The law has always been in my periphery. I was in eighth grade in private school back in the day when you couldn’t graduate without passing Civics class and the Constitution test, and wow was that a great time in my life. I learned that I have rights! My life changed after learning that concept.
I was unleashed in my freedom and probably a handful as a teenager for my parents. Nobody was going to tell me what to do or what to think. I had the law on my side! I have rights!
Like most every teenager in the USA, when we’re 15, we go to driving school and get a learner’s permit. Since I skipped second grade, when my sophomore class was all 15, I was only 14, and the school just assumed I was born in 1966, but I was born in 1967, and they gave me a permit with my correct birth day, but wrong birth year. I showed it to my parents who just shrugged their shoulders and I didn’t mind at all!
I was driving the car!
To add to the insanity of it all, legally, a person with a learner’s permit can only drive with a licensed driver in the car with them but my parents let me drive solo, and get this, take the car on the weekend with my girlfriends! Can you wrap your head around that?
Back then my parents had a Honda and you could go in the couch cushions and scrape up change and drive the car for the whole night for hours and my two girlfriends would cram in the front seat and drive around with the music blasting all night driving around the neighborhood.
There was a caveat that turned out to be the greatest lesson of my life. I had to contribute financially to the auto insurance bill, and I always had to return the car with the gas tank full. So I had to get a job.
I got a job as a busgirl in a senior citizen restaurant that my grandmother frequented at age 14, and I was now in the grown up world!! I was making dough!
After the servers would tip me, I’d walk out with like $20 cash in my pocket and that was the equivalent to five hours of babysitting and it only took me four hours to make that, plus I got a minimum wage paycheck. I had plenty of money to take the car out every weekend!
Fast forward to my twenties, and when I got pulled over for speeding, I admit to a handful of times that I think I was not given a ticket because I was a pretty girl and I’d drop that my father was a cop. I had privilege.
But eventually that stopped working, and sometimes I would just pay a ticket because I WAS speeding, and I was taught that it was against “the law”.
Or so I thought.
Then when insurance became mandatory, the “law” got nasty and threatened your license status and insurance rates with points depending on the degree of your “crime” of traffic infringement so they started making deals, like just pay $115 and plead guilty to a parking on the sidewalk ticket to avoid the points. HUH? That sounds very unethical. But we all took the deal or we’d have to go to traffic school and get our insurance rates raised.
I bring up my driving history because this is when nearly every human being begins their life dealing with “the law”.
Then as cell phones entered our lives, it became an even bigger way to generate income for the “state”, to the point where police officers would sit on the road just to look for people chatting on the phone. This began to really peak my interest into thinking….”are they violating my rights”? Because nobody is going to tell me what to do. I can drive and chat at the same time.
I got a cell phone ticket in White Plains NY, and I did what I always did. I showed up to get my day in court. In the halls of the courthouse was a long line of people waiting to see a man in a police officer uniform at a desk outside of the courtroom. Hmmm. I’d never seen that before. In Chicago, we went to a criminal court for traffic tickets.
So when it was my turn to see the man, he offered me the choice to plead guilty to parking on the sidewalk and “only” pay $115 to the City Of White Plains. Hmmmm. That’s a for profit corporation, not a government entity. This smells fishy.
So I said to the man in the police costume, “How do you have the authority to make this offer to me?” And clearly, nobody had ever asked him that question before. He was suddenly sweating and very nervous and told me to wait a minute while he retrieved the District Attorney.
The DA asked me to come with her and sent me to a courtroom where they had me sit literally for hours until I was called. I was to enter a plea, so I said not guilty, because then I’d have a court date and the police officer almost always never shows up. Which is what ended up happening. No show cop. My case was dismissed. Hey I won. But did I really win?
Because I’m going to reveal to you what is REALLY happening in the courthouses of modern times.
My blogs are taken from chapters in the book to showcase what you can learn in the book.