On the first day of 2020 I got pulled over.
The facts are simple, I was distracted while driving, causing me to fail to operate within my lane.
Since this was my first experience being pulled over, I was curious to see what would happen.
The officer asked me why I had swerved and I was truthful. Because of that, he told me I would receive a warning for being distracted and a citation (ticket) for failing to operate in my lane.
When you get a citation you have the option to pay the fee or show up in court and appeal. In Utah, you can plea in abeyance, which means accepting a plea of guilty or of no contest. And if it’s your first ticket you’ll likely qualify for it.
The benefit of pleading in abeyance is that 1) the ticket won’t show up on your record 2) your insurance won’t go up.
This is on the condition that you comply with the conditions set forth, which in my case is to not get another ticket for 6 months.
I showed up to court, with a persuasive speech to get my plea sustained but the reality ended up being an extremely informal chat where the prosecutor asked me a few questions in the court room.
I qualified, and now get to pay the fine, complete traffic school and drive for 6 months with no further tickets.
The year has only just begun and I’ve already learned three valuable lessons. 1) honesty is often rewarded 2) nothing on your phone is a priority over controlling your vehicle 3) think long term and consider other impacts (e.g. insurance.)
That summarizes my experience on trial.