First time I've ever been ticketed while running in Chicago (Read 1477 times)

    I think Berner promised us live blogging with courtroom sketches.

    Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

    Jamezilla


    Follower of Forrest

      This guy found a pro bono lawyer...

       

      http://www.runnersworld.com/general-interest/backwards-runner-gets-traffic-ticket

       

      He got media hype too.  You should be more like that guy.

      4/5 - Lost Brook Trail 10mi  1:15:42

      4/27 - Ironmaster's Challenge 50k

      6/21 - Manitou's Revenge 56mi


       

        You may have to wait a while for your case to be called, but you can use that time. Post updates here, message, and surf the web on your phone; many courthouses have free wifi for exactly this reason. Judges understand people need to multitask, but if you're concerned, just wear a baseball cap to shield your eyes and hold your phone low so they can't tell what you're doing.


        Has Broken Parts

           

          Thank you,  I have spoken to 2 lawyers already and they both believe in my case, that ignorance of the law is a valid defense.  They believe the most likely outcomes are the prosecution throws away my case or 2) they put me on supervision. And of course there's always 3) which is the unexpected or something that I don't want to see.  I still plan to run through parts of Edgebrook in the future, I've just had it with running near the railroad, which I use to think was completely harmless.

           

          OK, so I've only made up to page 18 of this thread and I'm sure there are more twists and turns to come but I had to offer up this parallel from Arlo Guthrie:

           

          "Now friends, there was only one or two things that Obie coulda done at the police station, and the first was he could have given us a medal for being so brave and honest on the telephone, which wasn't very likely, and we didn't expect it, and the other thing was he could have bawled us out and told us never to be see driving garbage around the vicinity again, which is what we expected, but when we got to the police officer's station there was a third possibility that we hadn't even counted upon, and we was both immediately arrested.  Handcuffed.  And I said "Obie, I don't think I can pick up the garbage with these handcuffs on."  He said, "Shut up, kid. Get in the back of the patrol car."

           

          OK, back to page 18. This thread is pure gold.

           "Address the process rather than the outcome.
          Then, the outcome becomes more likely." - Robert Fripp

          Jamezilla


          Follower of Forrest

            You may have to wait a while for your case to be called, but you can use that time. Post updates here, message, and surf the web on your phone; many courthouses have free wifi for exactly this reason. Judges understand people need to multitask, but if you're concerned, just wear a baseball cap to shield your eyes and hold your phone low so they can't tell what you're doing.

             

            Please please please.  I'm taking the day off from work.

            4/5 - Lost Brook Trail 10mi  1:15:42

            4/27 - Ironmaster's Challenge 50k

            6/21 - Manitou's Revenge 56mi


             

              You can take a phone in to a Chicago courtroom?  Every courtroom in VA has metal detectors + you are not even allowed to enter the building with a phone.

              The Plan (big parts)→  ///  March:  Shamrock Marathon  ///  April:  24 Hour Run for Cancer  ///   May:  3 Days at the Fair (12 Hour)  ///  Nov:  New York Marathon ∞

                ...just wear a baseball cap to shield your eyes...

                 

                Cubs or White Sox?

                 

                MTA: Or Cardinals, if suicide-by-judge is the plan here.

                  2. Try to pick out the Metra cop beforehand.  Introduce yourself and endear yourself to him... "Hi, my name's Jean Shorts, remember you stopped me for tresspassing on the tracks while I was jogging [contrite smile, absolutely not smug], "I'm sorry about that, I didn't know I couldn't run there".  "How does this work...I've never had to do anything like this before".  Don't bug the cop.  If he's not having it than retreat.

                  3. When it is time to talk to the judge: "Your honor, I have some pictures here from where I received the citation, would you like to see them?"  Give the judge the pictures and your "map my run" to show that you were really just jogging (I'd say jogging not running...running sounds like you were going too fast and not paying attention, jogging is a healthy wholesome activity).  Explain, "I was jogging over to the park and I passed through... (do not say "cut through").  ...I was surprised to be stopped for tresspassing because it seems like it is a safe distance away from the tracks, and it seems like people use this area to walk through all the time, and I did not see any signs...if there were signs I would have used a different route.

                  At this point you need to read the judge (not always possible).  The judge will then ask the officer if what you said is correct.  If you were able to shmooze the officer earlier then he'll say "That's pretty accurate and Jean Shorts didn't give me a hard time about this" (I hope you didn't give the officer a hard time...giving an officer a hard time has never helped anyone ever).

                  The judge will probably ask you if you've ever been cited for anything before "No sir, not even a speeding ticket" <---insert honest phrase that describes you.

                  If at any point it looks like it is not going your way, be prepared to say  "I understand now that I was tresspassing and I'm OK with paying a fine if I have to, I just have never been cited like this before and I don't want to have this on my record."

                   

                  Aim for getting off completely, settle for paying a fine, start kicking and screaming if you get a full sentence. 

                   

                  Completely useless advice for the first hearing.  The first hearing is the arraignment, not the trial.  The purpose of the arraignment is for the accused (Red Bird) to enter a plea.  Not to explain the case, show pictures, beg or plead, or get chummy with the judge.  Basically the only thing you get to do is enter a plea of Guilty, Innocent, or make a special plea, like a request for Supervision.

