A few months back I got two tickets. One for riding around town without a motorcycle license, the other for supposedly driving in the bike lane. I was driving around town without a motorcycle license. Had been for awhile, I admit. I took care of that asap. Made my way up to 34th Street, studied the book and took the test. You can take the test in a variety of different languages, I opted for English (shock) and passed. Now I have a year to take the drivers test. Needless to say, I feel much less stress driving around knowing that if I do get pulled over, I am legit.
I saw the cop coming up 6th avenue in my rear view mirror and he made me so nervous so I pulled into the bike lane where he proceeded to give me a ticket for being in the bike lane and the second ticket for not having a motorcycle license. I refused to take the ticket on the bike lane thing because not only did he give me two points on my license but I wasn’t driving in that lane. So, I pleaded not guilty and decided to take it to DMV court.
DMV court is quite interesting. It is located at 19 Rector Street. There are about 7 small court rooms. Judges listen to each case. The police testify first then you get a shot to give your side. I was acquitted, no points for me.
What I loved about the whole process was watching the system work. As much as I can’t help but be cynical these days about our system, the judicial system is pretty incredible. As the world becomes flatter every day it was apparent to me today that our country still rules. I get a ticket, I protest through the mail, I am given a court date, I come in and the policeman who gave me the ticket and myself are given the opportunity to try our case in front of a judge. If I don’t like the outcome, I can appeal and will have another shot in 30 days. Pretty damn impressive. I was fascinated watching and listening to the other cases. Simple traffic violations but each were given their day in court.
I couldn’t help thinking about the war in the Middle East. My guess is being pulled over by a cop is not only scary but the chance of protesting in a court of law is slim to none.
All and all, it was pretty damn cool getting my day in court.