“how do you plead?”…

today, was my appearance in the las vegas justice court…traffic division. the appearance was for a citation that i received for a moving violation last november. 

specifically, i was caught driving ninety-eight miles per hour, on the way to mount charleston, taking the girls and buggs on a field trip.

as this was the very first time that i’ve ever had a moving violation in the state of nevada, i had no idea what was involved in my appearance, or how long it would take.

when i arrived at the courthouse, i was fortunate enough to eye a car leaving, from the on-street, pay to park, parking area. i hopped out, put my debit card into the pay station, and pressed the “max time” button.

i grabbed my receipt, took it back to the car, and looked at it. it said, “$8.” i guess that i’m just used to how much it used to be in the portland/vancouver area, “$2 for 4 hours,” on the street. i was a bit taken aback, but figured that it was vegas, and ultimately, i’m the one who fucked up. 

i walked to the courthouse and was impressed with the fact that i was able to make it up the 50 stairs…without huffing and puffing, or doubling over, trying to catch my breath, like i was a year ago. 

i knew that i needed to empty out my pockets, when i entered the courthouse, but, i had no idea that things were so much like airport security. each person had to place the contents of their pockets, belts, hats, jackets, and shoes…into their own plastic tub and send it through the x-ray machine.

next, each shoeless individual waited to be waved through the metal detector and then wanded by an officer. once past the “wand officer,” there was a bottleneck of people, bent over, trying to get their shoes back on. i was one of them.

next, i asked a very helpful woman at the information desk, where i was supposed to go to appear before the judge. she instructed me to go to the traffic division to have the clerk print out the paperwork to appear.

i went to the traffic division and used the electronic kiosk to print out a numbered ticket to wait in line. my number was, “g-135.” when i began waiting, they were on number, “g-53.” so, it took awhile before i was called.

once called, i went to lucky window number, “13.” where i encountered another very nice and helpful woman. she printed out my paperwork, gave me great directions to the courtroom, and told me to, “have a great day.”

i found the courtroom quickly and easily. i read the note on the door, that instructed it’s readers to not pull on the door, but to wait for the marshal, and to give all paperwork to him.

i waited for the marshal. he came out, took my paperwork, and ushered me into judge doto’s courtroom. i sat there quietly, trying to push the urge to take photos, out of my mind.

eventually, i heard my name called and i approached the bench. judge doto looked at me and said, “how do you plead?” i had to fight the urge to start laughing…but, i did feel myself grin sheepishly…and, i answered, “oooh, i’m guilty.”

judge doto flashed me a quick grin of his own and gave me three choices. 1.) $218 fine + 3 points on my license. 2.) $218 fine + $50 for 5 hours of online traffic school = $268 and 0 points on my license. 3.) $218 fine + $100 convenience fee = $318 and 0 points on my license.

i chose option number two and was given ninety days to complete the five hours of traffic school, and pay my fine. then, i had to sit and wait for the clerk to notarize my paperwork, which took almost another 30 minutes.

i was getting pretty anxious, because i was worried about running out of time on the parking. finally, the marshal brought me my paperwork and i moved as quickly as my short, little legs would carry me.

i got back to the car with a little time to spare and i saw the “meter reader” circling. i chuckled to myself and thought, “you’re not going to get me.” i took a couple of photographs and that was that. 

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