I fought the law…

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.

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14 thoughts on “I fought the law…

  1. Yikes! I immediately cringed when I saw the 15-mile difference as I’ve known plenty who’ve been there. (Not being one of ’em, reaching for solid wood furniture as I type this.) Wish I had some good advice for ya.

    This may be one of those times to seek out one of those Traffic Law places. Have you tried Googling? I hope someone has a good answer for you.

  2. Danyelle says:

    I was going 15 over in that case I talked about on my blog a while back (Mommy discrimination, remember?) The person who reduced the speed on record for my insurance was not the judge, but the clerk I passed through before I saw the judge. So maybe you could call the phone number on the ticket and ask for some kind of clerk that could help?
    That’s alls I can think of.

  3. Rae says:

    Pay Ceasar what is due ceasar. Do the crime, do the time. What’s a couple of points any way when you don’t get pulled over that much in the first place. The insurance company doesn’t pick up the tickets unless you a) tell them or b) change insurance companies and run your dmv or c) the insurance companies run your dmv randomly. You will be fine. Just ask God to help you when you drive! (I do! thus no tickets in four years:) drops off in five!)

  4. Yikes! This is the worst! They only tend to pull people over who are going 15 miles over the limit because the penalty is costly. And its always EXACTLY 15 miles. How does that work? 😉
    I was going to say the same thing: that your insurance probably won’t be affected by one speeding ticket. Is there any way you can go online to check your policy to make sure?
    If it doesn’t affect your insurance, I’d just pay it. I know it sucks but if you’re a good driver, your license will be clear soon enough.
    Good luck!
    🙂

  5. Kelley says:

    I think you’ll be ok as long as they didn’t put “reckless driving ” on the ticket. I would rather face the judge than listening to what Allen would have to say if I was ticketed.

  6. I got a “failure to yield” in a podunk GA town (I knew I was out of luck when everybody else involved called everybody by first names, but I digress). Anyway, when I went to ‘court’ (at the judge’s office) I was pronounced guilty but when I said it was my first ticket in several years, the judge cut the fine in half. Go figure.

  7. I wish I had a good answer for you. My best friend from high school is a cop and he’s always told me (bluntly), “You’re screwed if you’re 10 miles over.” Even he couldn’t help me when I got busted going well, well, well over the speed limit. Clocked at 88 and I won’t tell you the speed limit because I was much younger back then and my new sports car made me do it. My first and only speeding ticket (so far). My choice in court was to pay the fine in full or go to traffic school. Traffic school bites but I did run over a curb in the parking lot after a full Saturday learning how to be a better driver. That was worth the laugh I always get when I’m talking about traffic school. My husband just got a ticket in December for 55 in a 40. It was in town and he just paid the fine. I can’t imagine trying to fight a ticket out of the city or state. Keep us all posted and I wish you lots of luck with it. Sometimes I think the police look for vehicles on the road with out of town plates for this very reason!

  8. Sorry this happened, but I have no idea how to “play the system” so to speak. Good luck.

    I have been extremely lucky so far not ever getting caught except for once or twice in the past decade, and gotten off with just a warning :-).

  9. Don’t let it freak you out too much… I got a ticket in DC for 15 over. They consider it reckless driving and carries heavy points for a long time. I was really mad…it was entrapment in my case. The unmarked camero was tailgaiting me and I only sped up to get over on I-95…then he didn’t even have a radar! He said he paced me. Yeah…right. They wanted to take my license for 60 days on top of a heavy fine and points. Really….me! I hired a lawyer and fought it. Shawn’s command sent a letter saying I really needed my license as he was deployed and I had to get to work, grocery store, etc… In the end it was the cops word against mine. I got to keep my license, but sill paid the $400 fine and the points, PLUS $1200 to a lawyer who did nothing for me. My insurance never went up – they’ve never even asked!! With your record, I wouldn’t worry about it…just pay the fine and call it a day. 🙂 Good luck!!

  10. ooooh, girl, i am SOO sorry! firstborn rule-follower (or at least the “spirit” of the law!) and authority-fearer here, too… i can’t wait to hear the outcome! a police officer did tell me once (during the receiving of my one speeding ticket) that you have to get them your story BEFORE they write anything down or tear anything off, because once that pen hits the paper, it’s gonna happen!

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