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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I Fought The Law And The Law Won!

Actually I didn't fight the law, my husband did, and the law didn't win, he did!!

Two times this past year my husband has wrongly been ticketed by over zealous Highway Patrol men. Once could have been a mistake on one or both sides in all fairness. My husband, sons, and a few of their friends had gone to the desert for camping and riding and took 2 or 3 vehicles and thought they only needed on pass per camp sight as they saw no notice of anything different.

The patrol men patrolling the area felt differently. They claimed it was per vehicle. For months my husband called, actually drove the long distance twice to go to court, checked the online status, did everything and some to have his day in court and argue his case. The officer never filed. Whew!

Then more recently, he was coming home from work and coming off the freeway was instantly pulled over accused of running a red light. He swears the light wasn't red. This happens to be in an area when on any given day during rush hour you will see literally six or more highway patrol men lined up and pulling over many drivers each light.

Now, I am not accusing these officers of wrongly pulling over drivers, I don't know for sure what the deal is but in my husbands case it was clearly a wrong call. So, he goes to court on his appointed day and wants to plead "not guilty." Not so easy! You have to pay the fine FIRST then wait a month or longer for your day in court. IF found innocent they will then refund your money in form of a check a later date in the mail.

I must interject here and just say I love how California operates when it comes to money issues. See, recently, even currently we are in a budget crisis. Many of us residents have been waiting for our tax refunds and were told there was no money we may get IOU's. Now do you think those who owed money were allowed to issue the state IOU's? I think not! Then with traffic fines, you pay upfront whether you are pleading innocent or guilty and only get your money back months later after proven innocent. What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty?

Well, my husband was found innocent. Or rather the officer never showed up to court, therefore my husband won by default. Did he get his check back that day? NOPE!! Of course not, we did recently get it, but I just don't understand how California continues to get away with these sorts of financial practices.

I almost told my husband to just let them keep their money as it was such a hassle for him to take the time off work, drive the hour each way to court and all for $180.00. But for him it was a matter of principle for one and also would cause our insurance rates to raise for another.

I think alot of people think like I did, that it's just not worth it to fight it even if you are right and just give up. I am pretty sure that is what the court and/or state is counting on. In the end I am glad he went and stood up for his rights. Maybe if more people did...........

1 comment:

Red said...

Tara...I would so love to see your husband, with a straight face hand the judge/clerk a slip of paper with the letters IOU on it and explain that if our own government can do it then why not us.

Lead by example I say. Hah!