Windfall Woman

Life and times of an older Brittany Murphy look-a-like still working as a sales executive after experiencing a life changing windfall a year or so ago

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Here Comes The Judge........and the Jury

I had to go to court yesterday for two minor traffic violations (nothing that could have hurt anyone - no speeding, etc.) The judge came in on time after I had counted 18 rows with 11 seats each plus people standing. He began speaking and assuring us that the worst any of us would suffer would be one year in jail and a $1000 fine. THAT was reassuring. At first his humor was a bit reassuring. As the afternoon wore on, his humor masked a huge ego along with his didactic manner. It was dismaying to realize that the justice system in this city was so inefficient. It appeared un,ess you wanted to plead guilty and immediately pay your fine (which you could have done without showing up for the cattle call) that you had to fill out a very confusing set of papers. At several points in my career, I worked for law firms. Even with my experience, it was a bewildering process. Since I was pleading no contest, I had to fill out a paper. Once handed in (questionable as to whom), we waited to be called into a separate room with three solicitors. One solicitor looked especially nice -- I hoped to get him. One was designated for the latino "defendants" (what we were all called). The last one looked like a typical hard DA. I watched as defendant after defendant approached the individual solicitors. Most were pled down, points reduced or eliminated. The latinos' solicitor seemed the toughest.

Finally, I was called up to the "hard" DA's table. My solicitor took one look at me, asked a few questions, and to my ultimate happiness, he dismissed my charges completely. That wasn't the end of it. I had to go out and wait in the courtroom for the judge to agree to the solicitors' negotiations. After I went back into the courtroom, the jovial judge suddenly began to be not so jovial. He began overturning pleas, lecturing those who had already pled guilty. Amazingly, in the midst of all this, a woman accused of battery, followed by a crack then a cocaine addict were brought in and interrupted the process. The judge was "easier" on these defendants than those sitting in the courtroom. I waited through 192 cases to be called - among the last eight - and found that he had already signed off on my case but no one had called my name. I had sat for four hours virtually for nothing. Last night, I dreamed of people passing unloading school buses, speeding at 90+ miles an hour, driving with no license, no insurance, it was a troubled sleep.

I'm still trying to make sense of yesterday. Did I witness justice? Or something else?

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11 Comments:

Anonymous Sophmom said...

The system is a disaster. I would bet there are places it is worse and would be interested in knowing your jurisdiction. Where I live, we have a number of different jurisdictions. I've been blessed with the opportunity to witness a number of them in action. Some are worse than others. Good that you got this over with and as much as a PIA as it was, that your charges were dismissed.

11:12 AM  
Blogger Big Lobo said...

What you did not experience, as we say here in the West was "vigilante justice." What you did experience was plain ole inefficiency. How come a court has defendants in drug cases crammed together with others who have minor traffic offenses? Stupid. Just like the electronic touch-screen voting machines with no paper trail. More inefficient and dumb bureaucracy. You are lucky you were only there four hours - you might have had some dumb nut mistakenly lock you up overnight.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Novelist Rogue said...

You have experienced the sting of modern democratic bumblebee bureaucracy at its best.

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WFW I think Big Lobo is onto something. What the heck is a person with a traffic violation (assuming he is right about that) doing in a courtroom with drug defendants? That is exactly why I have a "no-drinking" policy anytime I drive my truck (or car for that matter). I like a snort or two every now and then but I never take a drink (or even a sip of one) when I am driving. I've become the "designated driver" for our little group of friends. The only problem with it is I have to use my gas for the trips. Sometimes some of the friends offer to drive, but I know judgment is impaired when folks drink and drive so I decline the invitation and just tell them I'll drive. Fortunately none of my family (other than the missus and I can't talk her out it) drink and drive. I'm not accusing you of driving under the influence because you seem too smart for that. Old Baldy

3:48 PM  
Blogger David said...

no justice there, but you did get away scott free, except for the four hours of torture. I think they want you to hire an attorney, since they all are law people, to get any respect. people pleading their own cases are looked down on.
just for fun ( if there is a ) next time, hire an attorney and see how much more quickly/ efficiently it is handled.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Typical day in court

4:08 PM  
Blogger Raggedy said...

What a horrible experience for you. I can't believe how long you were there. That is just crazy.
Try and put it all behind you and have a good day today.
Have a wonderful day!
*^_^
(=':'=) hugs
(")_ (")Š from
the Cool Raggedy one

5:46 AM  
Blogger Ms. Vickie said...

You experienced the inefficiency of the system and you see it most places. I have a friend who is a darn good attorney and he often talks about "the system" I tease him well do something you are part of it.

Glad to know you have this behind you and it did end in a favorable ruling for you---just sorry for the time you spent there especially in the end where it could have been prevented.

12:13 PM  
Blogger Big Lobo said...

Just learned my sister-in-law was stopped Friday for having an expired state decal on her car. Would you believe that cop spent 45 minutes giving her a ticket. What a waste of time. Meanwhile the teenage gangs are operating with a free hand. Where are the law enforcement priorities?

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so you made yourself look like the innocent dumb blonde,i could have figured that

6:44 PM  
Blogger David said...

in our town sheriff's have been known to pull over and harass blondes who are alone and attractive, to the point of handcuffing, humiliating and booking them. idiots!
and the druggies and drunks go on their way.

2:06 AM  

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