I remember something about the Constitution and not being tried twice for the same crime. But, since The Law is something of a mixed bag these days, and since Amazon doesn't carry La Cosa Nostra for Dummies, I'm pretty much lost. Here's the story:

I got busted for doing 76 in a 55, which was a real drag, but happens every three or four years. I have a tendency to really haul ass on long trips, and now that I traded the Mazda POS for a BDM (Big Diesel Mercedes), it's only gotten worse. Ka - ZOOM.

Now I was speeding, so I paid the fine and thought that was that. Part of being an elitest S.O.B. in a big Benz, right? Uh, no. A few months later I received a polite computer generated notice telling me not to drive anymore since I was a criminal. Seems that North Carolina has a law that removes people's licenses if they get caught driving 20 miles over the limit. Pretty draconian, but here's where the weirdness coefficent goes Over Unity --

I wasn't breaking the law in North Carolina! I got pulled over in Georgia, paid the fine and moved on. If I had known there was double jeopardy to contend with, I'd have gone to court and copped to 74 in a 55 and got by with it.

So I bitched, screamed, mailed some letters and hired a lawyer. One of those usually works and, as expected, I did get a hearing.

The fact that.I had ZERO tickets on my record didn't help. The fact that I drive 100 miles to work a few times a week and still had zero tickets didn't help. The fact I was relatively new to North Carolina and didn't know Jacques didn't help. The only thing that did help was that the hearing officer was a nice lady and told me to slow down. She threw the thing in the trash and said never mind.

Can't complain about the result, but shit-o-dear it's unnerving. What if she didn't buy my rap? What if I couldn't afford to hire a lawyer who knew her personally? Whew. I'm gonna start flying to Atlanta or change my name.

Maybe both.

I figure I got away with it, but only because either:

1. I can be really charming when cornered
2. I hired a local attorney who knew the hearing officer.

This says something about our rule of law I rather don't like. Specifically, that it may be optional.