Three Days in a Bozeman Jail… I Hate California
I am in California. I am getting ready to leave and make Bozeman my new home. Everything is packed, the cable is turned off, power company is turning off the power, post office has my change of address. Did I forget anything? By April 3 I will be in Montana.
Dominick In The Morning starts. This Wednesday, as I drove to work, I was going a little too fast. It's 2:30 a.m., the streets are empty. Lights behind me. I am getting a speeding ticket. The officer, Shawn Toresdahl, is a great guy. It is the first time I realize I am older than the cop.
Officer Toresdahl comes back to the car without my licence.
He says, "Your California license has been suspended."
I am shocked. I feel like Michael Corleone in Godfather Three when he screamed, "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!" Remember?
California won't stop making my life hell.
Seems a traffic camera took a picture of me driving through a red light. I have no idea I did this. I call California. I am told I failed to appear in court. I ask how was I supposed to know about court.
I am told, "We mailed it to you."
I never got it. I am in Montana. They won't give me a Montana license until you guys unsuspend my California license. How much do I owe?
"Two thousand dollars. It would have have been less if you apeared in court," he said.
"Oh my lord, I don't have it. I didn't get the letter!"
"Well, we sent it. It's not our fault you claim you didn't get it"
I felt like saying, "It's my fault I didn't get the letter? Oh, I just remembered, I sent you the $2,000. Did you get it? It's not my fault you didn't get the letter." But I didn't. Maybe Montana would be more reasonable.
I call the Montana courthouse, asking about the ticket for driving on a suspended license. The court officer tells me, "We take driving without a license in Montana is a very serious thing." The minimum the judge will give me is three or four days in jail.
JAIL? Jail! Now I found finally find something I don't like about Montana. Jail? I didn't do it on purpose. This is crazy. All I can think of is that scene in Midnight Express where the young American is beaten. Remember?
So a computer in California is my judge, jury and executioner.
All my life I have followed the rules. Now I may go to jail. I feel like this is unjust.
Wednesday I go to court in Bozeman. If I drive my car and get pulled over, I will get arrested. I am spending something like $30 a day on Uber. I don't know what to do?
I pray I don't go to jail. I as so scared.
I will keep you updated.