I received a citation by a Georgia State Patrol officer which claimed I ran a stop sign. The citation included that “there were 2 cars, this was second” indicating the car in front of me ran the stop sign. I disputed citation and even wrote on it that I was signing under diress. I imediately came home and contacted Georgia State Patrol to report the incident at which the superior officer called me back to assure he would be in touch once he reviewed the evidence. The superior officer called be back after calling in the officer that wrote the citation, he reviewed the tape and stated to me “the tape did not show evidence of me running stop sign as he only saw my vehicle drive by” but I would have to pursue through court because the ticket was already written and then he provided his sergeant name for reference if I chose to go further. I spoke with this superior officer who was the corporal officer for roughly 30 minutes and we very clear in his wording about what he reviewed and there was no evidence so I concluded he was helping me and I did the right thing by reproting because I am 100% positive that I did not break the law, run a stop sign, or commit any criminal activity. I was required to attend “arraignment” in order to get a hearing which this entire process took over 4 months! I went to the hearing to plead my case with all my paperwork, documentation of all calls, etc (as it took me over 3 weeks just to get someone to help me at the courthouse to get information on my case at which I was told that they fired all case managers and they only had 3 interims taking care of cases so they could not disclose who was handling my case). To start off the judge asked where the officer was as he did not show up for the hearing and the case amanger said she subpoened him on January 2 (the day of the hearing was January 27th and the citation was written September 24th – 4 months prior – more than adequate time for the officer to appear in court). The judge questioned it and the case manager claimed she only found out the week before. The judge asked if I wished to proceed with case or do a continuance at which I said I would like to proceed. When he called me up he meandored over the ticket for a lengthy period of time and then stated he is issuing a continuance since the officer was not able to be there due to “training”. I tried to speak with folder of paperwork in hand and he said I was not allowed to speak, I must show “respect” and that he will hold me in contempt of court and put me in jail for 20 days. What would prompt a judge to be such a bully and threaten 20 days jail time for me trying to plead my case??? This was my hearing to allow my consititutional right to be allowed to speak as indicated in Canon 3 A4: “A judge should accord to every person who has a legal interest in a proceeding, and that person’s lawyer, the full right to be heard according to law.” And to allow a continuance for the officer to be there was absurd after he clearly pointed out the case managers mistake in not following through with her job to make sure that happened initially! I went out of the courtroom and had to get them to contact that corporal officer and he in turn said something to them entirely different than what he said to me on the phone the day of the incident so I was forced to schedule yet another hearing. In the meantime I contacted the Seargent that the corporal gave information on. The seargant was out of line as well in statements (as I wrote down like everything else I have documented) stating “obious miscommunication that just because the video does not show doesn’t mean that I didn’t do it” and then proceeded to further comment to me “if the officer wrote the ticket then I must have broken the law”. Again, very out of line for this superior officer to make remarks to me in this nature! I am following the chain of command by filing complaint and this is the treatment I’m receiving??? I would not have gone through all of the time and energy to pursue this otherwise – I did not run the stop sign! I have not done anything wrong, yet Forsyth County government is automatically faulting me making me to have to pay this ticket and put a blemish on my record as this county places traffic citations in along with criminal I found out as well so they are listing me as a criminal??? A traffic citation resolution should not take going into 5 months to resolve and I should not have to go through all of this as though it’s I’m guilty until proven innocent and that is exactly how I’m being treated. I have chosen not to pay the ticket and proceed with fighting the allogations for a reason – because I am not guilty, but they are basically forcing me to pay it or fear going to jail because of injustice insued on me by the judge by bullying me. I do not know where else to turn or who to contact to bring this to the attention to proper authorities for this improper conduct by law officials because what I thought was the right thing to do in reporting through chain of command has proven to go against me rather than help me. I don’t know what agencies to contact, or if I should contact the media or if this will cause a backlash of harrasment because I now do not have any confidence in our law enforcement or county officials as a result. All of this simply because I chose to fight my ticket. And this scares me. I do not have any reocrd of any kind – I haven’t even had a traffic ticket in well over 10 years. I try to do the right things and live a proper life and this is what happens? Not logical to me when you have real criminals out there who are horrible people and seems nothing is done about that – effectively at any rate. I need someone’s help on this matter because I truly don’t know what else to do set aside from paying the ticket which is not right because if I pay that’s telling them an admission of guilt which is not truthful but if I go to the next hearing I fear retaliation against me for my pursuance of the matter. And my other concern is why judge issued a continuance knowing the case manager messed up and I always thought that if the other party did not appear it was then thrown out? Especially under these circumstances and me having all pertinent documentation to back up my case? Please if there is someone that can help me with these questions and a possible resolution? Thank you. DH0206 Cumming, GA
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