Well, I haven’t fought them yet, and when all is said and done I probably won’t be able to. I’m asking for advice/help though.
On my way back from Arkansas, about an hour after I had departed, I saw what no motorist wants to see in their rear view mirror…flashing blue and red lights (ugly colors to match up if you ask me). Anyway, I pulled over a little hoping, hoping that the smokey would pass me by in hot pursuit of the bandit who was really doing something wrong. Why ever in the world would the lights be for me?
The police car didn’t race by me, it thought I was the perp and pulled up right behind me. “Crap,” I thought, “I pulled over on a hill right in a curve. The cop’s going to cite me for wreckless endangerment to his life on top of what I’m being pulled over for.” As I’m rolling the window down *she* walks up and without any nicities says the reason she pulled me over was for speeding. All I could say was “Really?” kind of stunned like. She then tells me she got me doing 55 in a 40 (which didn’t set off alarm bells then and there but now I know better). “Oh…we’re on our way back to Alabama…” was all I could choke out. I’m sure an I’m sorry came out too. Later she handed me the ticket and I broke down in front of her. She tried to calm me down by telling me it was just a speeding ticket and to calm down before I started driving again. It didn’t work.
The reason I was speechless is because the last time I got pulled over was over seven years ago. I make it a habit to follow the speed limit and have gotten good driving right at it. It was a fluke that I was going that fast and I just happened to get caught. Totally not fair.
However unfair life is, I *was* speeding and deserve the ticket. However, what I’ve just learned from an apparently reliable source is that since it’s 15 miles over the limit and not 14 or less I’m going to get points on my license (thought that was only in the military) and my insurance company is going to find out about it.
What I’ve also learned from other sources is that officers and judges make it a habit of lowering tickets and even putting you on probation instead of charging you what you were actually speeding. All my sources either knew someone who knew someone or were able to show up in court. My case is different though because I know none of the 12 people that live in that town and it’s in Arkansas. There’s no way I can make it back for the court date to plead my case.
I’m not looking to totally get out of the ticket, although that would be a nice blessing. If there was a lesson about speeding I didn’t already know about then I’ve learned it. I’ve been punished enough just for feeling like a dirtbag who doesn’t care about laws (first-born characteristic–the rule follower). And I don’t think it’s realistic to expect them to go easy on me since this is the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression (which isn’t true, it’s the worst since Carter left and Reagan took over). Anyway.
So, what should be my plan of action? Do any of you have any experience at being big ol’ rule breakers and somehow managed to sway the police or a judge? Were you successful in doing this long distance? How would I even know who to contact to plead my case–even if it’s dropping it to 14 miles over instead of 15? I’m not wanting to get off Scot free, I just want what’s normal for people to get if/when they plead their case.
A big ol’ thanks and an air kiss or two. Oh, and I may just rename my blog featuring you if your suggestion works. Not really but I am kind of desperate. Maybe I’ll donate some money to the Flippin City Council in your honor.