Mar 1, 2010

My First Ticket

Day 121

I got my driver's license when I was a little older and I pride myself on being a good driver. One day I was returning home from USU (Utah State University) and I had a fantastic day. I got an 'A' on my PoliSci test and things were looking up. I was coming home because I had to go to work. I had the radio on and I was just happy.

I was leaving Smithfield when I looked on the right and saw that I had passed a police car who was using his radar to snag speeders. I looked down to see how fast I was going and I was going pretty fast. I looked in my rear view mirror and sure enough the cop was after me. I pulled over and he asked me why he pulled me over. I told him that I had a great day at school, was singing along with the radio and just didn't watch my speed. He told me that he appreciated my honesty and that he instead of giving me a ticket would issue me a summons to appear in court in front of the judge. I think I would rather have the ticket. He also lowered my official speed, which was very nice considering I was doing 56 MPH in a 25 MPH zone. So I had to come back to Smithfield in two weeks and appear in court.

Finally the day of my court appearance arrived. I was pretty nervous. I dressed very nicely, splashed on some cologne and went to court.

Apparently that cop must have caught a ton if us speeding because the first three people ahead of me were in there for that. And the cop was there as well as a witness.

I sat down and listened to the judge talk to each offender. Then he called up some kid who looked around the same age as me. He asked him for his story and the kid told him that he was pulled over for speeding. His story was very much like mine, he was coming home from USU, going to work and was not paying attention. The judge also commended him for telling the truth. The judge was very understanding and kind, since it was his first ticket as well, he offered to cut the fine and points in half. He asked the kid what he thought about that. And the stupid kid says "I think I should be let off since it was my first time!" The judge was not too pleased. He offered again to cut the fine and points in half and again the kid said he should be let off. Then the judge got angry. He yelled "How about DOUBLE the fine and points?" The kid just stared at him stunned. "80 dollars and full points!" And he banged his gavel. The kid then said he didn't have the money to pay that. So the judge replies "You better call your mommy or daddy. You will remain under our custody until you pay!" Then he ordered the bailiff to take him away. The judge then was telling the cop how disrespectful that young man was and how angry it made him. Suddenly he yelled out, "Matthew Platis? Come on up!"

I was petrified.

The judge asked for my story and I told him the truth even though my story was much like the kid in front of me. He also commended me for my honesty and asked if this was my first ticket too. I told him that it was and I braced myself. He looked at me and asked me, "Since this is your first offense, how does NO points and a $40 fine sound?" I was surprised, I thought for sure he was going to nail me. I told the judge that would be fantastic and I thanked him. The judge then looked over at the other kid and said "You should have been respectful like this outstanding young man. But instead you acted like the world owes you something." He then turned to me and said "If you don't have the money we will issue you a ticket so you can mail it in anytime." I told him I had the money and would be happy to pay up, so I did.

The kid was not happy at all. I was happy though, no points on my insurance and only forty bucks? Lesson learned!

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