Anyone who knows me knows how silly this title is, but it is true...I now have a Record! Let the "oohhhing" and "ahhhing" begin! Back in May, three punk rookie cops in a cruiser gave me a summons because I was walking Ella without a leash one night. The sidewalk was empty and I was actually teaching her to follow me and my commands without a leash, which is actually responsible dog ownership, however these punk kid cops had a quota to fill or something, so they wrote me up.
I went to the courthouse this morning per the instructions on the summons. I swear, the world of petty crimes court is just a way for the City to make some money. I bet you there is a line item in the City budget. You start out by standing in a line to get assigned to a "courtroom." You go into the "courtroom" to sit and wait until they say your name and your "crime." You walk up and face the adjudicator...it's not even a real judge! He doesn't even listen to the details of your case, he just yells out a price. "50 bucks!" "25 bucks!" I'm not kidding...he used the word, "bucks." Then the "lawyer" who's standing next to you explains that you can pay the fine the adjudicator just yelled out...seemingly at random...or you can take your chances with a trial and plead not guilty. It's like a warped version of "Let's Make a Deal."
I got off with a $25 fine and a reprimand: "Keep your dog on a leash, Miss." Not to bad considering how much I may have to pay to keep Ella in my apartment. More on that once it's final.
However, since NYC doesn't expunge its records, I will always have a conviction for walking a dog without a leash. I'm pretty sure that's a gateway crime...