Last May, Charlene came home shaken up. A few blocks away, she stopped to yield to oncoming traffic in a yield lane and was rear-ended. The other driver (in a BMW SUV) took off without exchanging contact information and other details.
Usually we try to be pretty reasonable in these circumstances. If the damage is minor enough, we often take the information but live with the damage. In this case, Charlene’s neck was hurting and we were a bit disturbed that the other driver had fled. So we reported the accident to the police, and the other driver was charged with three offenses.
The case finally went to court on Thursday and Charlene was subpoenaed as a witness. I was hoping for a plea bargain so we could all go home, but no such luck. The other driver pleaded not guilty, and Charlene was called to the stand. If you’ve ever given testimony in a court, you know how intimidating it can be, especially with the dependent sitting five feet away whispering loudly, “That’s the first lie!” She eventually took the stand, swore on a Bible, and told a version of the events that’s significantly different from what Charlene remembers.
The Justice of the Peace eventually asked her to leave the room because she wouldn’t stop talking throughout the trial.
In the end, one charge was dropped, one charge was dismissed, but the defendant was found guilty of one charge with a $200+ fine and six demerit points. Charlene had her day in court and walked away glad to be done with the whole experience.
We hope not to be in traffic court – even as a witness – for a very long time.