Some of you followed when I was ThriftyMomma and remember me telling you the tale of my second oldest son(4 kids) and his driving skills. Well back in early August he was stopped for passing on the highway and exceeding the speed limit. Today was his day to appear in court because apparently here in Ohio when your under 18 any and every time you're stopped you have to appear before the Judge at Juvenile traffic court.
So I had two sons with me because the day before the primary school called and my youngest son was very sick and had to be cleaned up and sent home. Therefore I had to haul a sick 7 yr old with us this early morning(flash flood warning outside, pooring rain) only to enter the Juvenile courts building (Hall of Justice) and put my umbrella and purse through a ex ray and also walk through an ex ray. Make our way up to the third floor and check in. We sat for what felt like an eternity in this extremely long hallway with about 30 other kids and their moms. Finally called in, stood for the Judge and were sworn in, read our rights and what might or might not happen if we pleaded guilty or not guilty. One Mom and her son were before us and they plead not guilty and were instructed they would have a trial and if lost they would have to pay all court cost. Next was our turn and we plead guilty. Well before hand while waiting were were given a large booklet of what would happen second,third offense and so on...
This is my sons first offense and he was sentenced to the SECOND offense conditions. Which was a suspended license for 30 days, a 200 dollar fine, driving school, 500 word essay. After the sentencing we made our way back down the long hall to sign and pay the fees. At this point they asked my son for his license and ran it through a shredder, had him stand at a line and retook his picture and printed this on a piece of paper with restrictions for work and school driving only.
My son really made me mad because I told him to wear a dress shirt and nice pants so when I picked him up he conveniently forgot to bring dress pants. And it is NOT a fallacy that you are JUDGED by what you are wearing because as we were sitting there waiting and waiting a man came out of a door and walked down through all of us MOM and kids waiting...he did a noticeable pause with his cup of coffee at my son who was sitting across from me and looked down at his riped to HELL jeans. Guess what? He was the JUDGE! I swear he was sentenced more harshly because of his attire.
Later as we were still waiting, more parents and kids exited and we just in general asked what each other pleaded and everyone that had been there before gasped and said Oh no! always plead not guilty with this Judge, he really socks it to the kids! Geez...had we not been second maybe I would have seen how he Judge's and we would have pleaded differently.
The biggest thing I was worried about is had my son learned his lesson? had he realized that driving is serious business and not something you just wing and take for granted?
Well I think he has...He had to clear his throat a few times to speak to the Judge, I noticed him shaking abit when he had to stand and be photographed like a criminal. I don't know...I fluctuate between feeling like they are to harsh on the kids and feeling like well! you needed a wake up call!
If it helps to keep him alive and other while he's on that long wide road then I'm grateful!
As we were sitting at the table like on trial my youngest son was on my lap and he slumped down and laid his head on his arm and did a audible moan...the Judge looked straight at us and I elbowed him in the ribs to sit him upright. I mean come on, he's 7! Then he's laying on the hallway bench and sits up laughing as he exclaims " I farted, I farted" and he's sick remember? so the entire long hall is fanning themselves with crinkled up noses....
And the Judge's words of wisdom to Nick "If you're gonna drive take it seriously!"
I reached out for the manilla folder he sat in front of us as we were standing at the bench. He says " chuckle..."the baliff will handle that"
Sorry I've never been to court!