Dorian Hargrove 12:47 p.m., May 19
The "How to Get Out of a Traffic Ticket" Blog
Last month when I wrote about my experience in traffic court – in which I went exactly one month earlier than my court date – I received a nice gift certificate to attend a comedy traffic school for free.
As I parked and walked in for my 1:00 p.m. showdown with the officer that ticketed me outside LA Fitness in Sorrento Valley, I came to the realization that I’d probably need to use that certificate. I had gotten a ticket for an illegal left turn going to House of Blues eight months ago and didn’t need another one on my record so soon.
I placed the Flip video camera that I use for Crasher parties, into the plastic box to be x-rayed.
I buzzed as I went thru the metal detector, which is odd. Last time I wore slacks, a dress shirt, and belt. This time I was wearing dark jeans with a polo shirt. I figured, why dress up? Everyone else in court looked like a bum. And the judge might think I was trying too hard. I figured I’d also leave my sunglasses and cell phone in the car (unlike a few others, who had phones go off and got a scolding from the bailiff).
I did bring in the paper and a few magazines, which is a good thing. After waiting 15 minutes to be seated, along with another 30 minutes before the judge walked in…it’s nice to not completely waste your time.
The officers all marched in at about 1:20. It was like something you’d see on a news clip of Tiananmen Square.
An interpreter came over to speak with two defendants. Nice to see our tax dollars hard at work.
The bailiff read out a list of names, mispronouncing the first four. When he said “Josh Board” he mentioned that being the first name he pronounced properly.
I just hoped I wouldn’t hear the judge say my name, followed by the word “guilty”, as he slams down his gavel and orders me out of his court room (okay, I’ve seen too many court room scenes in movies; in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a real judge with a gavel).
About 15 minutes later, the judge mentioned a name and dismissed him. His officer didn’t show up. He said my name, and also said I was free to go.
We were the only two people that didn’t have officers appear. As we sat in the next room, he was giddy with excitement, talking to his friend about it. After 10 minutes he asked one of the clerks how long it would take until we can sign our paperwork and leave. She said, “I have no idea. We’re waiting for them to bring it to us.”
I found it odd that she had “no idea”, since she does this daily. The guy then asked, “Will it be three hours? Or three minutes?” She sighed and said, “I just told you, I don’t know. I’m guessing it won’t be three hours, though.”
It ended up being another 15 minutes.
When my name was called, I signed the form. She said, “Your case has been dismissed.” I looked at her and said, “Yeah, I’m kind of bummed. I was looking forward to standing before the judge and presenting my evidence.” She sternly said “Why do you care? The case was dismissed. That’s the same thing as winning.”
I finished dating the document, looked up at her, and explained “I was being sarcastic.”