Know when a traffic ticket can end life as you know it? When you are a sports official and things don’t go as planned…
Well, he received a court summons on January 18, 2014 saying that he had to come to the Galveston Municipal Court on February 10, 2014 to explain why he didn’t send in his paperwork. He’s worried and I was pissed and worried for him.
The Main Issue
Here was the main problem. He’s a Texas Association Sports Official. This means that he can’t have ANYTHING on his record other than basic traffic tickets or he can’t ref anymore. Period. Reffing is his life.
Given that info, Mr. BFS was worried that they were going to charge him with something paperwork related that would get him kicked out of sports officiating. We no longer had the certified mail receipt, just the credit card charge, so we had no way of proving that we sent in the papers.
Correcting the Issue
I called the court during the following week to ask about what we needed in order to wrap this up. The court official on the other end said that they received our paperwork but that he hadn’t taken a “Texas Certified Defensive Driving Course”, so the certificate he sent in wasn’t what they needed.
I’m going to pause here to say that I was a good girl when I heard this. I didn’t ask why in the hell they hadn’t told us last year. I didn’t ask if it was standard procedure to wait until a year later to pursue issues like this. I didn’t snap at her in any way. I was good.
Anyway, I did ask what exactly did we need to do to make this better. She said that my husband had until his hearing on February 10 to come up with a valid defensive driving certificate.
Getting Another Certificate
Mr. BFS called the place that he used before and asked if they were a Texas Certified course or not. They explained that they have that course but he signed up for the insurance-discount-only course. They also admitted that this happens pretty often accidentally, and then sent him a link to the certified course to let him take it for free. He spent the next 10 hours of that same day carrying around a laptop. He took the course and did other stuff while it made him wait to continue. It was easy although time consuming since it was almost identical to the course he took before. Grrrr…
I paid $20 to get the new certificate in 2 days instead of waiting for regular mail. Thanks to ice, it arrived within 3 business days later. My husband immediately certified mailed it in again as requested. I am keeping that USPS Certified Mail receipt forever.
I then called daily all of last week to make sure that the judge would see the new certificate and clear the case before today, February 10. Otherwise, my husband would have to drive the hour and a half to Galveston to spend hours waiting to see the judge, who would then take 2 minutes to clear the case since he had the certificate in hand.
Luckily, they finally officially acknowledged it last Thursday, February 6, 2014 and cancelled our court date. Supposedly, this is all wrapped up now.
Point to Remember
Overall, this stupid scare was hanging over my husband’s head for nearly 3 weeks. We’re glad it’s over but I still wish they would have pointed out the mistake last year instead of giving us 3 weeks to make it better or suffer the consequences.
Also, everyone should make a note to themselves right now that THERE IS A DIFFERENCE between defensive driving courses. They are nearly the same course but are very different in the eyes of the law.
Have you ever had to deal with something similar? Ever had a basic traffic ticket go awry?
FYI: I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year. I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $80,000-$100,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home. If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!). I even have all of my favorite tools on a resource page - I hope they help you too. Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!