Seems like a simple question, doesn’t it? Let’s put it into context…
For those of you who’ve never been to traffic court (the smart ones who just pay the fine ’cause you know damn well you did something you shouldn’t have), this is typically the procedure:
MC will get up and testify. You have the opportunity to ask questions. Then you have the opportunity to make a statement. If the judge feels I, as the representative of the State, have not met the burden of proof, you will be found not guilty (I just stop typing for a second because I was laughing too hard). More often than not, at least in my experience, the defendant is found guilty.
Here are a couple of procedural things that always nut me up….1) After both the defendant and I have done our thing, the judge will ask the defendant something to the effect of “Do you have any questions or anything else to say?” I swear that probably about 75% of people will reply in the negative….and then go on to say something else. Hey! Moron! When you say you have nothing further, how’s about just shutting the fuck up and being done. Not to mention that neither I, the judge, or the audience needs to hear for the eighth fuckin’ time how you totally stopped at the stop sign. 2) Here is where Booted Cop and I may differ a bit. BC takes a minor issue with our judge’s procedural view…I think the guy has the patience of Job for maintaining decorum when faced with idiocy at virtually every turn. While I understand BC’s point of view in that particular post, I offer an opposing view. Immediately after I’ve testified, the judge will ask “Do you have any questions for the Officer?” Almost 9 times out of 10, the defendant will begin by saying something like, “I was driving…”. Did you catch it? That’s right. Statement. Not a question.
Now, I can understand the first couple of defendants doing this. I understand nerves. But after a handful of cases, you’d think they’d wise up. Or even worse, I’ve seen defendants repeat their statements not twice, not three times, not even four times, but in excess of five times. reTarded.
Is it really that hard to differentiate between a question and a statement? I’d love to think it wasn’t. Apparently, I’d be sorely mistaken. And again, if you’ve nothing further to say, don’t continue to flap your gums. It’s irritating. And it makes you look stupid because it appears you can’t listen. Or follow directions. Wait…that’s what got you here in the first place. Carry on.