Dear Defendants: When Will You Learn?

You just make it so damn easy...


The only thing that would have made this easier was if dude wrote his own ticket.

Last week, I had a couple of cases in traffic court related to speed in a construction zone. The only time I enforce it is when everything is clearly and appropriately marked. I also go even further and enforce it only when there is actually construction occurring. (Which is not required in the statute, mind you.)

Does that matter to the defendants, though?  Nope.  They seem to think it’s “not fair” to enforce the speed law in that area. Who really gives a shit about those folks in the hi-vis vests improving the roadway, anyway?! Am I right?

One of the defendants in particular, however, was a peach.

I absolutely love it when folks show up with pictures. 99% of the time, the “evidence” they submit of their alleged innocence ends up working vastly in my favor.

Case in point, the picture above. The defendant went on and on about how there was no construction ongoing (again, not a requirement) and then submitted a photograph with a picture of a guy in a hi-vis vest sitting in a large backhoe.

You know, like he was working or some suck nonsense.

To my chagrin, I didn’t add the additional charge of speeding in a construction zone in an attempt to save the guy a little money as it would double his fine.

I really should know better by now, but that tiny sliver of decency I have left is still chugging along.

At any rate, one of the other claims the defendant made was that there were no signs indicating a 25 MPH construction zone speed limit.

And then he circled two of them in the same blessed photo.

Too precious, really.

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He even captured where I was sitting as he returned to photograph the scene. Sadly, he was unable to capture the majesty that is my hair as I had donned the requisite safety helmet.

His whole argument was that there was no construction (and then he photographed that very thing) and no signage (which he also photographed).

I was gearing up to knock it out of the park on rebuttal, but was unfortunately shut down by the judge who said, “You didn’t cite him for a construction zone, correct?”

“Correct, Your Honor,” I replied.

“So, even if the signage wasn’t correct, 43 mile per hour is still speeding had it been a 40 mile per hour zone,” said the judge. “So, Mr. Defendant, instead of finding you guilty of 43 in a 25 and suspending your license, I shall find you guilty of speeding in a 40 zone. The fine will be $473.”

Judges will do what judges will do.

Honestly, I was a bit disappointed that I wasn’t afforded the pleasure of pointing out every ridiculous falsehood the defendant claimed…especially after telling the judge I was lying about construction. It would’ve been grand to get his license suspended, too.

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But that’s a decent fine and I think I can live with it.

So, thank you, Mr. Defendant, for proving my case for me and taking such excellent photos. It is much appreciated.

Oh, and in case you were unaware, I got paid overtime to be there, too.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

12 thoughts on “Dear Defendants: When Will You Learn?

      • Yeah but the judge convicted him of going 43 in a 40. On the record he was going 3 miles over. Kinda like when you get busted for GTA and you get convicted of a lesser charge of conversion (operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s permission).

  1. I’ve brought photo evidence to one hearing – for a parking ticket.

    The space wasn’t signed as “no parking” in the same way that others were (namely it had a sign attached to a telephone pole at 12′ off the ground, rather than a pole w/ the sign at 8′). Judge looked at the photos and said “that looks like a parking space”. The parking enforcement guy was stammering to defend himself when the judge tossed it, with the understanding that I wouldn’t get a free pass again.

    Oddly enough, the space was marked MUCH better (and more standardly) a couple of weeks later. Poor PEO’s lost their easy duck pond.

    • Would you be so kind to share with the class an example of a victimless crime? Thanks, but just so the class knows, is speeding by your thoughts and comments – free of any wrongful action until said speeder looses control and wreaks, or gets distracted and hits someone? So only at the very point of “oh shit” does it become a crime in your perspective? Enforcement is prevention and an education; all at the same time. Oh, and or red and blue lights make it a party.

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