Saturday, March 07, 2009

May God have mercy on my soul.

Back in November when I was still living in Cedar City, I was issued a speeding ticket. The circumstances were questionable at best. I was going 40 in a 30, on my way out of town, fully believing that the speed limit was 40. By the time I was pulled over I had already passed the 50 MPH sign outside of town. That being said, I have come to expect a ticket every time I am pulled over.

Officers hate me. Why, you ask? I am friendly, helpful, respectful, and apologetic. A model citizen. I am also male, college aged, and long-haired. So basically I might as well be riding in a white Bronco with bloody floorboards.
I accepted my ticket with as much disdain as I could get away with, and continued down the highway. I was determined to fight this ticket to the end.

I went to the courthouse and entered my plea of NOT GUILTY anticipating a speedy hearing. A month passed and I moved back north. Another month passed and I called the courthouse to find out what was going on. Finally I received a letter in the mail, informing me that my court date was set for 3/5/09, over four months after my traffic violation.

For the next two months I debated whether or not to drive the six hour round trip. I would miss work and school without any guarantee that I wouldn't be paying the 80 dollar fine anyway. Finally, the day before the scheduled hearing, I began to feel true remorse for the terrible infraction that I had committed. I had a change of heart. I called the courthouse to formally change my plea.

The receptionist told me that they needed my plea in writing. I sat at my work computer with a heavy heart, ashamed at my wanton disrespect for the laws of this great land. I pressed my hands to the keyboard and slowly let my soul spill out into a Microsoft Word document. I immediately felt the burden of my crimes being lifted as I began typing:

"I, Daniel Jackson hereby change my plea to GUILTY for the traffic violation with which I am charged. May God have mercy on my soul."

As I carefully attached my signature to this solemn document and dialed in the Iron County Justice Center fax number, I had a distinct feeling that He would. He would.