Friday, September 2, 2011

A Year of Gratitude - Day Eighty-two

Day 82 - Resolution
Back in May, I got a speeding ticket for using my gas pedal and the open left lane to get out from behind a big pickup in order to see beyond the ten feet in front of me that he so generously afforded as he pulled into my lane.  Naturally, the patrolman was right there.  After receiving the notice in the mail, I called the court to ask about procedures (I have never had a ticket in Oregon) and spoke to a very nice woman who suggested that, since I had some concerns, I should plead not guilty and talk to the judge about it.
Unfortunately, I think she was a little optimistic about how that might go for me.  (Or maybe she was playing me like a guitar; I don’t know.)  Suffice it to say, for a “violation” (as opposed to a misdemeanor or felony), the state (in this case, the officer) needs only to supply evidence of my guilt for me to be found guilty.  My word/explanation/intention is irrelevant.  In traffic court, you are presumed guilty unless you can prove there isn't enough evidence (or the officer doesn't show up).
Don’t you just love the “justice” system?
But it’s done.  In the bigger picture, it doesn’t matter, though I resent having a “conviction” for a violation that hundreds of others were committing (the officer admitted the average speed was about 10 miles an hour over the posted speed limit).  I was the unlucky sot who got to pay for it.
The one sort-of-good part was that my fine was reduced almost in half.  I suppose I should be grateful for that, though it felt more like extortion or blackmail, but I guess that’s a plea bargain, right?  Whatever.
This entry may sound negative, but the good news is that it's over.  I’m grateful to have this behind me.  

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