This post has nothing to do with Charlie Sheen.
I love winning. Winning is awesome. Especially in a “I fought the law and I won” kind of way.
We (by which I mean “husband”) got a speeding ticket January 26 in the “speed traps are an excellent revenue stream” town of Sheridan. Read my initial rant.
Not one to sit back and take the abuse, husband did some research. He’s awesome at research. Turns out, state regulations require all speed limit signs to be posted a minimum of 7 feet from the ground to the bottom of the sign. So, the sign, which didn’t meet regulations, could not be enforced. Win.
Furthermore, since cars were parked all along that side of the street, the “School Zone” sign wasn’t visible, and could not be enforced. Win.
Since there was no other speed limit sign on the street, the 30 mph speed limit for residential areas was the only one they could enforce. We were traveling at 31 mph, which could be explained away by possible deviations in equipment calibration. Win.
We took photos and video to prove our case, and gave them to our fabulous attorney, Geoffrey Pearson. He spoke to the DA, who refused to dismiss the case, and gave us a plea bargain of a one-point violation of a defective headlamp. Thinking that was probably our best bet, we accepted and went into court.
The traffic court judge took the plea, and ordered husband to pay $200 in fines, plus $50 in court costs. And then, totally unexpected, he said there was still an issue of a defective sign, and said if we provided proof within 120 days, he’d drop the points. When good old Geoffrey showed him the evidence husband had gathered, the judge reduced the points to ZERO. Big win.
Geoffrey said this never happens. The judge never overrules a plea bargain. After our case was over, the judge took husband’s evidence, called the bailiff (a cop) up to the bench to talk to him about the sign. I hope this means the sign gets raised, and other law-abiding people aren’t victimized by this speed trap.
The moral of the story: A little bit of research can save you a few bucks. Better in your pocket than the court’s.
When we went out to run errands on Sunday, the City of Sheridan tried (unsuccessfully) to get into our pockets one more time. They had their photo-radar van parked on a street with road construction (and no workers, because it was SUNDAY). Because they’re all about public safety. And because road construction areas are double the fine of any other street.
We’re wise to your games, Sheridan. We got you this time. You won’t get us again. Because we play to win.