Crime and Punishment?

28 04 2008

I was pulled over a few weeks back.  I deserved to be.  I’m an asshole.

The cop cut me a break, writing me a fairly minor ticket, telling me I had 30 days in which to pay the fine.

25 days later, I went online to do so (I don’t trust the USPS and I certainly didn’t want to trek down to the courthouse on my lunch hour).  Following the instructions of the DC DMV site, I entered my ticket number. 

Ticket Number Not Found

I then tried calling the automated line, knowing that I could also pay by phone.  When prompted, I entered my ticket number.

Ticket Number Not Found

I phoned the Customer Service area this morning, so that I could speak with a real, live person.  She, too, was unable to pull up my ticket number and informed me that – since the officer did not turn in the ticket to the DMV within 20 days of issue – the ticket has been dismissed.

Has this happened to anyone else?  I’m a little leery of just letting it go but, sure enough, the DMV site for DC indicates that, if a ticket is not submitted by the police officer within 20 days, that ticket is indeed dismissed. 

Good for me.  No money lost, no points gained.  Yay, right?

I never thought that I would be on here, thankful that a DC cop failed to do what was required of him.  I’d like to think he just got too busy, stopping crime and saving lives, but I know it’s more likely that he was just too engrossed in this week’s In Touch to hand in that pesky ticket book on time.

I’m a little bit richer than I was this morning, but I’m sure not feeling any safer.   If something as minor as a traffic ticket isn’t handled properly, what hope do we have that the more pressing issues will be?  It’s a little freaky.

Still, I’m happy to hang onto my taxpaying dollars.  Thanks for being a screwup, Officer.  I’ll take my $75 and put it toward some Mace and a Stun-Gun, and maybe a self-defense class or two because, sadly, there may come a day when I will need you and history would indicate that, when that day comes, I will be completely on my own.




17 responses

28 04 2008

Gotdamn! I wish that happened to me. I once was a ticket-generating machine. Now I’m not as bad… or I’m more lucky. Either or.

28 04 2008

Yeah! You got off scott free, lady. And welcome back.

And you’re not an asshole. You never have been.

28 04 2008
Secular Friend

As someone who had to pay $50 for a cop trapping me in an intersection for not wearing a seatbelt as I drove, literally, six blocks up the street, I feel our pain. And bemusement.

Our cops fucking suck.

28 04 2008

Yippeee – you’re back! Wow, this is such a positive piece of DC cop news! And you were sooo lucky on this ticket in the first place! Exuberance and exclamation points all around!

28 04 2008

Be careful and check again under your license plates several times. I kept thinking I’d gotten off on some tickets. . .only to have them show up on my account YEARS later, doubled and then some.

28 04 2008

Well, at least you got off without having to pay. But I hear what you’re saying about the whole safety issue and … accountibility of it all.

29 04 2008

Maybe he’s not a screwup. Maybe he is a human male. Maybe he is a human male who recognizes a cute girl when he sees one. Maybe that cute girl is pleasant and contrite during the stop, and he finds that appealing. Maybe he decides that, upon further reflection, the cute, pleasant (and cute) girl deserves a break.

Maybe it’s not that he forgot, but rather that he “forgot.”

I’m not sure that makes him any better an officer, but it’s a more pleasing explanation, no?

Glad you’re back, by the way. :)

29 04 2008
Former Alpha

I think WiB got it right. It was the freckles. They get me every time. I did not know you before, so you left? Welcome back…I guess.

29 04 2008

I had this happen to me, only with the Secret Service instead of MPD. My ticket wasn’t in the system three weeks later and I thought I got off scott free. Then two weeks after that I get a notice in the mail saying my fine is doubled and that my license is suspended. I’d go in person and then have them search. If it isn’t there, have the DMV person do a print out and initial it. That’ll cover your ass in case your ticket suddenly tuns up….

29 04 2008

I’m with Boomhauer. Trust no one, least of all the gummint. Get it in writing. And then take your $75 and buy yourself a bottle of champagne and celebrate!
You definitely beat the odds!

29 04 2008

FWIW, I once got free concert tickets by virtue of the fact that the sellers never deposited my check. After a couple of months, I called the bank and was told that I should just wait, because a stop payment would cost me and I’d have to reissue the check, and they didn’t honor any checks over 6 months old anyway. I waited a few more months and then just added the money back into my account.

Of course, there was no chance of me having to pay extra or get my license suspended, so perhaps simply waiting is not your best option.

29 04 2008

I had a cop transcribe my license plate incorrectly. He (or the person at HQ) mistook a ‘G’ for a ‘6’ so the ticket never showed up under my plate number. I was able to pull it up under the incorrect license plate number. Poor sap. It pays (or doesn’t pay) to have sloppy handwriting! Got off on a $100 ticket!

29 04 2008

I, too, am with Boomhauer. It seems to me it’s much more likely that he turned it in (barely) on time, and somehow, it has not made it to the system by this date. I have much less faith in computer systems designed to make your life simpler screwing up than I do in a cop NOT turning in the tickets.

Remember, the computer system contract was awarded to the lowest bidder, and the cop has to account for the tickets he writes.

I’m just saying, “don’t spend that money yet”.

But, no, I did not pay the last $100 parking ticket I got for parking at a meter by a strip club (“Royal Palace”) during rush hour in a rental car. So I am not the best person to advise you. There may be a warrant out for the arrest of that rental car driver.

30 04 2008
Average Jane

Thank goodness you got picked up on DCBlogs! I never would have known you’re back. My Bloglines is a tight ship :)

So, I got a ticket from the speed camera a few months ago. I wait for my fate to arrive in the mail, anxiously checking every day to see when I’d have to send money I didn’t have to a government agency I didn’t particularly enjoy.

But it never came.

So I realize recently that my address was never changed when I moved. The ticket may have gone to my old address, but I don’t know. Do I call and ask? Do I let a sleeping dog lie? Do I wait to find out if I have a warrant out for my arrest?

*Sigh* Choices.

30 04 2008
sean bean

never trust DC MPD computers… sure enough your ticket will show up… do what Boomhauer said… go down and get something in writing… DC has no compassion…

at least your cop didn’t make a pass at you… let you follow thru… then slug you when you when other officers stopped at the scene… breaking bones and tearing your scalp… requiring a handcuffed trip to some cockroach infested hospital… then throw you in jail for 48 hours… then charge you with felony assault of a police officer…

yes indeedy… really fun time…

30 04 2008

check back..i check my tag umber every 10 days from whereever i am in the world…. ive gotten tickets when both me AND my car were out of town on the days in question.. more than once…
however..i have also had a few …neverrrrrr show…. it could go either way..
guess that wasnt much help at all!!

2 05 2008

Without getting into whether the cop is a screw up or not – I’m just amazed that you got a ticket for $75…I flipped my car and was only given a $25 ticket for failing to control my vehicle. What the heck do you have to do to be fined $75, run somebody over??

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