Why was I doing a little happy dance on the courthouse steps this morning?A) I was on my way to sit in on a murder trial.
B) I was $200 richer.
C) I got out of jury duty.
D) All of the above.
If you picked answer B - I was $200 richer - you're correct! But the real question is why was I suddenly richer?
Two words. Traffic. Court.
Remember back in February when I crashed my car and the deputy issued me the "failure to keep vehicle under control" ticket. The one that carried the $213.10 fine? Well today was my court date. And I've been trying to decide whether I should go to the hearing for a couple of weeks now. But I decided, what can I lose?
So I headed over to the courthouse this morning and snagged a seat in the courtroom. Since they go in alphabetical order and my last name starts with a W, I had plenty of time to wait. But after 30 minutes they called my name. At this point it's just me, the court commissioner, his clerk and the bailiff in the room. They check my name, yup. It's me. Ask me what I plead.
Anything you wish to say?
"Well, the citation was issued in February on the day we ended up getting a foot of snow. It was early in the storm, but road conditions had deteriorated really quickly so I was already going below the speed limit. I would have been content to stay in the right hand lane, but needed to change lanes to allow traffic on the highway on ramp onto the highway. When I switched lanes, that's when I hit the icy patch and lost control. And while I did hit another car, my car suffered the most damage. And my driving record is clean."
I hold my breath. The court commissioner looks over the report filed by the sheriff's deputy. Says it does seem like weather and road conditions played a "significant" role in the crash. And I did have a clean record.
Then he dismisses the citation!
You know what that means? I don't have to pay $213.10 and I don't lose 4 points on my driver's license! And my car insurance rates (hopefully) won't go up! I get the paperwork from the bailiff that makes it official that my citation was dismissed and 36 minutes after I got to traffic court I'm walking out the door.
And that, my friends, is why it pays to go to traffic court. And why I was doing a little happy dance as I was walking out of the courthouse.