What I learned In Court: Don’t Facilitate Your Own Injustice


I found myself in traffic court in the cesspool state of New York (from that you probably can tell how well this is going to turn out ) recently to fight a bogus violation of turning left at an intersection on Halloween a little over a month ago.

Why was it bogus? Because on top of there being no sign hanging next to the traffic light (which was green at the time) the secondary sign that was at the left corner had been bent to face another direction. Probably some Halloween hooligans up to some mischief.

Regardless, I was unfamiliar with the road and made a seemingly legal left hand turn. I was subsequently pulled over and ticketed. The officer asked why I turned left and I said there wasn’t any sign. His response was “They’re all over the place”.

So, thinking I might have missed something I went back and saw that there was not, in fact, signs “all over the place”. As I had mentioned there was no sign hanging above the road and the one on the left was facing the wrong direction. There was a third sign on the right hand side of the road but according to New York State traffic law that’s not good enough.

I then pled “not guilty” and returned to the little podunk town in Upstate New York yesterday to have my day in court. Ok, podunk might be a little much, the town has bout 29,000 residents.

It was then I made my mistake. Instead of running the risk of having the case summarily ruled by a small town judge I took a plea deal that knocked my moving violation down to a parking ticket.

I’m thinking: Great, I won’t risk getting railroaded and I’ll pay a couple bucks and get out of here 1,2,3.

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