Fight Or Flight [Updated]

On February 13th I had to go to the courthouse for a speeding ticket I received last November.

I’ve only been to the Las Vegas courthouse about 4 times. 2 times for jury summons (never got picked), 1 time for my cousin, and then this visit.

It’s been awhile since I’ve stepped foot into the courthouse but when I entered I was immediately reminded of how depressing the place can be. It starts off with grabbing a tote to place your belongings into, then you wait in line to go through the metal detectors and have your items x-rayed and searched. What also doesn’t lighten the mood is having cops staring at everyone as if we’re all criminals (Yes, I know they’re there for our safety, but it’s just the presentation of it).

Anyways, when I made it through the entrance I decided to look for the traffic courtroom myself. It turned into a bad decision because I ended up waiting in front of the wrong courtroom. After I realized my mistake I walked over to the information desk and the ladies there pointed me to the other side of the building where the traffic court area was at and then I found myself waiting in a another long ass line.

As soon as I got to the front of the line, I thought it was to speak to a clerk. Nope. It was for me to grab numbered ticket, and then to sit down in a small overly crowded area and wait for my number to be called on. It stopped feeling like a courthouse and started feeling like I was at the DMV.

When my number was called, I walked up to the clerk, she asked for my ticket, and proof of insurance. When she scanned my all my papers (including my license), she then asked how I wanted to pay the fine (cash/credit/debit). I handed her my debit card, and that’s when it dawned on me, I’m paying off the ticket and I’m not going to see a judge.

“So I’m not going to see a judge?” I said to the clerk
“Well, I can cancel the transaction, and you can see the judge now” she said
“Maybe I’ll see the judge next time”
“Are you sure?”

Now, I was tripping over some of my own words and getting nervous because of what I was asking for. Somehow, I stuck to my guns and asked to see a judge. She canceled the transaction, and printed a piece of paper with an official court order, and gave me the directions to the lower level courtrooms to see the judge.

I took the elevator downstairs, found my courtroom, and sat down outside waiting for the Marshall to let me and another guy inside.

When we were let in, I was told to sit in a chair off to the side in the actual courtroom.

The judge called my name and told me to stand in front of him.

“How do you plead?” The judge said.
“What are my options?” I asked.
“Not guilty, guilty, or no contest”

It was there that I froze. I mean, standing in front of a judge, about to be judged is very intimidating. Seriously, I got all ‘palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy’. My nerves got the best of me, and I chickened out on “fighting” the law.

“No contest” I said.

My judgement? No points, pay the fine, and the offense reduced from speeding to illegal parking.

Yes, I chickened out but I still went to see the judge. Even though I didn’t plead my case, I still ended up with a lower charge. Anyways, that’s pretty much my court experience. It’s not a good one, yet not a bad one either. I think I’ll file it under an “interesting experience”. I just don’t want to see a courthouse for a long time.

[Added 3/15/17]

Ha, I can’t believe I forgot to tell you what happened later that day. This is going to make it an even LONGER post but I try to keep it short. A couple of weeks before my court date when I was requesting the day off to “fight” my ticket, I also found out that WWE RAW was going to be on that same day. At first I wasn’t serious about going when I checked out the available seating because only the upper arena seats were being sold. Then a couple of days later I checked again and now there were floor seats available. In that moment I said “treat yo self” and purchased my floor tickets to RAW.

Took an Uber to the event and spent a good hour or so exploring around T-Mobile Arena. It seems pretty small compared to the Thomas and Mack Center. Food and merchandise was completely overpriced (bought chicken bites with fries and a drink for $15). Overall it was a really good event/experience. My only complaint was that the floor seats were all chair seats taped together which made sitting down really close to the other fans sometimes uncomfortable. Also, there was someone who hella smelled like swamp ass, and every time we stood up to cheer then sat back down the stank was back in the air.