I am driving home from work at 2:45am in the slow lane of a 3-lane Interstate highway. A police officer merges in behind me from an onramp and immediately passes me in the middle lane going at least 15mph over the speed limit. As soon as he gets 1 car-length ahead of me he notices I have a headlight out & slams on his brakes. I drop my speed from 9mph over the limit to the speed limit and wait for him to light me up. He runs my plates and pulls me over, as I knew he would.
My registration (tags) and my license are both expired. My bad. I work weekend nights & it's tough for me to flip my schedule and get “daytime stuff” like bureaucratic bullshit done on my days off. (It's my car, why do I need to pay for one of your stickers to drive it?!) They tow my car to impound & I have to call my partner (from the back of a cruiser) to pick me up. The police were all super-nice & even drove me to the gas station down the road so she didn't have to pick me up from the side of the highway with police lights flashing. Lucky I'm a white boy with “yes-sir, no-sir” skills & nothing illegal in my car.
I spend the next 2 days renewing my registration (tags), getting a new license, and getting my car out of impound; making myself “Street Legal” as it were. Everything is taken care of except for the fines. I have a court date in 2 weeks that I am not required to show up for if I waive my right to appear and pay the fines.
I know I fucked up and didn't take care of the bureaucratic bullshit, so should I just pay the fines (they won't really hurt me financially all that much) and be done with it? Or should I show up to court in my best suit, present the facts that I now have current registration (tags) and a current driver's license, apologize, and “throw myself on the mercy of the court,” asking the judge for leniency because I'm an upstanding member of the community?
I know ya'll aren't lawyers, but has anybody else had an experience like this? Would it be feasible for me to appear and ask for leniency or am I just dreaming?