Three and a half hours. That’s how long I sat in court today (with Lisa at my side). You can’t imagine how absolutely furious I was getting by the end (and how much I really had to pee 🙂 ). And I knew by that point that they were just waiting for the officer to show up. Even when he did, they held my trial for the very end. Outside of the actual court staff, there was simply myself, Lisa, and the patrolman sitting “in the stands”. When they finally called me up, I justed wanted to accept the lesser plea and get it over with. It’s amazing how quickly you realize that “the principle” really just doesn’t matter that much. Then it happened. The officer who hit me picked up the phone to call the one who had written the ticket. I turned to the prosecuter and said that I was willing to accept the plea, since I didn’t want to waste the officer’s time and didn’t feel confident in going to trial without an attorney. But the public defender quickly hit me and said “No!” I turned to her and she explained that they were about to dismiss!
Not being a lawyer what I didn’t know was that the prosecution needed the officer who wrote the ticket (not just the one involved in the accident) to be present. That usually makes sense, but since he was not a witness and merely wrote the ticket since the other officer had to be taken to the hospital I didn’t realize that it still applied. Thank God for the public defender. I thanked her profusely after the case was dismissed. If I ever run into her at a bar, you better believe she drinks for free that night!
At the end of it all, however, the judge said “Just so you know, this is the officer you hit.” I looked at her rather confused and said, “You mean the one who hit me.” There was an awkward silence and even the officer feigned a look of shock. A few words were exchanged and I tried to explain my comment but she just said that that was for a civil court to decide. For the most part she had been a very good judge and had helped me out by letting me discuss the case with the public defender even though I should have hired my own attorney. But that comment struck me as though she were trying to guilt me for what happened even though it was 100% without a single doubt the fault of the police officer! Seriously, he ran a stop sign and hit the back of my car as I was exiting an intersection. Even if his sirens had been on (as he claimed) it was still his responsibility to pause at the stop sign. And considering I was almost completely through the intersection at the time, he clearly did not pause, rather sped along at around 45 MPH. The last time I had been in the courtroom even the prosecuter said that the cop was not disputing the fact that he had hit me, because he clearly did. The ticket was about my failure to yield to his sirens, which no one will ever convince me were actually on.
Sigh… whatever. The matter is dismissed. There are no fines or fees for me to pay. I still have an incredibly clean driving record (no tickets and that’s my first accident) and can now remind my insurance company of this. Even if he decides to sue me, he really doesn’t have a leg to stand on as any attorney I would hire would clearly point out everything he did wrong in that situation and possibly give me ammunition to countersue. Let’s hope it doesn’t come down to that, as I merely want to leave the entire crummy saga behind me.