I made it to the courthouse, and had some trouble finding parking, and I forgot my Palm was in my back pocket, which set off the metal detector. But the "search" thru my bag was pretty cursory, I now know pretty much exactly how "he got a gun into the courtroom" events, as rare as they are, happen.
Anyway, I actually got to the room a scant half minute before the judge himself did.
He explained to everybody there this was a civil court, not a criminal one. That meant that the burden of proof was "a preponderance of evidence", not "beyond a reasonable doubt". Then he explained that there is a system in place that one can ask him to defer deciding on their citation, and if their driving record remains pristine for a year, it "goes away". About 2/3 of the people there took him up on that offer. That resulted also in dismissing about 2/3 of the witnesses.
Then he started processing thru the people who wanted to stay and argue. First was an 18yo girl who rolled her Cherokee a week after she got her license. Her dad was an attorney, which was her salvation. Their argument was that this was her first time night driving in the rain, the rain was after 7 days of dry weather, which raised the oil out of the road, and the year Cherokee she had had was notorious for slipping and rolling at relatively low speeds. The judge dismissed.
The followed two "speeding, following too close", both with witnesses. One got dismissed, the other reduced.
The came my guy. Does anyone remember when 22 was "grown up". Not when you see it from 34. This was just a burly thick-armed punk... *kid*. He was there with his dad and some yellow pages lawyer. And there were 3 witnesses the County had lined up for this case.
His citations were speeding, following too close, and driving without insurance. I could tell that the judge was a bit interesting in seeing why someone was going to try to fight such a clear cut case. And then his eyebrows really went up when the lawyer (who had a handful of files and a volume of the Code, full of new bookmarks, with him) immediately asked for a dismissal of all the citations.
The cops issued the citations the evening of Thursday, March 18, which is when the incident happened. But they filed them Monday morning, and apparently that have 2 calendar days to file.
"So ordered. Citations dismissed." *bang*
At which point the kid, his dad, and the lawyer made a beeline for the exit.
Yes, folks. The kid got off on a frikken technicality.