Monday, August 11, 2014

Traffic Court

I routinely get subpoenaed to traffic court for citations I've written. This is how it almost always goes:

Judge: (to City Prosecutor): "Call your first witness."

City Prosecutor: "The city calls Officer Cynical."

I go to the witness stand and get sworn in. I'm asked about what I saw and what I did, and I testify accordingly. When the city is done with me:

Judge: (to Defendant seated at defense table): "Do you have any questions for the officer?"

Defendant: "No, Your Honor."

Judge: (to Defendant): "Do you have any testimony you'd like to give?"

Defendant: "No, Your Honor."

Judge: (to Defendant): "Well, is there anything about this case that you'd like me to know before I render a verdict?"

Defendant: "No, Your Honor."

The defendant is then found guilty and storms out of the court room, obviously pissed off that he was found guilty, even though he offered not a single word or any evidence in his own defense.

And if this is my off day, I get paid overtime just for showing up!


Reds Kevin said...

Free money and you complain?

Hildy said...

Are your "clients" smart enough to hope that you won't show up and your failure to appear will get the ticket tossed? Or do they think that the mere act of contesting it will be enough to persuade the judge to toss it? Aren't you tempted to ask why they contested it if they had no defense?

Anonymous said...

I went to traffic court a few years back (for the exact reason above- I was afraid to get points and I heard sometimes the officer doesn't show up). The judge said you could ask for "probation before judgement" so everybody did, and the only question he asked the officer was whether the bad guy (ie me) was polite and cooperative. If so, you got PBJ and only had a fine and after 3 years if you didn't speed anymore you'd have a clean record again. So maybe that's why they go.