Speeding Ticket Or Let’s Make A Deal?
I’ve only ever had two speeding tickets in my life and one of them I received recently. It was one of those situations where I was speeding, knew I was speeding and as I glanced to the right I saw the police officer in his car with his radar gun. I locked eyes with the radar gun, took my foot off the gas and almost instinctually pulled over to the side of the road seconds before the police officer had a chance to turn his disco lights on. As I reached for the registration, proof of insurance and license he came to the side of my car and I simply handed the items out of the window. I sat there waiting for him to return but as I don’t get speeding tickets often I had no idea about what was about to happen. Speeding Ticket or Let’s Make A Deal? – Don’t Get Me Started!
As he handed me back my paperwork he explained that I was going 45 mph in a 30 mph zone however he said he was going to state that I was going 35 instead of 45. What was there some sort of special discount coupon or something that I had handed over to get this “special” deal? No, there had been nothing, no begging by me, no real conversation and yet he was willing to take 15 mph off the ticket. I found it odd and when I got home and looked at the ticket (or citation I guess I should say) I noticed that it listed all three speeds on the paper that shot out of the handheld device he used to issue the ticket. (Back in my day they actually had to write them out but this was a computer printout – complete with my name misspelled.) So did he really give me a break? I dunno. I looked on the back of the ticket and there was a fee structure for penalties and yet nowhere on the ticket could I see if I was an “A”, “B”, etc.
As the weeks passed I tried to look for the citation on the county’s website. I couldn’t find it or rather it couldn’t be found in their system. About three weeks later I got a postcard in the mail (with a different citation number than the one that was given to me on the ticket I got the date of the infraction) giving me my options of how to go to court or pay except it still didn’t tell me what I owed or how to find out. The court date was a week away. With the postcard in hand I decided to call the court. After being on hold for quite some time I got a live person on the phone. Her voice was sweet and she seemed to have a nice disposition. I was immediately taken in, asking her about the two citation numbers, etc. She found my record and was quick to say that she couldn’t believe that he gave me a ticket when I was only going five miles over the speed limit. I agreed (knowing I was going fifteen miles over the speed limit but at least I now knew that from the county’s standpoint I’d only been going five miles over the limit). She asked if I had entered a plea in the case yet. Of course I told her no and asked my options. She gave me the guilty, non-guilty and some “other” choice which I didn’t understand the name of what she said. When I asked about the “other choice” she told me it was a way of not admitting guilt but agreeing to pay the fee. I asked about the fee and was informed that I was a “C” which meant $190.00. I thought I heard wrong. I asked what my options were and she started giving my payment options when in fact I was thinking about the online driving school, etc. How many points? Why not driving school? I began to pepper her with questions to which she said, “Look, I’m making it a parking ticket so you won’t even have to get any points, I’ll give you another month to pay it and this way you don’t have to spend 5 hours of your time and $35 to take the driver’s class.” She told me that she could not tell me how to plead (in a tone that was clear enough for any recording to prove there was no coercion on her part). I agreed to the “other” choice but immediately felt dirty as if I’d cut some deal I shouldn’t have cut. I called back the next day to find out that it indeed had been reduced to a parking ticket and there were no points attached to it but the $190.00 stood and was due in a month. I could not change my plea the deal with the devil had been done, sealed in blood apparently.
When I hung up the phone it hit me. Not to get all Oliver Stone conspiracy theorist on you but it dawned on me that this was a corrupt governmental process in action and I had helped. Everyone I spoke to seemed as though they did this thousands of times each day. I’m sure that is in fact the case. I began to realize that it’s cheaper for the county to have me pay an outrageous fee than to have to spend the money to pay a teacher, pay the electric for the building and other associated bills with operating the driving school. Better to make me feel as though I’m getting a deal when they’re getting much more money out of me. The thing is that I DID think I was getting a deal until the second call.
Am I going to pay the $190.00? Sure because I just want this done with at this point. But I’ll know better next time. And all of this deal cutting may be the very reason why Las Vegas is the first place I’ve ever lived where you ALWAYS see handcuffs on EVERYONE stopped by police. I think it’s because everyone agrees to these dirty deals with high fees and then can’t or forget to pay them so then they put a warrant out for you and make even more money off of you. If there’s a next time I will ask the cop why he’s reducing the speed, I’ll ask the county whore who cuts the deals why I can’t go to school, etc. I’m definitely smarter but I’m still out $190.00 for what would appear is five miles over the speed limit. So the question is, “Speeding ticket or Let’s Make A Deal” – Don’t Get Me Started!
Read More Scott @ www.somelikeitscott.com
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