ROADHOUSE GOES TO COURT
Normally, when people have some sort of court appearance, they look at it as something to dread. They see it as an inconvenience. If they are there to defend themselves it can also be intimidating. Thankfully, my first ever trip to court was because I had been summoned to be a witness in a drunk driving incident.
Part of being a truck driver means that you see a lot of bad things on the road. One such thing was a pair of individuals from south of the border in a car that was driving so erratically, that I thought maybe the driver had suffered a heart attack and the car was out of control. After calling 911, I followed them and reported their destination to the authorities. After the passenger was finished urinating in public on their own car, the state troopers arrived and proceeded to cuff and stuff them. Neither had a valid driver's licence and both had "questionable" immigration status. Both were totally drunk to the point that they could barely stand. Keep in mind that this was about 6:oo pm, not right after closing time at the bar. I know that this story is hard to believe because as we all know, all immigrants are law abiding citizens and would never drive drunk...but it did happen.
A week later, I received my first summons. I was so proud. Luckily, I was to appear during my "staycation" and not during a work day. Otherwise I would have been p*$$*d. As it turns out, the driver happened to have been out on bond for another crime (I know, I know...hard to believe) so he took a deal and my testimony wasn't needed after all.
The most interesting part of this whole situation turned out to be the people who were not even involved with this case. As I was waiting in the hall for the judge to arrive, I was getting quite an education as to how some people think you should present yourself to a judge. One girl decided that it would be a good idea to show up wearing her Mickey Mouse pajamas. Another came sporting gang tattoos and lip, eyebrow, and nose rings. A guy just down from me thought it would be cool idea to show up high as a kite with eyes that could have doubled for stop signs. Un-shaven faces and flip-flops were also acceptable attire in this particular court of law.
Then there was "Bill". Bill was a seemingly normal looking guy who was dressed to go to the driving range, not court. Compared to the others, his fashions were not going to be an issue. His problems started when he walked into the courtroom just as his docket number was being called, not 15 minutes early as instructed. Bill was cited for driving on a suspended licence. When the judge asked him why he had no lawyer representing him, he looked as though he was being spoken to in some kind of unknown language. He told the judge that he didn't know that he needed a lawyer. The judge's look was one that had to be seen. He asked Bill if he realized that he was standing in front of a District Court Justice in a court of law because he was facing a up to a year in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. Bill nearly passed out.
The judge had mercy on Bill and issued a continuance, after ordering him to bring a lawyer next time.
You often hear how stupid some people are, and how others simply have no respect for the law even when they will be the only ones who suffer for it. But sometimes you have to experience it to truly believe it. I'm sure that "high guy" and "shrapnel face" really thought that they would be helping their case with their antics, but I have a feeling that the judge was not amused when their case came across his bench.