JIN Min Jin pled guilty to three of 12 traffic citations on Tuesday before Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo who reminded the defendant that driving on Saipan is a privilege.

“You have an obligation when you get in a vehicle to have a valid driver’s license,” the judge said. “You have an obligation to have a registered vehicle, an obligation not to speed, not to run stop signs, and an obligation to wear a seat belt when driving.”

The judge added, “The next time I see you in this court, in any traffic matter, I am going to take that [driving] privilege away from you — you will not be allowed to drive in the CNMI [if] you are dangerous to yourself and others. It’s time to obey the law and take it seriously.”

Jin Min Jin, through his court-appointed attorney, Assistant Public Defender Veena Seelam, pled guilty to no-seatbelt, failure to follow traffic signs, and speeding violations as part of a plea agreement with the government, which Judge Govendo accepted.

Some of the 12 traffic violations, including reckless driving and speeding, occurred from 2006 to 2019, noted Assistant Attorney General Steve Kessler who represented the government.

With the defendant pleading guilty to three citations, the government agreed to dismiss the other charges that included driving without a license, without a registration, without a seatbelt, reckless driving, and failure to follow traffic signs.

Judge Govendo ordered Jin Min Jin to pay a total of $310 including court costs.

Jin Min Jin, who has been on Saipan for 20 years now, asked the court through an interpreter to allow him to pay the fine in six months, saying he is currently unemployed.

But the judge denied his request and gave him one month to pay the fine, adding that most of the citations against him are payable offenses.


Bryan Manabat studied criminal justice at Northern Marianas College. He covers the community, tourism, business, police and court beats.

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