The first time I went to court back in '03 to contest a ticket (failure to come to a "complete" stop at a stop sign), it was in the nearby town of Middletown. That must have been God tricking me into thinking it was easy or something. I was in and out within like an hour and a half. I sat in the courtroom, the judge told us all what was going to happen, all those contesting went out in the lobby, where the prosecutor talked to us all at once about what was going to happen and then called us up individually going from simple stuff (traffic violations) on up, so I got handled pretty fast (since I had a traffic violation). Back into the courtroom, judge lines us up in no particular order, hears our case, and dismisses us. Bada-bing bada-boom. I got all 2 points taken off.
The second time I went to court it was about 15 minutes away in another township, and that took like two and a half hours. This time I was in for speeding (65 in a 50) and failure to observe signal (stupid ass traffic lights never change when I'm on my bike dammit, so I stopped, looked both ways, and went). It took like two hours for the prosecuter to even get to seeing me, and then she almost dismissed me cause I hadn't called ahead (didn't have to last time, wtf?). But she handled me anyways and gave me a big break - merged my two tickets into a careless driving that knocked down my fine and saved me 4 points.
This time it just sucked. The courthouse was over half an hour away, it was snowing, and of all things I forgot to bring a freakin book to read. So here I am sitting in the lobby waiting for them to call me into the prosecutor's office, bored out of my skull. So I played a few rounds of the "What if? game. That was fun. Basically you create and run through disaster scenarios in your head using your current sorroundings. My first scenario was armed men busting through the doors downstairs (visible from the second floor balcony) and rushing upstairs to shoot everyone. So I leaped off the balcony (I checked the height - painful but doable) and landed behind the third guy. I wrapped my arm around his throat and grabbed his gun hand. But then he elbowed me in the stomach and head butted me, then turned around and shot me. Dammit. So I reset. This time when I jumped down, I grabbed his free arm and twisted it behind his back, then head butted him, grabbed his gun hand and was about to start shooting the other guys, when the fourth guy guarding the door outside shoots me in the back. DOH! I finally beat the scenario when I started like I did in the second run through, but checked to make sure no one was behind me. Then I shot and killed the other two guys and broke the back of the poor patsy I was using. Nice. My second scenario was a terrorist strapped with bombs walking in and blowing us all up. My first run through, I spotted him as he came up the stairs all glazy-eyed and mumbling, and I quick got up and dashed downstairs and out the door before he blew up the whole building. But then I realized that was a cheap win, I should at least save people. So I re-ran it and pulled out a couple of people with me on the bottom floor as I fled. But I also wanted to kill the bastard, so I ran it again. This time instead of running, I screamed "He's got bombs!! kill him!!" Unfortunately, the stupid old fat cop manning the court room doors fumbled as he tried pulling his gun out of his holster and the terrorist blew us all up. Stupid cop. But I decided I'd give the guy another chance - he is old and fat after all. So I run it yet again. This time the cop manages to clear leather and shoot the bastard - unfortunately this was a smart terrorist (heaven forbid) and he wasn't holding a trigger in his hand - he was holding a blasted kill switch. So when he let go... yea. Crap. So lesson learned - just freakin run.
Anyways that kept me occupied for a while. I finally got into the prosecutor's office after about two hours of waiting. Now I thought 30mph over the speed limit was a 6 point ticket, but it's only 5. So I was hoping for a point off. So I walk in and sit down. The guy pulls out my entire freakin record and asks me why he shouldn't suspend my license for 30 days.
I hadn't seen this one coming. Shoulda ran some scenarios. I managed to convince him that I wasn't a crazy driver despite my record (not having any accidents as result of said charges helped no doubt) and he witheld the suspension and gave me a point off (reduced to 75 in a 55). *phew* Still, this makes me realize that I'm now risking license suspension in order to get points taken off - which means if I get another ticket (and my points are still high), I'm just going to pay that fine and take the points. Screw this. Of course they'll suspend me anyways if I get 12 points, but suspension for 6 thanks to my past driving record? That would really suck.
Hokay, so that was my lovely evening. whee fun. I have to go play some games now to keep me sane. Ciao.