Monday, October 29, 2007

Good Morning Your Honor...

I really like going to traffic court. It is a challenge, but it's also fun.

I like to listen to other officers and defendants as they go through their cases. I enjoy hearing how well, or how poorly, other officers put on their testimony. It's even more fun to hear what some of the defendants think is relevant evidence. "But your honor, he stopped me in the next city over. He was out of his jurisdiction." "But your honor, my car is not purple..... it's plum." "But your honor, I have a witness. No, she wasn't with me at the time, but she drives that way every day and she knows that intersection."

I always enjoy the challenge of testifying in a traffic case. I have to make sure I hit all of the elements of that particular violation, or I am going to lose. Even if it is a particularly complicated section, I have to make sure I completely cover it. Then, I have to respond to the defendant's questions, however irrelevant, without laughing. Finally, I have to listen to the defendant testify as to what they think happened, again without laughing.

I have had people suggest to the judge that I was hiding, that I specifically targeted them because of their race, that I get paid extra for writing more tickets, or that I was flat out lying. Some people will literally try ANYTHING to get out of a traffic ticket.

The best part of traffic court, is that I get paid overtime when I go on my days off. Easy money. Okay, so maybe I do get paid a little extra for writing tickets.

Oddly enough, I try my best to keep people from going to traffic court when I write them tickets. I have become quite adept at selling the tickets I write. I very carefully explain why I was working in that particular spot, or why the violation was so heinous and truly deserves a ticket. Most of the time, people will actually thank me for writing them the ticket. It's really unbelievable.

Every now and then though, there is the person who wants to question my ancestry, speak of my irrelevance, or otherwise express their displeasure at my "efficiency". Those are generally the people I expect to see in traffic court, and I am rarely disappointed. These same people try to tell the judge that I was rude to THEM. They attempt to convince the judge that they would never have committed the violation if I hadn't been there. It's actually quite entertaining.

Just think, I get to have a blast.... and get paid for it!! It's better than the movies.

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