I was taught no lesson.
So I was awarded the joy of getting up at the butt crack of dawn, for my next ticket. Today seemed like any other day. I assumed I'd be arriving for my pre trial hearing, or the arraignment. Whatever. 30 minutes tops. In and out. (That's what she said.) Not so much. Apparently I was not invited to these events. This was the real deal. I wish I would have shaved.
Oh the joy of a Houston courthouse. So as I relax in a standing position (Officer Friendly kept us in line) I could overhear the conversation of a couple nearby. Apparently one of the lawyers was not to their liking. Every time she opened her mouth I had to hear his. "Oh yeah, there she goes again jabbing her jaws". For an hour and a half okay? It got to the point where I didn't want to see her come around because I didn't want to hear his mouth. "Every person who comes out, she has to jabber her jaws to." Um, she's a freakin lawyer dude, that's what she does. While standing around for all this nonsense the guy next to me had to be really nervous. During his swaying back and forth he was constantly bumping into me. I "blew up" and took up as much space as possible without being obvios but it did not phase him. "Dude, it's traffic court. You're not being charged with Grand Larcony. Chill."
So while I'm standing there, a seat comes open, next to the jackass. I get front row seats to this guys commentary. Then, finally, his wife's turn arrives. I guess the other lawyer has also listened to his crap because she brings her client outside to speak with her. Maybe it was the "They wrote on the ticket traffic was light." Followed by his "Screw that. Tell her there was no traffic. Feed her as much bullshit as you need to." He had tons of info to share with her. Okay dude, this is your lawyer. Don't start lying until the Judge shows up.
After what seemed to be an eternity (it was at least 2-3 hours) I get to meet with my counsel. She asks what happened and I told her "They pulled me over for doing 80 in a 65." She tells me "Well yeah, but what happened? How fast were you actually going?" "Um, about 75 - 80." Her response "So you really just want this off your record?"
Back to my seat. I returned to where I was, still listening to the pissed guy who appeared to be there to "support" his lovely wife. His lovely wife who sat there doing crossword puzzles. I had to listen to this jackass for 2 hours while his wife tuned him out and did crossword puzzles. I wanted to rip his throat out.
Flashback: Last ticket was going twice as fast over and they got me for not using blinkers. Two court visits lasting about 45 minutes together. This time, half as fast over and lots of waiting. But after 4 more months of waiting I am making out $5 cheaper this time.
So back to my attorney. She sat there going through the list with the other attorneys. The way it seems to work here is, if the cop doesn't show up on trial day, you automatically win the case. My attorney? She did not have 1 officer skip today's date. She had 30+ clients where the rest had 5, tops. They literally gave her a whole box. They came out with 4 boxes, 1 was hers. And guess what. Every officer showed up. She did not get to dismiss any to begin with. (Hint hint.)
While I sat and waited I tuned into a conversation going on behind me. A lady was telling the guy next to her how she doesn't care if she gets the points, she thinks her ticket is bullshit, and she wants a jury of her peers to decide it. She had pictures and everything. I think the best part was when she was finally called up (second to last, long after she began her tirade) and she commenced to telling her attorney "I don't care if you represent me or not. I have pictures and I want to fight this. I don't care if I get points on my license or not." When her attorney replied "Hey, you paid your $35. I am hired to represent your case. This ain't my first rodeo, I've been doing this for two years." I almost peed myself. The sad part is, while I was standing in line to pay my $5 less than last time in fines, she came out saying her case was dropped.
Flash forward to the conversation between W1 and I tonight. "That lady had me so hyped I wanted to have a jury trial just on principal." The response I received "Her case was based on changing speed limits in construction areas. No signs, she had pictures..." Your case in based on "Come on... 80 in a 65? Come on..." So yeah, I guess she stood a better chance.
Okay, and the outfits were crazy. You're gong to court people, not Wal Mart! The sweat pants. I have to laugh. You know how they have the 2 holes where the strings come out? Yeah, only one string coming out. Where is the other one? Buried somewhere in the waistband. You're in court people! I mean really, come on. And the fact that she borrowed her Grade School sister's pink tee shirt didn't help. We also had designer tee shirt guy, my own landscaping company tee shirt guy, etc... Interesting group. But the outcome was still the same. This is something I may need to consider next time. Why get dressed up for all this nonsense, when I can represent my favorite local boy band?
Bottom line, my 1 hour late arrival to work changed to a 3:00 PM visit to make sure everything was cool. I had to pay a fine I was not expecting, and a few months from now I have to send them $60 more, or sit in the 2 hour line again to pay it in person. I've had better days. Today is one of those days when I remember why we use to smoke. And at the same time, quitting is why we can afford the fines.
Sometimes I really miss NOLA.