When was the last time you got a ticket?, was it a moving violation or “just” a parking ticket? It might have been a small court fee that you just didn’t pay, or a “urinating” in public ticket that was way over yonder in another state when you were visiting your long lost family member. You didn’t even have that good of a time, so no reason to go back there ever again. Why pay the ticket?
Fast forward a few years and you get pulled over for not using your turn signal. That unpaid ticket sets off a red flag resulting in you hearing those famous last words, “Please step out of the car and put your hands behind your back”. Wha, wha, what?! At that point, you have a much longer trip than you were expecting.
After looking over your shoulder for some time, you want to shake this off and start with a clean slate. You’re ready to address this and be rid of it for once and for all. In order to do this, you must go and turn yourself in, ultimately ending up in front of a judge.
As you can imagine, there’s only so far you can “run” without it catching up to you, so doing the “right” thing will avoid any further conflicts with “the law” regarding these past events. It doesn’t even matter if you were right or wrong, stating your case in front of a judge will move you forward. Not only will you garner respect with the judge, you can add a few notches to your tool belt for courage, humility and self respect for yourself as well!
Unless you committed a serious crime and are “at large”, it is likely that the penalization might be minimal if any at all. I recently worked with a few recoverees that decided to go face a judge on their own:
One was a woman who had a ticket from a few years back that she never paid. This was in the way of her moving forward with some other documentation she really needed. She was really nervous about this, thinking that the fine would now be ten times that amount. It ended up that the judge praised her for her honestly and it was thrown out due to it being almost ten years old. She was utterly relieved as she is now able to better navigate herself.
Another was a gentleman who had a warrant in another state due to a DWI, also from a few years ago. He was afraid that he might be deported, but at the same time he knew that he had to face whatever the consequences. He felt in his heart that it was the right thing to do since he had endangered so many for so many years until he eventually got caught. The judge was happily surprised that he turned himself in. He explained how he has now turned his life around and wanted to make amends to society in order to right his wrong. The judge sentenced him to 1000 hours of community service and allowed him to do them in the state he currently resides in. He found a program that allowed him to volunteer his time, which counted towards the owed community service, in a soup kitchen where he worked to feed the homeless. He was having difficulty with it at first, but once he had worked a few days, he found himself really enjoying it. He recently shared with me the joy that it brought him to be of service to people who were much worse off than him. It took his own problems away while filling him with immense humility and gratitude knowing that he was that much closer to the person he’d always wanted to be.
Once there is acceptance of your situation along with the willingness to face it, you are more than halfway traveled. Going through it will only strengthen your person while diminishing fears; especially ones associated with avoidance.
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