Monday, September 26, 2011

Not Guilty

After a long, tiring, but blast of a weekend at a wedding in Milwaukee this past weekend, I had to be up and wide awake for a court trial at 8am this morning.  For a glance back at the last time I was in court, see this old post - it's a goody.

Flashback: Almost two months ago, I was pulled over for speeding.  The officer claimed I was going 70 in a 55. I could swear I was going a shade over 60.  Admittedly, that is still speeding, but I knew that police in this area had been recently trained on eyeing speed without using actual radar.  Knowing that, if that was the case in this situation, that kind of evidence wouldn't hold up in court. This was a good ticket to fight, even though it was only a $30 ticket.

I showed up to my arraignment back in August and plead "Not Guilty" and was assigned a court date.  It was during a time that I work so I called to have it changed and of course they moved it to the morning right after I would be traveling back from a wedding.  Oh well.    

That all brings us to this morning.  I got up early, went through my morning routine, and then sat down to write down the thoughts I'd been collecting regarding how I would question the police officer in court.  

The proceedings are such that my side of the case would be presented in the form of questions directed at the officer.  After consulting with Leni's aunt, an experienced court translator who has seen lots of these cases, and a little bit of online research, I went into court ready to ask these questions:

  1. When you clocked me, were you driving your vehicle or were you parked? (He was driving)
  2. Does using radar from a moving vehicle compromise accuracy of what vehicle is being clocked, as compared to being parked?
  3. Was I driving alone or were there other vehicles around me? (I was in a pack of cars)
  4. Is there a possibility that you inadvertently clocked another driver?
  5. When you pulled me over, did I ask to see the radar? (I did)
  6. What was your response to that? (He refused to show it to me)
  7. When had the radar equipment last been calibrated? (Next question asked only if he did not know the answer or if it had been quite some time)
  8. Is it possible then that the radar gave an inaccurate reading at the time you pulled me over?
As I said before, I was geared up for a fight.  I was naturally nervous but also excited to fight for myself.  I wasn't concerned about the measly amount of the fine but wanted to do all in my power to prevent the citation from being reported to my insurance company.

In the end, the officer never showed up and my case was completely dismissed.  Part of me had been hoping for this outcome but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I also had really wanted the opportunity to face the cop and get the chance to question him.  I was looking forward to the hopeful chance of having the experience of being found "Not Guilty", followed by shooting him an annoying "you suck and I win" smile from across the court room.  But oh any event, I'm keeping my money and my auto insurance company will never know a thing.  Mission accomplished.

Stay tuned when this weekend, Leni will mow our new lawn and I'll actually take some pics and post the sequel to my most recent post, Landscaping Part I.  Sorry about the month long delay between posts.  I don't have an excuse.  Just didn't happen to get anything up.  My bad.

Keep It Real!

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