The “Been There, DiY’ed That” feature of DIY Lawyer provides us an opportunity to present real life stories of how people handled there own legal matters. The experiences related here should be instructive to others on what to do and what not to do in similar situations. In this installment of “Been There, DiY’ed That”, T.J., a 20-year old woman, received a speeding ticket which required a court appearance and threatened to put her first points ever on her driving record. However, unable to afford an attorney, she did consult with an attorney who advised her how to handle the matter herself. As she had from the police stop, she continued to be polite and was not afraid to ask the critical question with deferential politeness, “Can I have a reduction of points.” The interview was conducted by DiY Lawyer writer Martha Taylor.
Diy-Martha Taylor: Tell us what happened leading up to you getting a speeding ticket.
TJ: It was Monday, February 28, 2011 around 8:30am. I was on my way to school. I was driving on Route 1 when I was exiting and I saw a white police van flashing with sirens. I couldn’t understand why I was being pulled over. The policeman said he clocked me at 74 mph in a 55 mph zone. The officer asked me for my driver’s license and registration and gave me a ticket 15 minutes later. I had never gotten a ticket before and was very upset that I had gotten myself in the situation.
Q: What were the consequences of the offense?
A: I understood the original charge would result in about a $200.00 fine in addition to four points on my driver’s license. The area I was pulled over in was a double fine area.
Q: How did you feel when you initially went to court?
A: When I walked into court my court time was at 1:00 pm. I dressed in jeans and Uggs, prep style. Everyone else seemed to be in sweat pants and very, very casual clothing. Someone had pajamas on, or that’s what they looked like. As I stepped inside the court building, I was filled with anticipation, anxiety, depression and state of shock. I felt like I did not fit in because other [people] present were there for robbery, driving without a license, etc. It was scary. I cried 5-6 times before I saw the judge.
Q: Who did you speak to while in court?
A: The first person I spoke to was the prosecutor. I asked the prosecutor to reduce the ticket to a no point ticket. She rudely said, “No, you were doing 24 miles over the speed limit and you are going to get some points.” At this point, many things were going through my head: my dad was going to take me off his insurance; how was I going to get to school, work, etc.?
I cried and sat back down.
Q: How did you speak to the prosecutor?
A: I spoke in a conservative soft-spoken tone.
Q: What were your results? Read More →