Saturday, March 04, 2006

So, There Was That

So yeah, I went to court.

Court is a creepy adventure. I understand now part of the reason why my friend Sami With A Tail called me the last night that Davidson County was holding Night Court to try and get me to give her a ride. It's a free freak show: for every mullet, a bleach-blond dye job with several inches of dark roots.

What I want to know is this: when did people start dressing worse for court than they would for a job interview? Of all the women in my peer group, I think I was the only one wearing a skirt of appropriate length. Not to turn into Ms. Manners over here, but WTF? You can wear slacks to court, not jeans. Definitely not jeans with holes.

Of everyone in court, though, the bailiff was dressed best. His suit was better than most of the attorneys', and he had a never-ending supply of handcuffs in it.

As for me, I sat there watching the parade of humanity, marveling at girls who go to court with the men accused of beating them, parents who say that the 19 year old who came in drunk and punched them in the face is "the best kid they could hope for," guys who either don't know any better than or don't care to interrupt the judge. I sat that way for about two and a half hours (having quite handily snagged a comfy seat like one of the ones the attorneys had when one opened up in the courtroom, because I had to ditch the wooden-bench-bolted-to-the-floor) and when my attorney came up, he didn't recognize me, mostly because he's never happened to see me with my dreads covered.

I could have been done with court that day; the cop failed to appear because he wasn't issued a subpoena (thanks, Tish!), and the DA apparently wasn't sufficiently satisfied by the little he was able to recall about the probable cause for search without his script in front of him when they phoned him. So they offered a pretrial, 11/29 suspended under diversion statute, probation, $250 fine and 21 hours community service. Or we could come back, have another hearing, and decide with all factors in place whether to plead or take the hearing.

I didn't know what to do. I like to think about decisions, I like all the facts laid out for me. So I asked some questions: am I hurting my chances at a deal by continuing again? No, even if you go through the hearing, we can ask to have it suspended under diversion where it won't go on your record. But some people want to be done with court, and you can go home and not have to come back, or you can take another day off work. Uptoyou. Still I hemmed and hawed, and then I turned into a character from a Heinlein novel -- not even consciously; I realized later whence the ratio came.

"Tip, do I have at least a one in six chance of walking out of here?"
"Absolutely," he said. And I said "Let's go for it."

It wasn't until after that that I talked to Daddy and found out something else interesting. One of the conditions on any subsequent hearing was that we would have a special judge and we didn't know for sure who it would be. I mentioned this in passing and found out that had to mean the judge I had that day, in front of whom I never appeared, had recused himself, probably because he recognized my last name and didn't want to touch it.

So nothing is guaranteed, but that's no different than life as it usually goes. I don't even have a court date yet, just that it will likely be two to three months in the future. More time to do the work, more time to tip the scales in my favor. Another trip to look at the freaks, this time with a notebook. One in six is good enough for Loonies, and it's good enough for me, because six minus one is five. Hail Eris.

1 Comments:

At 3:45 PM, Blogger Lady A said...

HA! Moon is a harsh mistress, but all shall be well for the Parce (this is a dual-purpose comment, btw) who has a DATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hehehehehehehehehheheheheheheh. Yay. Good for the Parce.

 

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