On the Lam

by Molly

On June 23, 2012 I was pulled over for “allegedly speeding” outside my neighborhood on the way to work.  I was cited for said “alleged speeding” AND for “failure to maintain financial responsibility”.  Um, excuse me? Do you know what I do for a living?

Apparently, even though they can run your license plates, and they know you have insurance, these jackwagon constables feel like they need to give you a ticket to keep their jobs.  I get it.  I really do.  But what I don’t get is how they don’t understand it is incredibly annoying for me to fax them a copy of my insurance.  It is one more thing I really don’t need in my life.  It is inefficient and a waste of everyone’s time just so they can follow procedure.

Well about a month before the aforementioned citations, Terry had successfully defended my honor in traffic court for another “alleged” crime that I had obviously not committed.  This was for the accident in October 2011 where I was forced to run into the back of someone who stopped in the middle of a major US highway.  I was high on the success of winning, and possibly a tad overconfident when presented with a new…challenge, if you will.

So I toss the tickets aside, and tell Terry he has a new traffic court date.  He laughs at me and sides with the police officer in “keeping our neighborhood safe against people like me”.

I’m sorry, what?!  This IS your job.  I do our taxes, you can fix my tickets.  This is why I urged you to go to law school in the first place.

He mumbles something about ” he only practices civil litigation” and I ignore him and proceed to forget this ever happens.

Until Monday, September 17, 2012.

My life has been on pause in an effort to complete busy season part two.  For those of you that don’t know, September 17th is the lesser known and much more stressful tax deadline.  This is the deadline for all corporate returns that were extended in the spring.  As there is no more options to extend, we really must finish all work by September 17th.  Once my returns were filed, I was all about taking care of my personal business that had been neglected.

My first call was to Judge Patronella’s office because I had all of these letters from him.  One was yellow, so I figured he was trying to tell me something.

I was right.  He was trying to tell me that I had not one, but TWO outstanding warrants in my name.  And it was going to cost me $700 in cash bond money to remove this warrant from my name and to reschedule my court date.

Considering I leave for Germany in a few days, I decided this was silly and I would take care of it when I got back.

But fate intervened, and I was pulled over for speeding AGAIN on the way to work yesterday morning and get this:  I had so diligently printed out my new proof of insurance card AND my old insurance card whilst dealing with the original ticket cluster, yet I had failed to keep them organized.  The new insurance card that is currently proving my financial responsibility is at home on my kitchen counter, and my old insurance card that I needed for my last ticket (which expired 9/1/2012) is in my purse.  What are the chances?

I burst into tears on the spot, knowing that it was at this moment not only would I be arrested and sent to arguably one of the scariest county jails in the country, but that I was going to get a ticket for the same damn thing I was getting arrested for.

Thankfully, this man took pity on me and elected not to arrest me.  I warned him I had an outstanding warrant when he took my license, and I think he could tell I was inches from stroking out on him.  Instead he wrote me another ticket for speeding, and one for failure to maintain financial responsibility…

And he raised me one more offense with a ticket for an outstanding vehicle registration.  I explained that I had mailed my check weeks ago (read: on Monday, my day of personal productivity), and I was simply waiting for it to come in the mail.  He said “it is ok, you will get it dismissed when you present your current registration”.  Mmmhmm I’ve heard that before.

Stop judging me right now.  I really am very busy, and rarely open mail that doesn’t look like an invitation or a thank you note.

Needless to say, I was scared straight from the near arrest I had managed to dodge, so I made way over to the county precinct to pay up.  It hurt a tiny bit to fork over all of that cash, which is probably the appropriate punishment.  I am assuming that is why they do it.

However, once the tickets are taken care of (which they will be because Terry is a stud in the court room, criminal or otherwise, AND BECAUSE I DO HAVE INSURANCE!!!!), I should receive that $700 back in 8 to 10 weeks following the settlement.  Not all is lost.  Except that cash on my trip to Germany.  Sorry friends and family for the cheap presents you will receive upon my return.  Shot glasses for everyone!