Monday, March 22, 2004

Utah DMV and Me

Today I went to court to fight a ticket I received for driving with an expired license. You see, my license from another state expired two years ago. I have been trying to get a Utah license for nearly 4 years.
Anyway, I planned on going to court and pleading my case...explaining to the Judge WHY I have been driving with an expired license. I took the whole day off work, and even had two good friends come with me for moral support and as eye witnesses in the event that I was railroaded - not that I don't trust our judicial system, of course - but more of a precaution.
We instantly got a bad vibe about the place. My friend Dale even commented on the fact after just a minute in the waiting room. It was obvious that this was NOT a place where Justice is rendered, but a place where "they" show "us" who is in charge.
Before the court started, the DA called me into her office for a one on one. She asked me how I would like to plead to the charge of expired license and I said "not guilty." She said, "well, your license expired two years ago, so it seems pretty plain that you are guilty."
I explained that it wasn't quite that simple, and went into great detail about the circumstances leading to my driving with an expired license. The bottom line - she gave me a trial date. Can you believe it? I wasn't there for justice; I wasn't there to see a judge and resolve an issue. No, I was there to be intimidated by government employees to "roll over and just pay the fine...why fight it?" Every day, hundreds of folks weigh the cost of "fighting city hall" and just "pay the fine...go along to get along". Although the loss of revenue for the days lost wages is far greater than the "fine" that the courts want to extort from me, I can't bring myself to pay these blood suckers one penny more than they deserve. I'd like to go into greater detail, but for now, I will just end with this message: stop paying these theives and admitting to crimes that you are not guilty of out of convenience. Reschedule your court dates (I once continued a case repeatedly, for a year and a half. When I finally went to trial, I won in 10 minutes.), demand a trial by jury, have your day in court and let the judge and jury know that you will not just "roll over" any more. It's not the money, it the principal of the thing.

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