Photo Courtesy The Stuffed Animal House
Years ago, I was enrolled in a Business Law class in College and the instructor stated that you should never just pay a traffic ticket, always ask for a reduction at the very least. Of all of the excellent knowledge I gained from this class, I retained this detail at the forefront of my mind for future reference.
With this advice recent in my mind, I was able to join a loved one in her local town courthouse to request a reduction on her $150.00 ticket. We went in on the scheduled date, spoke to the Crown Prosecutor requesting a reduction and he scribbled on our ticket, changing the price to $80.00. Woo hoo – We’ll take it. We just have to sit in the courtroom and wait for the judge to approve this new amount. We sat attentively in the courtroom for three hours where everyone who had any charge whether it be traffic, assault, break and enter and anything else would be dealing with the judge. We could see the judge and clerk noticing us for a while as we were sitting directly behind the Crown Prosecutor so finally they stopped and asked us what we there for; they filed through their big stack of papers and located our ticket. Well, our patience paid off, the judge looked at the ticket and said, “Quashed!” Woo Hoo. We couldn’t believe we didn’t have to pay anything at all – well worth the wait!
Today, it was my turn to ask for a reduction on a photo radar I received, of course with the high hopes of receiving a “Quash”! I have only been blogging since November 30 and this is my second ‘ticket’ conversation – really, I am a law abiding citizen despite what I’m presenting!
Now, I am not in the same small town as the previous story so things are done slightly differently. Monday is traffic day so I go in and tell the front desk that I want to ‘fight’ or request a reduction on my ticket and then wait….. The Crown Prosecutor will come out and call your name and then you can make this request. I waited about forty minutes and then went out to the car to bring in my two children and my niece who was watching over them. It was like magic… The prosecutor noticed we had two small children so he called me in early, there were probably about ten people ahead of me; should have thought of it sooner.
The result for me was not as exciting as thr first story. I explained to him that I would just like to be forgiven for this ticket. He said that he could not forgive me, he could either schedule a court date or reduce it. I explained how I’m a stay at home mom so it bothers me to be spending money on something like this when I’m not bringing in any money. He said, “You will be paid back ten-fold in fifteen years when your children are older. My wife stayed at home and I didn’t have to worry about the home, I returned to warm dinners and a tidy home. It is such a great thing you are doing, well worth it later one in life. Okay, I will step off of my soap box now. It is such a challenging job, I don’t know how my wife did it.”
I might not have been able to get his exact words but that was the basic message. I decided against choosing a court date as it would mean I would come in and they would just have to prove that it was my car speeding and not me. He would book me in to court according to the schedule of the officer who was in the photo radar van. Hmmm, sound like it wouldn’t be worth my time to come back in since they would probably just say I was guilty. A reduction it was. He took me from 13km over the limit down to 3 km over the limit resulting in a overall $16.00 reduction.
I didn’t get all I was looking forward to but I did receive some validation on my sometimes wavering decision to be a stay at home mom. Funny how sometimes you just need to hear it. I paid my fine and left the courthouse with a bounce my step.