If you were given a single day to make a meaningful impact for someone in your community what would you do? If you don't have an answer right away that's ok, most people wouldn't because they wouldn't know where to begin, this is especially true for young people leaving college and entering the workforce. Unlike in college where opportunities to volunteer are regularly solicited to students, as young adults often coming into a new and unfamiliar community they don't know where to begin. Nor do they have the established network or time required to take advantage of such opportunities. But those opportunities are out there and worth the investment of your time.
Not long after I started my firm did success follow, and understandably I was constantly busy with very little down time. I would still consider myself 'new' to the small community of Fredericksburg, having immigrated from Houston only a year ago, but I had a strong desire to become integrated within the community. In spite of this desire, time was precious and I didn't know where to begin that is until an Aggie friend of mine brought up a service project the students at A&M put on every year called "The Big Event." It was inspired by the idea of the difference a person can make in one day of service to their community. Volunteers would come together to take on different service jobs such as 'everyday' yard related tasks, making simple repairs, cleaning projects, etc. that could be completed in a single day. From this idea came to be what was known as "The Burg Event!"
Twenty leaders within the community, including myself, came together to organize this event, where over 100 local residents volunteered and 25 service projects were accomplished! Projects ranging from 'everyday' yard related tasks to touching up the paint on an elderly resident's house. My team was responsible for building a custom handicap accessible outdoor table for a wheelchair bound vet who was unable to use the simple picnic table in his backyard or afford an alternative.
While a single day or a table may not seem like much, make no mistake each and every one of those 25 jobs made a lasting and real impact. Hence the expression, one drop raises the ocean. Be that drop. Put yourself out there. Whether you can commit to leading and organizing a service project within your community, or perhaps you can only offer a single day of service whatever it is be that impact and raise the ocean within your own community.
The other day I was visiting with my mom and she asked me about traffic tickets. Of course, I can only imagine why she brought this up, but she wanted to know if there was any truth to the strategy of resetting your traffic ticket case until the officer doesn’t show up and the ticket gets dismissed. All I could think of in that moment was “dear God tell me you didn’t try this,” and “who on earth would give my mother a traffic ticket, she makes cotton candy look bitter?!”
For those reading this let me be the first to tell you, this strategy is absolutely UNTRUE. Let me put it into perspective. You are more likely to see your grandmother run over by a reindeer, pulled by St. Nick himself as he drinks a warm mug of hot cocoa and listens to ‘I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas’ in the middle of July before this strategy actually works.
Courts are not going to allow unlimited resets. Most will only grant a reset for good reason. Then after that first reset many courts will only consider jail, hospital, or death in the family a valid reason to miss a court date. Even with a lawyer documentation is often required. Nobody likes to feel jerked around and that goes especially for the court. You only get one first impression, don’t let your first impression with the court be one where you’re trying to ‘outsmart’ the court or the system, and only manage to waste everyone’s time and money. And yes, by everyone I’m including you. Let’s say you do reset, when there was no reason to, you are either: (a) making your case more difficult and thereby more expensive for the attorney you end up hiring, or (b) you risk paying higher fees to the court.
Most importantly of all, I’ve seen cases reset when the officer did not show up. That means the only thing you stand to accomplish from this so-called ‘strategy’ is pissing off the judge, the cost of which will be coming straight out of your wallet.
This begs the question, what do you do if you get a traffic ticket?
Well you can either:
Even though these tickets are only class c misdemeanors and punishable by fine only, some convictions can result in serious consequences. Figure out if your situation requires an attorney to assist you, you may be eligible to dismiss the ticket via defensive driving, or in the case that your license or registration expired then having it renewed and presenting evidence of renewal to the court.
If you do wish to hire an attorney know that you are hiring them for representation. An attorney cannot guarantee a certain result, only that you will be given the best possible representation given the facts of a particular case. Be cautious of any attorney that guarantees a specific result such as dismissal. I like to say,
"A guarantee is like a lie in disguise as a promise, they’re either lying to you or to themselves."
Attorney at The Reeh Law Firm
I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. Since getting married in April I'll be joining a considerably larger table this year. My in-laws will be hosting Thanksgiving and that means more chairs for cousins, hunting stories being shared, and playing cards after dessert!!! I am sssoooooo thankful for my beautiful family and how welcomed they've made me feel! I want you to know I will say a little blessing this year for all of the support I have received! I have had a great year with so many new things and this community has been there with me every step of the way!!!
Gobble Gobble !
Attorney at The Reeh Law Firm