… or things I learned in traffic court this morning:
* You don’t really have to be there by 8 AM, and the courtroom’s doors don’t really open at 8:30 AM.
* Interestingly, what time you check-in has nothing to do with when your name is called once inside the courtroom. Really.
* There are a lot of really strange people in this world and the judge and bailiff really have heard everything.
* People don’t dress decently when they go to court and they really should.
* If you don’t have the money to pay the fine, and you don’t think you can get the money to pay the fine for exceeding the speed limitation of your car (which really made me wonder what kind of car the dude had been driving), you will end up handcuffed and spending the next 4 days in jail, courtesy of American taxpayers.
* It is not advised to write an obscenity on your fine payment check. It is also not a good idea to laugh about it (whether from nerves or amusement) when the judge points it out. You will find yourself in contempt of court. Really not a good idea.
* If you pay your fee for traffic school, have three months to take care of it, and then “forget” or “get too busy” to go, and then appear in court a month after the deadline, you won’t get an extension and will be out the extra money you paid… and it will still go on your driving record.
* It is really worth it to go to traffic court if you are only paying the bail amount or if it’s a non-moving violation (cell phone ticket, etc.). The judge will knock a lot of money off your fine, and you can make payments!
* However, if you’re eligible for and want to go to traffic school, the only thing you can do is ask for an extension of time. The fee is mandated by the State of California, so the judge cannot adjust it and you cannot make payments.
That’s what I did this morning.