensive Driving, the amount would have been around 110 dollars. I didn't know if I should send in the full amount, since I was requesting defensive driving, or the reduced amount, as if I had already been approved. The directions on the ticket were vague enough to have me worried. I wasn't sure whether my choice would result in a warrant for my arrest. My mother would have packed up and moved to unknown parts if I were to embarrass her by getting arrested.

I procrastinated, and that procrastination found me at the Municipal Court in Selma. The Municipal Court is a tiny building, compared to what I am used to. The courtroom was jam packed with offenders. I heard someone saying something about questions, and since I had questions, I followed that group of people. It turned out to be the wrong line, but finally the nice policemen with guns got me back into the courtroom, along with three or four hundred other people who were in the same boat as me. It was standing room only.

The judge talked a bit about the different pleas one could take. I didn't really listen much, because my feet hurt. If you are a woman in high heels, and you have to stand on those high heels for longer than fifteen minutes, your feet start to hurt. Once the feet start hurting, then it is all about the pain. I spent a good part of the judge's lecture glaring at the entire first row of men. At least one of those bastards could have offered me his seat! Equality takes a backseat when your feet hurt.

Someone's cell phone kept going off. The bailiff kept saying loudly that people should turn off their phones. He sort of sounded like Samuel L. Jackson, and I kept waiting for him to start throwing down profanity to emphasize his point. It was obvious that that cell phone bothered the bailiff tremendously. What bothered him more was that he could not locate the phone. He walked around several times, trying to pinpoint location, and becoming frantic. And then they found the phone. The evil phone, so vile. The phone that belonged to an attorney. The attorney who had just advised the group to turn off your cell phones.

The court finally got down to business. They started calling names; when they said your name, you yelled out your plea. Whatever your answer was, it went into a specific pile. I yelled "no contest", but then I had to wait until someone came to escort me to the ticket window(sooo...the window is 15ft away from the court, and you provide me an armed escort?) I was tired, by that point. I hadn't eaten lunch. I was getting peckish. And I end up in another pay for my ticket and to get my letter for defensive driving. As soon as they had their clutches on the check, I got out of that place, and back to work.

You've won this round, Selma!

1 comment:

  1. Sorry... it would qualify as a sucky day in my book too. And the whole waiting in line with pain on your feet? Ouch, ouch, ouch. Sounds too familiar ;)


I welcome comments, but reserve the right to correct your spelling because I am OCD about it!