… 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.



Filed under Hmmm..., I ♥ My Miata, I Left Home for Awhile, Time Consumers, Weird is Fun

9 responses to “Really.

  1. grrrace

    Good to know!

    I totally snickered about the writing of obscenities on the check. hehehe.

    Everyone who heard what the judge said snickered. Which is probably why the obscenity author laughed. The judge, however, didn’t think it was funny in the slightest. *shudder*

    ~Jammie J.

  2. yum, we don’t have the same system for traffic tickets – i don’t think?

    i’ve only gotten a parking ticket (didn’t see the loading zone sign which was behind the tall oak tree! – that’s my excuse anyway) … and i stopped at the nearest “cop shop”, paid it … it was done – and about 2/3 cheaper to do it that way …

    yours sounds really dramatic! specially with all the charactors for apeople watcher like you to observe … !

    Mostly I couldn’t believe there were so many people there, so early on a Thursday morning. Your way of handling the tickets sounds ideal!

    ~Jammie J.

  3. I learned many of those things my first time in traffic court as well, which happened to begin right after criminal court ended. Of course, they don’t tell you that when they say to show up. But I also learned it isn’t good to talk to the judge while you’re drunk. And that guys who steal your albums in high school do eventually end up in orange jumpsuits and handcuffs.

    We were the first ones into the courtroom that day, so no exciting criminal court to follow. I was surprised there was even a court in that area of town. I had no idea. It was an office building, not a brick and mortar structure, very strange. The driveway to get there was through all these parking lots. Definitely the strangest court I’ve ever visited.

    ~Jammie J.

  4. Caryl

    So…….no mercy for you, but at least amusing watching others.
    Love you,

    Nope, no mercy. There was a guy ahead of me who asked the same thing, so I just told the judge that my question had already been answered, explained what I was after, he confirmed that he couldn’t lower the fee and sent me on my merry way.

    ~Jammie J.

  5. What were you doing in traffic court? I must have missed a post somewhere …

    I had to go to traffic court last year for a speeding ticket and thought I should have gotten extra points for being well dressed (i.e., no major cleavage showing, none of my butt hanging out of my shorts, etc.), at least compared to most of the other people there!

    I crossed over the line into the bicycle lane a few feet before I should have and a motorcycle cop 15 cars behind me decided to add some money to California’s coffers. Traffic court is definitely an experience one should have at least once in their lifeitime, I’m thinking.

    ~Jammie J.

  6. There is nothing so entertaining as ER waiting rooms and traffic court.

    You are so right.

    ~Jammie J.

  7. Yes, why were you there?
    I just spent the afternoon in LV Fingerprint line, almost as fun but probably a lot cheaper, and they don’t lock you up if you can’t pay you just don’t get your card (and the job depending on it) The same voice calls you – ‘number 635 to window 8’, except there are three waiting rooms and you go through each in sequence.

    I crossed over the line into the bicycle lane a few feet before I should have and a motorcycle cop 15 cars behind me decided to add some money to California’s coffers. I thought I might be able to get some $$ knocked off the $262 fee but, alas, it wasn’t to be.

    Ohhh, our fingerprinting place is much easier than that, they do it at the sheriff station about 15 miles from here. A bit of a drive, but friendly service! 🙂

    So does that mean you got a job?

    ~Jammie J.

  8. So much fun to idiot watch ; )

    It really was! So much so, I’m tempted just to go and hang out there for awhile every morning… or not. 🙂

    ~Jammie J.

  9. Some very interesting facts, my dear—some of which I have never heard before. But one really wonders about someone who writes obscenity’s on their fine-check….I mean, don’t they know this will cause a BIG Problem for them? OY!

    I didn’t know some of those things either… it was an interesting morning.
    Re: the obscenity, it’s like “why?” The only people who will see it are clerks or judges… not the cop who gave you the ticket. *shrug*

    ~Jammie J.