Stopping Two Cars, Act 2
As luck would have it, I had a work conflict with my original trial date. I phoned the Court House for adjournment. I was instructed to go to the Court House and fill out this form. Off I went, with supporting documentation in hand.
"You need to fill out this form and give it to the prosecutors office."
So I filled out the form, and off I went to the prosecutors office, with supporting documentation in hand. An agent for the prosecutor signed the form, and I got a new date to hear reasons for adjournment.
On the day of the adjournment hearing, off I went with supporting documentation in hand. I looked at the court docket, with about 30 cases, and I was near the bottom.
"Great, Im going to have to be here all afternoon."
Not so. The prosecutor rearranged the court docket, with quicker cases heard first. There was one case in which the prosecutor dropped charges. In another case, the officer was not available, so charges were dismissed.
There were about four cases for adjournment on the court docket, and all requests were granted. In one case, the accused was not present. The prosecutor recommended rejecting the adjournment, but the JP ordered a new trial date.
I finally got my day in court. The room was packed, filled with all sorts of people, all ages, gender, even military personnel. First came some shuffling of cases. Then the JP advised everyone in the court room that "Its your constitutional right to have a trial and if you plead guilty you forfeit that right." Next came cases pleading guilty or guilty with an explanation. Never, ever plead guilty with an explanation. Its a waste of time. Fines are set by laws and about the only thing the JP can do is give you a bit more time to pay up.
There was a roll call of remaining cases, where each defendant was to stand and state their plea (i.e. not guilty). After that, the prosecutor requested a short break to give defendants a chance to talk in private. I was advised to speak with the prosecutor.
Turns out, there were two police officers monitoring that part of the highway, one manning the laser and one writing citations. I didnt see them together so I thought there was only one. Sorry Bear, but sometimes you guys all look alike . I was told by the prosecutor that the officer manning the laser was not available for trial. So Im thinking to myself "but, but, but I have all these questions, and, and ÃƒÂ¢Ã‚â‚¬Ã‚Â¦ What am I thinking? Shut up. Keep a straight face. Dont say another word."
When I walked back in the court room, the JP was hearing the case of a guy driving recklessly with a suspended license. Man, he got hit big time, with many days in jail and thousands of dollars in fines. After that came my case. The court clerk read out the charge. I pleaded not guilty. The prosecution had no witness. The charge was dismissed.
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and thanks for posting what was going on in the court room so people can learn about the process.
I got really good info from this site. I formatted disclosure as recommended by Ticketcombat, but even then I didnt realize there were two officers.
Its not an urban legend. Sometimes, officers dont show up. My guesstimate is about 1 in 10 to 1 in 30 cases.
The only other thing I can recommend is to show up early at trial. I was late. Talk with the prosecutor. He/she will be at the front on the right. Let them know who you are. They will let you know how they intend to proceed. You might get a plea bargain, but dont accept anything over 15 kph posted, if youre concerned about demerit points.
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