A few weeks ago I was driving on the expressway north of
It's tempting to give all the gory details of that encounter, but it was more frustrating than interesting. I talked with a SJA rep, who was very nice and seemed to have a pretty good sense of humor, and was given a copy of my SOFA rights.
One of my employees at work just happens to be going through this same thing right now, and had actually been to her interrogation this morning, so I got the scoop on what that meeting will entail. It's going to be really, really frustrating for me. It lasts two hours and the Japanese police (through an English interpreter who doesn't speak English, as it turns out) ask about everything from my parent's birth place to the balance in my savings account and how much my car cost. They'll want to know if I live alone, what I studied in school, and what my favorite song is (just kidding about that last one). As the process goes, they later talk with the prosecutors and the judge, tell both parties all about where my parents were born and how much my car cost apparently, and then they all decide what would be a fair penalty for me. I think I have to appear in court to get that news.
The SJA rep already told me what he suspects the maximum penalty will be (¥80,000, which is about $800, or 6-months in jail, which the Japanese police will throw in just to let me know they mean business), and reminded me how important it is to show remorse and regret.
There's a lot I regret at this point, and speeding is just one thing. I regret that freakin interrogation, and it hasn't even happened yet. That is going to be hellish and I only hope I have the fortitude to not beg for the jail time. Frankly, it sucks and it was a stupid thing to do, but I've been driving much more carefully ever since, and I'm ok with paying $800 for the lesson. I'm not ecstatic about it, but that's life sometimes.