Thursday, November 02, 2017

Scenes From Court: Learn To Quit While You’re Behind

People will often talk themselves into more trouble than out of it during a traffic stop. They’ll also talk themselves into more trouble than not at court.

So I’m waiting for my clients case to be called and I get to listen in on a case. The fellow in question being represented by a public defender for his DUI offense. This isn’t his first, he has two other DUI charges pending in two other courts which means he was driving drunk a lot in a very narrow space of time. Including one of the DUIs, as it turns out, being when he was on the job, which led him to be fired as a delivery driver.

Of course, he has a compelling story of tragic recent loss of his wife that led him to both depression and the bottle, and you can feel for him and hope he turns his life around. The judge is sympathetic, decides she wants not to send him to jail but instead to a sobriety court program. Sounds like a good resolution and an opportunity for him to get his life back on track. Then he opens his mouth and it all starts to go downhill.

The Judge asks him how he got here and he said his friend who dropped him off. Ok, the judge says his ride needs to check in with the court before he leaves and he’ll be all set. He then instead of saying a simple "Yes Judge, thank you.", says he needs to go to the parking lot to his van to get his phone to call his friend to come pick him up.

His van.

The judge is suddenly rather interested in how the van got there and why his driver would not be with it. The judge notes that as they have video of the parking lot if he gets in and drives away on a suspended license he's going to jail.

He starts to give a story about the van belonging to his dad who is now too old to drive, and that his ride lives close by and walked home after dropping him off and the judge doesn't buy it at all. There's way too many inconsistencies and he's a lousy liar. He finally admits he drove to court himself.

The quickest way to get yourself into more trouble for any offense involving a suspended license is to drive to the court for your hearing about the offense leading to your suspended license yourself. Take a cab, take an Uber, take a reliable friend (hopefully not driving on a suspended license themselves), but whatever you do, don't drive yourself to court, it never works out well.

The judge lets him know that the van is going to be clubbed in place and he's not to drive and lets him know that the rules apply to everyone including those with a tragic loss and drunken driving offenses. She defers his sentencing to decide what to do with him and lets him know if he drives at all in the meantime before his new sentencing, including the fact that he did drive on a suspended license and tried to deceive the court, he will go to jail.

Don't drink and drive, don't drive yourself to the hearing, and don't lie to the court. One would think that all of this should be pretty easy to figure out and it would be easy to avoid the resultant snowball of stupidity, but for some people, not so much.


MrGarabaldi said...

Hey Aaron;

You are right, people suffering diarrhea of the mouth usually put their foot in it. Good story though

Old NFO said...

Wow, that's a whole NEW level of stupid...