Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Case Dismissed

For those who maintained an unfaltering interest in the saga of my traffic ticket received with several cycling companions last January - I received the orders dismissing each ticket in the mail today.

With the blessing of the city prosecutor my companions and I had the choice of two options to resolve our pending traffic indictments. First, the prosecutor was willing to recommend a $5.00 fine in exchange for our pleas of guilty or no-contest. (Note I determined there was no conflict of interest between me and my companions in this joint representation agreement. I had led my riding buddies through the stop sign first, so I figured it was all my fault. I was willing to take the rap for all of us, if necessary.)

However, being the consummate defense lawyer that I am, I suggested an alternative. (I could hear in the prosecutor's voice the tone of disdain I've heard thousands of times before as I retorted with my counter-offer.) "How about some community service in exchange for an out-right dismissal," I asked. (You see, I staked my career and reputation with my buddies and local cycling community on these cases. I declared I could get these tickets dismissed, or I'd retire. The stakes were high, indeed.)

Well, the prosecutor took the bait. In exchange for completing a community service project of our choosing and design, all charges would be dropped with an apology. (Realize the city prosecutor was a cycling fanatic in his own right. I couldn't have asked for a better set of facts than this!)

An announcement went out over the cycling listserve. The time and place of the "new riders" clinic was set. My companions and I waited patiently for anyone to show up. Thirty minutes past and no one came. We were worried there'd be no community for us to provide such a valuable service to that Sunday afternoon. Well, the cycling (or should I say community service) gods were smiling on us. Two brave souls appeared for the clinic. We had a grand time teaching them about safe riding in groups, pace lines, and double rotating echelons. After the classroom time was over we hit the road for some practice. Note we obeyed every traffic control device and encouraged our students to take care to obey all traffic laws while cycling the streets of College Station, Texas. So there ended the saga, including three more cases in the win column.

I know some of you were hoping for more retribution from the State when resolving this dispute. However, the policies of general and specific deterrence were well at work over these past months. Furthermore, you can't keep a strong cyclist down. So, thanks for listening and I hope my story sends a clear law enforcement message. (Furthermore, I've finally removed the blog poll to everyone's delight, I'm sure.)

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