Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mother - Daughter Bonding...At Court

Yesterday was that special bonding time between a mother and daughter when the mother must accompany the daughter to traffic court!  Brooke got her first speeding ticket a few weeks ago.

The Excuse

It was a Friday night.  Her curfew is midnight, she got home at 12:03 with this wild look about her which I know realize was fear.  "Mom! I got a speeding ticket!" Then she waited for my reaction which was of course laughter.  I told her she lasted a year longer than I did. She said she was scared to tell me but I think I may have ticked her off by laughing.

She was going 53 mph in a 40.  The police officer pulled her over and said, "I caught ya didn't I?".  She said he was funny and nice but not nice enough to let her go.

She told him she was speeding because she didn't want to be late for her curfew.  I'm sure that was a feeble attempt to gain sympathy but the seasoned cop didn't bite.

Yes, her curfew is midnight but we always give her a 10 minute window just because things happen and honestly, with Brooke, the less strict you are the better she is.  She has been driving for a year and a half and this is maybe the 2nd time she has been late.  I guess we beat her so severely last time that she was scared to be late again.  JOKING!

We explained to her that if she didn't get pulled over for speeding, she wouldn't have been even 3 minutes late.  At 11:50 when she got pulled over, she was only 3 miles from home.

Fear of the Unknown

For 4 weeks she worried a lot about the cost of the ticket, what the judge would ask her or say, would she have to do community service, and would she have to take a defensive driving class.

When we explained to her that her insurance was going to increase for 3 years, she got mad. For the past month we have given her the typical parent speech about how speeding costs you for 3 years, could injure or kill someone and it just isn't worth it.


Since Brooke is under 18 and it was her first ticket, a parent had to be present.  Court was scheduled to start at 5:30.  We got there early because we had no idea what we were in for.  We stood in a hot hallway for 30 minutes with a huge crowd of people. 

Brooke and I always find something to cut up about.  We were people watching and trying to guess their charge.  I motioned to one stoner guy and told her he was probably driving under the influence.  Later we heard him tell his story.  I looked at Brooke and said "Nailed it"  We both cracked up. 

It didn't take us long to learn the bathroom was air conditioned. Ah! Relief from the heat!  We hung out there for a little while to cool off.  It was so hot in the hallway that people were sweating just standing still. Sweat was rolling off of everyone.

Finally, the court clerk came out and announced that you were allowed in the courtroom if your last name began with A-L.  Crap!  Then she announced that she knew it was hot and they could go as fast as possible but if we needed to cool down we could step outside.  Brooke and I looked at each other in disbelief and then started laughing.  What a ridiculous statement. It was 5:45 and at least 103 degrees outside. After the hall cleared of the A-L's and the smokers who were more than happy to go outside to smoke, we cooled down quite a bit.

At 7:00 pm they finally called in the M-Z people.  As a mom, I of course instructed my daughter to say "Yes your Honor", look her in the eye and be truthful.  She was fidgety and scared to death.

The first guy called up was with his dad.  He was only 15 and had received 3 tickets.  We couldn't hear what they were all for but we did hear that he was 15 and took his daddy's truck to go see a girl. The judge smiled a little and the bailiff put his hand over his mouth while he chuckled.

I figured most of us M-L's were traffic violations until the Judge called a name and a woman in her late 30's walked up to the bench and said "yeah?"  It was no surprise that her charge was A&B which I found out was Assault and Battery.

Another woman was charged with failure to stop at a stop sign.  She argued with the judge stating that she 'rolled through'. 

The Verdict

We went before the judge and Brooke plead guilty to speeding.  She would have to take defensive driving, pay court costs of $80 and be on probation for 6 months.  We go back in 6 months.  if she has now new tickets, her record will be clean. Yeah!

We were both pretty happy with the verdict.  We were both expecting to pay a fine in addition to the other stuff and we weren't expecting her to have a clean record. We went on the way home to eat at Ginghis Grill and finally got home at 8:00 pm.

With a little luck and a lighter foot, we won't be back any time soon.  Although she had a fairly easy time of it, I think it was a lesson learning experience for her.

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