I am not pro-prosecution. I am pointing out that we cannot know the outcome of the case based just on what the OP has told us here. Zeljo stated something that was not accurate — that just because the OP states what her state of mind was that she ought to be acquitted. It does not work that way, as I hope you know. It matters very much what all the evidence is and how the judge regards the evidence that is presented, including the judge’s perception of the witnesses, etc. We don’t get to see the hearing to get a feel for how good the OP will come across versus how well the cop comes across. And yes, that does matter.
One statement can be made about this case that even you pro-conviction folks should agree with. If she is telling the truth, which the courts should assume is the case, and she is somewhat well spoken, she should be able to get the charges dropped. And, if you cannot help her in achieving that, you should not be on this forum advising anybody of anything.
If she can show that she drove past the air pump, slowed down, then continued through the station, the cop has a problem. Courts are not supposed to, nor are they justified in, assuming people are lying under oath. It is the cop's job to show that she is likely lying.
A baseless assumption of guilt should be thrown out.
I'm still unclear as to where you got the idea that the purpose of this forum was to assist people in avoiding the consequences of their actions. It is not.
Let's carry this through to its logical conclusion.
Your premise is that if someone is able to say, "Oh, no, it wasn't my intention to do x. I really meant to do y, but then z happened and I changed my mind and it only looks like I was doing x" with a relatively straight face and an innocent look, we are immediately to believe them and declare all charges dropped. Regardless of any other evidence or testimony from witnesses.
Does this apply also to the individual who is caught with store merchandise in their pocket on the wrong side of the cash registers, and says, "Oh, no, I wasn't really trying to take these without paying. I just put them in my pocket for safekeeping while I looked around a little more, and just forgot I had them. It only looks like I was shoplifting"?
Please note that I am taking issue with your general premise and not necessarily how it applies to this poster.
I agree that in a perfect world if she is telling the truth she should not be convicted. We don’t live in that perfect world. The problem is that, contrary to your statement, the court does not have to assume what she says is true. Rather the court decides the facts of the case by reviewing everything presented and taking into account the fact that the defendant has a very distinct interest in avoiding the conviction. It's very easy to make a statement of intent that favors yourself. But if the circumstances are such that they tend to undercut that statement, the court may well not find the defendant credible even if he/she is “somewhat well spoken.” It's like that old adage: if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck — even if the duck tries to claim it’s a Moose. You are putting too much reliance on the idea that the court has to believe the defendant. Nothing in the law says that is the case. I am not suggesting that the OP should not try. The OP might succeed. I simply take issue with your characterization that this would be a slam dunk for the OP to win.
Your above statement deserves to be challenged. I once got a car stolen. They caught the perps driving the car, made vehicle chase and then foot chase. The prosecutor called me and more or less demanded that I appear in court and testify that I did not give them permission to drive my car. If I did not, they would have walked all on the the claim that they had permission to drive my car. Point is that if the defense makes a claim that could be true, it the prosecution's job to discredit it. The court can't just say "you are lying."
This also happened in a murder trial when I wrote a letter to the judge. The prosecution read the letter aloud and addressed each point I made.
The courts don't call people liars. They discredit their claims. At least in my world they do.