13:08, November 26 244 0 abajournal.com

2018-11-26 13:08:07
Speeding ticket turns into a possible 6-month jail term for St. Louis woman

A St. Louis woman who missed a court date for a speeding ticket in Missouri has spent 20 days in jail, but her sentence may not be over.

Precious Jones, 34, was going 120 miles an hour in a 70 mph zone when she was pulled over by the Missouri Highway Patrol, according to a columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She had been traveling from St. Louis to Kansas City, but was pulled over in Lafayette County, a mostly rural area with a population of around 33,000. After she missed her August court date in Lafayette County, Jones paid the bond on an outstanding warrant for her arrest and called to receive a new court date. She hired a lawyer.

Jones pleaded guilty to a Class B misdemeanor in May, expecting to pay a fine. Instead, Judge Kelly Rose sentenced Jones to six months in jail along with two years of probation. The jail sentence would be suspended if Jones spent 20 days in jail on weekends. Jones asked if she could serve the time in St. Louis rather than Lafayette County, which is more than 200 miles away, but her request was denied.

Jones complied with just two glitches. She was an hour late one Friday in May because of a new job she had in St. Louis that required her to work until 6 p.m. A second time, in June, Jones’ car broke down and she didn’t make it to the jail on Friday. She did call to report the problem. The next day she arrived at jail and stayed the required two days.

Jones completed her jail time, took drivers’ education classes, performed community service and paid her fines, including a bill for the cost of her incarceration. She believed she had satisfied her obligations.

But the prosecutor, Kristen Hilbrenner, wants to revoke Jones’ probation because she was late to jail. The bid to revoke probation spurred another warrant for Jones’ arrest that carries a $2,500 bond.

Jones says the court and her lawyer both told her that by paying a higher fine, the speeding ticket wouldn’t carry points against her license. Court records outline the promise. But not everyone got the message; the points were counted and Jones’ license has been suspended. The Post-Dispatch points

“I don’t know what I’m going to do,” Jones tells the Post-Dispatch. “They are just not going to let me go.”