After waiting for 2 months my day in front of Judge Wapner finally arrived.
I was there debating a semaphore violation(a stoplight violation to us lay people)
It seemed easy enough I had been driving down the road when the light turned yellow, I attempted to stop but was unable to, and decided to keep going. At the very same moment I decided I saw a cop car and knew that my decision was being scrutinized.
The lights came on, and I promptly pulled over.
Officer: Do you know why i pulled you over.
Kind of, the light was yellow and I tried to stop.(the nice version of Jon that is trying to get a warning)
Officer: license please
(she goes back to her car)
Officer: I am going to have to write you a ticket for running a stoplight
But I tried to stop and the light was yellow when I entered.
Officer: The lights are timed to allow you enough time to stop.
(Stick it to the man Jon)
Oh Really? Not according to the ten o’clock news, they just had a special about how light timings are usually off.
and my girlfriend works for the company(Westwood) who timed these lights and they not done it for 3 years(complete lie, I have no idea when the last time was, or even if they do it exclusively)
My First Court Date
Everyone meets at 8:30am and are herded into a room, I think they herd you slow in hopes of weeding out of impatient ones.
After an hour and a half I am in a court room, a person hands me a form and I check not-guilty, sign it, and a court date is assigned to me.
1.5 hours / 1 form(checkbox and signature) – That has to gross neglect or something.
The final court date
2 months after the ticket, 1 month after the original court date.
The prosecuting attorney asks me if I still want to proceed, and that the officer is here.
I say yes.
The judge calls my name and I sit down.
He goes over the fact that we both can do opening statements, call witnesses, cross-examine, and do closing statements.
We both decline to do an opening statment.
The officer is called as prosecutions witness.
She asks the standard questions. How long have you been on the force? Who are you employed by? What have you been trained to do?
So the officer now has the magical sticker of infalliability on.
The questions regarding the incident start to get asked.
What direction were you facing? South
What direction was the defendent going? West
Finally what color was the light when the defendent went through it?
Red – he was about 3-4 car lengths away from the light when it turned.
My stomache sank and I felt sick.
There was no way freakin’ way it happened like that, but at that point i realized nothing was going to prove my innocence short of an steamy tape between the cop and the married judge.
I went up and told my story.
I was driving North on Division street(must have been nervous because division obviously run east and west – I even gave it some thought)
and I saw the light turn yellow, I attempted to stop, but realized I could not make it. When i decideded this the light was yellow, and as I passed under the light i could see the light was still yellow.
I guess I had fooled myself into believing that one person’s truth is not ranked above another’s but my view of life is too Little House on the Prairie and not enough LA Law
The judge said I was guilty, and when I asked to have the ticket withheld from my record he said based on the fact that you were 3-4 car lengths away from the light when it turned red it should be on my record.
How ridiculous, that cop could have said anything. It didn’t matter. What possible thing could I have done to sway the court?
What a giant joke, well at least it was only a $120 lesson.