Last year, I wrote a DUI crash involving a local citizen.
The amusing side note of which is he made his teenaged daughter tell us she was driving. Not to worry, we discovered the truth. This isn’t germane to the story, but the guy’s a douchebag and you know I love me a good douchebag story.
At any rate, this past week I was subpoenaed to criminal court to recount my harrowing tale and wow the judge with my documentation of the collision. The subpoena was for 0800 hours (which is both laughable and stupid, but God forbid I don’t show up on time).
I checked in and proceed to sit for over an hour before the prosecuting attorney grabbed my partner and I. We talked for less than five minutes and then proceeded to wait.
All told, we sat there for over three hours. The prosecuting attorney sent us a text to say we were okay to go get a bite to eat, but he’d need us back at 1315 hours. (Sure he would…)
Funny thing is when we got the text we were already at lunch. I told my partner to let the attorney know we would be available by phone as we weren’t coming back to sit for another three hours.
And wouldn’t you know it, we didn’t hear back until 1430 hours that we would receive new subpoenas for the end of the month.
I wasted over half of my day between riding to and from court, sitting and waiting and then sitting and waiting again in the afternoon for a heads up on whether or not we’d be needed. At least in the afternoon, I was able to finish up some paperwork…you know, like an efficient freaking officer.
I realize that the DA’s office is chaotic and busy. I know they have stacks of cases on their desks and many of them don’t get reviewed until the morning of court. I understand attorney’s are over-worked and (often) underpaid. Believe me…I can relate.
I also concede the schedule may not be their responsibility and/or creation.
But, someone has to say it:
The criminal court system (aka the Wheels of Justice) is a testament to the inefficiencies of government…and a monumental waste of time and resources.
You know why shows like Law & Order are fictional? Because no one wants to watch cops sit on their ass for four hours with their thumbs planted firmly in their asses staring at the wall and trying not to fall asleep.
Listen, I’m all for testifying in court if it’ll put some assclown in prison for years, but let’s get realistic. I’m something like 15 minutes away from the court tops! Why in the hell can’t the DA just send me a text or ring me up and say, “Be here in 30.”?!
If you don’t know if/when the case is going to go, why in the blue hell are you wasting my time and the almighty tax payer’s money to have me sit on my ass for an extended period of time?!
Don’t get me wrong, I needed to catch up on Sons of Anarchy and read a little more of my book, but I was cool to put that on the back burner until my evening.
I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been subpoenaed to criminal court and ever had it go on time (not once), go at all (nearly never), or I’ve actually been needed to testify.
The system is so backwards and inefficient, it makes the DMV look like a well-oiled machine.
So, to my lawyer friends…what the fuck, man?!
To my LEO friends…can I get an Amen!
Seriously, I know I don’t know the intricacies involved in the scheduling of trials and coordinating schedules for all the involved parties has to be an epic pain in the ass, but there’s got to be a better way.