traffic court

So, I have to go to traffic court next week, and I’m a bit freaked out about the whole thing. I got pulled over the other night for speeding (which doesn’t really bother me, I got ticketed for 10 over), but the real shocker was when the officer came back and said “You wanna explain to me why your license is suspended?” My jaw totally dropped and it took me a few seconds to even respond since I had no idea *why* it would be suspended to start with.

Turns out I made a stupid mistake — I need to send in a medical form signed by my doctor that states I can drive. The reason I need to do that is that I take some prescription meds, and when I got my renewal notice in the mail last year, they ask if you are taking anything regularly, so I answered yes and put my info down. I figured that was the end of that. Except that I got a longer form in the mail asking for more specifics and demanding that the doctor sign it, and I had to send it in before I could get my license. Well, poop, more paperwork. I took care of that, and got my license okay.

What happened, though, and I had no idea, is that you have to send one in every year after that, too. I probably would have known that except that my address on my driver’s license was still at my old address — I had moved a few months after getting it renewed and forgot to update it. The officer kept saying, “they would have sent you something in the mail if it was suspended,” and I just replied, “I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have missed something like that.”

So, I have two charges against me — speeding, and driving with a suspended license. Getting my license reinstated was simple. I just had to go to my doctor the next day, have her fill out a new form, and dropped it off at the driver’s license division and was cleared to drive again right away. Oh, and I updated my address at the same time.

I have to go to court now, and I have no idea what I’m gonna plead (probably either guilty or no contest), but I hope I at least get a chance to explain myself. I’d never *intentionally* drive without a suspended license (it was revoked back in March), it’s just that I had no idea, and I probably would have if I had my address updated. So, I have no idea what to expect, and of course, being the nervous type that I am, all these fear-mongering scenarios race through my head. Not really looking forward to this one.

On the plus side, my driving record is mostly really clean — I’ve never been in an accident before and I think this is only the fourth or fifth ticket I’ve ever gotten for speeding ever since I started driving, so maybe it won’t be that bad. I just hope I can explain to the judge that I’m a dumb cluck who forgot to do some paperwork, and it’s probably not a good idea to demote me to just skating to work after that.

3 Comments

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3 responses to “traffic court

  1. Sander

    Man o man, I hope they understand your situation a little and it’ll turn out well. Do you have any idea what the penalties are for those charges?

  2. Shouldn’t you perhaps get some legal advice?

    Even just a preliminary chat with a lawyer on what to expect would probably help you get the outcome you desire in this situation.

  3. jsbronder

    If you’re just going to plead guilty or no contest, talk to the DA before you go to court. You can usually get about 30% knocked off the fine if you agree to pay in full before your court date. You’ll also get a chance to explain yourself.

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