I was convicted in absentia with Reckless driving (86/65 mph). I understand this is a serious offense that could become part of a permanent Criminal record. This happened because the Court was closed due to a snow storm (on the day prior to my trial) when I called to have the trial rescheduled (as allowed.) I could not leave a voice mail.
I could not attend the trial where I wanted to defend myself due to my self-employment obligations of snow removal for my customers (I live out of state.)
I want to:
1) have the speeding ticket dismissed/found not guilty. I believe I could have done this at the General District Court and/or at least had the charges reduced. I intended to defend myself and avoid the lawyer fees.
2) Have the Circuit Court of Appeals address the issue of being denied the opportunity to re-schedule the 1st Court hearing. I acted within the Court's guidelines for rescheduling but lost my 1st opportunity thru no fault of my own. I should have 2 chances to defend myself.
3) Avoid additional court costs & potential attorney fees because I'm now headed to my last & only "day in court."
I have no Criminal record & consider myself a model citizen. I also have a clean driving record; no points-nothing and am not willing to accept any of this without a fight w/ minimal costs. Taking the day to drive 8+ hrs back & forth is enough of a hassle/expense.
What exactly happens in the Appeals court? Is the prosecutor willing to discuss my case before the trial? What techniques/procedures/strategy should I take?
I am not a "negotiator" by nature but I still want my fair shot at this. If you believe that this has gone too far for a layperson to effectively deal with, let me know. I just can't believe I need a lawyer, though.
Thank you all for your advice and help.