What do you think of our judicial system? For most people, knowing that they must appear in front of a judge is enough to give them insomnia for a few days. Will this appear on my record? How will this affect me in the long run if I am found guilty? Will I have a fair trial? These are just some of the questions that come to mind to some of the people that must go through the system.
Everyone knows court dates are important and one will make sure to be on time and dressed appropriately for the occasion. At times, it’s only a matter of appearing in front of the judge for a traffic violation. If you get a parking ticket you basically have two options: pay your ticket, which will affect your driving record or enter a not-guilty plea and wait for your court date.
If you can prove to the judge that you are not guilty, you are basically off the hook, no fine, no bad record. If you are found guilty, it goes on your record and you can suffer penalties like having your license suspended depending on your current driving status and the seriousness of your actions. For most of us, either possibly can make us nervous.
I haven’t had to appear in front of a judge for any traffic violations, but I have seen some very interesting ones on video. One of my favorite judges to watch on video is Judge Frank Caprio. This judge’s decisions have gone viral for the unusual yet humane of his methods. He follows the book but also takes into account the circumstances surrounding what happened.
Like this one time when a woman had a bunch of unpaid parking tickets. There were tickets in her record that she didn’t even know existed. She was issued a court date and appeared in front of Judge Caprio. She explained the circumstances of the tickets she knew about, and it turned out that it had been because she was trying to solve some mistakes the Social Security Administration had made in the case of her son who had passed away one year before. After listening to the woman, the judge decided to waive everything off because he could see the woman had been going through a lot.
For the people in the following video, the outcome would be similar. It’s a family that came to live in the States from Africa. The man had been caught driving at 35 mph in a 25-mph zone. It might not seem like a lot, but it was still speeding. The judge heard the driver’s side of the story when he had the idea of summoning the driver’s son to answer two questions. The driver’s son looks like 5 years old and you won’t believe what he said!