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I fought the Law, and the Law Won.

05 April 2012

Several weeks ago, I had my day in court.



You see, last July I got caught by a speed camera doing 55kph in a school zone {where it's 40kph during certain hours on school days.}
To make a long story bearable, I'd only been in the country less than 60 days at the time.  I was told by several Aussie coworkers that it was school holidays and, thus, the school zones could be ignored.

Unfortunately, you cannot exactly argue with a speed camera.  Or flirt your way out of a ticket, for that matter.

Photo source

These buggers are all over Australia.  And I hate them.

So me being me, I decided to fight it in court.
Why? Because I obviously love putting myself in uncomfortable, nerve wracking positions.

This might look like a smile for those who don't know me.  But it's actually my "Eek I'm nervous face."

Here's how shizz went down....
Everybody goes inside the court room.
You have to bow to the judge {Magistrate.}  Weird.
Turns out it's criminal court, {so much for traffic court ala Los Angeles.}
So I have to sit nervously through a guy getting the nails put to him for selling pot.
Naturally, I was the first case to get called forward that wasn't using a lawyer {or solicitor, as they say here.}
I pled my case.
I think I did a pretty decent job.
Until the end, which went like this:

Judge: "Are you employed?"
Me: "Yes, Your Honor."
Judge: "Do you plan to present me with evidence as to why you cannot pay the $278 fine?"
Me: {crap!} "No, Your Honor."
Judge: "Case settled.  Judgement for $278."

She got me.  Two days later I came up with a great rebuttal.

Me {hypothetically}: "Is a prerequisite condition of financial hardship necessary to request leniency, Your Honor?"
translation: F*(@ off, it doesn't matter if I have money or not!

Today, an envelope came in the mail, which I assumed would be the $278 penalty.
I opened it.

ADVICE OF DISQUALIFICATION AND CANCELLATION OF LICENCE

Say whaaaaaaaa?!?!?!

I start frantically reading the letter.  In small print at the bottom, it lists the offense, court, and date.  The court and date were correct, but the offense was wrong!  They put me down for an offense where you automatically lose your license {going 30kph over the speed limit.}

I called and the Road Transit Authority said I need to call the courts.  They simply enforce whatever the court sends through.  I asked "Is there an outstanding fine associated with the charge?"  "No."


Hmmmmm.  The license is only suspended until June 16, 2012.  We are only in Australia until May 31.  I'm wondering if I should just roll the dice and go with this charge to avoid paying the $278.  Worst case scenario, I get pulled over and have to explain to the cop that it was an error by the court and I'm working with them to resolve it.

Thanks, a lot, Hornsby Court </sarcasm>
What do you guys think?  
Should I go through the hassle of changing it with the court and paying the $278?
Or should I roll the dice with this one and have the evidence ready in case I get pulled over?

Update: {this is what I get for waiting so long to publish this post} The fine has come in the mail.  Blech!  Fortunately, I have a friend who's a prosecutor that's sorted out the mis-coded offense for me.  So now I basically just need your pity.  Ha!

10 comments:

  1. Hahahahha, THIS is why I like you.

    Also, seriously buddy, no one argues with Magistrates. I hope you've learned your lesson!

    Sad about the fine nonetheless :(

    And also, I'LL drive next time I see you - give the poor kiddies a chance! X

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  2. Oh, Em! This is funny and yet not all at the same time! What a mess! And bow to the magistrate? Yeah, that is definitely not LA traffic court!

    And don't you just LOVE how the best rebuttals come to you long after they're needed?!

    LOVE!

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  3. hahaha...

    You did a VERY good job talking to that douche judge.

    And if you hadn't of gotten the fine, I was totally going to say just ride it out and not worry about it bc you're leaving anyway!

    But oh well...

    So did you pay it?? Bc what's the worst that can happen if you don't?
    They'll never find you once you flee the country!!!

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  4. Ahhh, bummer!
    Here is my current 'roll the dice' dilemma: I'm taking a trip St. Maarten in 3 weeks, but my VISA is expired. Do I pay the $250 to renew it or take my chances on getting back into the country?!

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  5. Oh my goodness! What a mess for you! You definitely have my pity hun! Ugh! :(

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  6. Emily! Oh my goodness, what a story. I cannot believe that... Horrible, but also funny and makes a great story, right?!? I feel like that's something that would happen to me! Sorry you had to pay the fine :(

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  7. Oh geez! I hate tickets... When I was 16, I totaled my first car and the SECOND I climbed out of the ditch a cop pulled me aside to take my statement. I was trying to be very precise and I told him I overcorrected on the turn. This resulted in him giving me a whooping fine and a ticket for "careless and imprudent driving". Rude. Rude, rude, rude.
    I hope the rest of Australia is amazing, minus the speeding cameras.

    Andrea
    Left brain, right brain, pug brain.

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  8. You're leaving Australia?! That's what I get for not finding time to read blogs. This story is funny and not funny at the same time. Your rebuttal was genius, mine would not have been...even a few days later.

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  9. I'm sorry to find joy in your despair, but this story made me lol. Bummer about the fine :/ sometimes good stories are pricey

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Every comment makes me smile :)

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