                   

                  Oh, and paying the fine without entering a special plea is the equivalent of pleading guilty.  So no, you do not want to do that.  Not if you want a clean record.

                   

                  Plus I think you look like a bit of an A-hole if you lawyer up for a minor charge

                   

                  Terrible advice.  I can assure you that the judge (who is a lawyer) is not going to hold it against someone accused of a misdemeanor crime that they exercised their Constitutional right to legal representation.  If anything, it will show the court that you treat the matter seriously.  It will also convey to the judge that you take the matter of your clean record seriously, making it more likely to avoid the conviction through one means or the other.

                   

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                  (rant)

                  I don't know how many times I have to explain that this isn't a parking ticket.  All of these home-spun strategies for avoiding points on your drivers license are wonderful for when you get caught going 30 mph in a 20 mph zone.  You can all be the Perry Mason of traffic court if you like.  But Red Bird is going to criminal court and faces criminal charges.  He's doing to right thing by consulting with a lawyer, and all these suggestions that he's wrong for doing so are ill-informed and potentially harmful.

                  (/rant)

                  How To Run a Marathon: Step 1 - start running. There is no Step 2.

                    So....he SHOULD wear pants to court?

                      I love it that Berner is invested in this thread.  It somehow gives the crime credibility.

                       

                      I do wish people would stop giving their personal stories though.  They are mostly boring and add little to the discussion plus the advice/testimonials are awful and almost always too long.

                       

                      Similar to Red Bird, I once got a speeding ticket driving through a construction zone.  I'm normally a great driver but the cop was on a motorcycle so I knew he was frustrated and just looking for a promotion.  I could tell, ya know?  Anyway, he hands me the ticket so I wait for the court date.  I show up to the court date and watch the first few people go through the process just getting a feel for the proceedings.  The judge was angry and started yelling at someone in the front making noise which gave me pause like a gladiator entering one of those Roman circle stadium things.  I don't remember what I was wearing but I'm sure it was appropriate.  When it's my turn I simply said "not guilty" in a very confident way (this impresses the judge and intimidates the prosecutor).  The cop eventually concedes by saying he didn't remember or whatever excuse he wanted to name and I walked out of the court a free man.  I hope this helps.

                      "Good-looking people have no spine. Their art never lasts. They get the girls, but we're smarter." - Lester Bangs


                      Not dead. Yet.

                         Oh, and paying the fine without entering a special plea is the equivalent of pleading guilty.  So no, you do not want to do that.  Not if you want a clean record.

                         

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                        (rant)

                        ...

                        He's doing to right thing by consulting with a lawyer, and all these suggestions that he's wrong for doing so are ill-informed and potentially harmful.

                        (/rant)

                         

                        I'd like to know in what way not having a clean record or having a misdemeanor conviction on your record will affect a person.  Other than just being able to say you have a clean record.

                        How can we know our limits if we don't test them?

                          I'd like to know where you got your "information" that misdemeanors don't matter.

                             

                            I'd like to know in what way not having a clean record or having a misdemeanor conviction on your record will affect a person.  Other than just being able to say you have a clean record.

                             

                            Two equivalent workers apply for the same job: one has a criminal conviction, the other doesn't. Who do you hire?

                             

                            Two equivalent tenants apply for the same lease: one has a criminal conviction, the other doesn't. Who do you rent to?

                             

                            Two equivalent entrepreneurs apply for a business loan: one has a criminal conviction, the other doesn't. Who do you loan to?

                             

                            I don't think a misdemeanor conviction ruins lives.  In reality, it probably has a very small effect.  But you'll never know, because its perfectly legal for employers, landlords, and lenders to discriminate against someone with a criminal conviction.  They don't have to tell you why they didn't hire you, rent to you, or loan to you.  They just pick someone else.

                             

                            Plus, its such a fixable thing.  Trivially easy to avoid the conviction under these facts.  So isn't the real question: why wouldn't you erase strike one from your record if you can?

                            How To Run a Marathon: Step 1 - start running. There is no Step 2.


                            Not dead. Yet.

                              Plus, its such a fixable thing.  Trivially easy to avoid the conviction under these facts.  So isn't the real question: why wouldn't you erase strike one from your record if you can?

                               

                              Well, its fixable if you pay an attorney and win.  Many times you will lose so your money is completely wasted.  And I find it hard to believe that in most cases they even go to the trouble to do background checks when applying for jobs, loans, leases.

                               

                              So is the opportunity cost of whatever you pay an attorney for something like this plus many hours of time spent at the courthouse plus the chance that you might lose anyway worth the rare possibility that you might (without knowing) be discriminated against for that time you got too close to the train tracks?

                               

                              I guess to some it is.

                              How can we know our limits if we don't test them?

                                 

                                Terrible advice.  I can assure you that the judge (who is a lawyer) is not going to hold it against someone accused of a misdemeanor crime that they exercised their Constitutional right to legal representation.  If anything, it will show the court that you treat the matter seriously.  It will also convey to the judge that you take the matter of your clean record seriously, making it more likely to avoid the conviction through one means or the other.

                                 

                                 

                                In fact, I suspect most judges would rather you have a lawyer.  Usually makes their job easier.