WILSON’S LOCAL PRINT AND DIGITAL COMMUNITY INSTITUTION SINCE 1896

Does traffic ticket reduction racket serve justice?

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This is a sequel to my April 6 letter, “Is Lady Justice really blind?” An acquaintance whom I will refer to as “the driver” related this turn of events to me.

The driver was motoring north on U.S. 301 and upon entering the town limits of Sharpsburg, drove directly into the teeth of a speed radar gun with a subsequent charge of driving 60 mph in a 45 mph zone. No other violation was cited.

The driver was quick to realize that this charge could by a considerable amount reduce his bank account balance, increase the insurance premium, accrue penalty points to the driver’s license and consume a lot of time including missing work for court appearance.

What to do? A worrisome driver wanted to know. Well, the driver remembered stories via the grapevine that there might be relief through the very same legal system that was causing such emotional distress. The driver returned home, pondered on the subject overnight. Hold onto your hats — the very next day, there came a ray of sunshine in the driver’s mailbox with several offers of assistance from various law firms. The driver, not knowing Peter from Paul, obviously chose the firm with the most reasonable price tag. At least competition still exists, even with lawyers.

The driver called and spoke with, not an attorney, but a staff member of the firm, and was informed by forwarding funds in the amount of $280 that the charge would be handled successfully. Not knowing exactly the meaning of “successfully,” the driver submitted the funds and anxiously waited.

The fingernail-biting time finally ended with the reception of a letter from the law firm stating that the matter was closed with a disposition of the speeding charge reduced to a seat belt violation. Wow, how sweet it is! No penalty except the $180 fine and $100 to the law firm.

It seems to me that the law of common sense has been trampled upon in this case. You be the judge. Was there a technical problem with the speed detection radar gun? Was the traffic officer inept? How can this speeding violation evolve into a non- related seat belt violation? The driver was not cited for a seat belt violation, so how can he be guilty with not being citied or an iota of evidence? I suppose the legalese term is compromise.

Again, I must ask, “Is justice really blind,” or does our court system methodically create peepholes in the blindfold of Lady Justice? Are laws passed to be enforced or compromised for a hundred bucks?

Carl Hinson

Wilson

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