letting each other go

Archive for the ‘legal issues’ Category

As the Court Turns…

Posted by Leo G on June 26, 2008

Okay, this blog is feeling a little bit like a serial novel about the trials and tribulations of a juvenile delinquent. But somehow, it helps to write about it.

Today was the hearing for the incidents of last weekend. There were a lot of charges, but he plead down to three: one count of assault, one count of interfering with an emergency communication, and one count of possession of alcohol as a minor. The rest were dropped. All are class “B” misdemeanors, resulting in community service hours. He now owes the state about 190 hours.

But, the more important thing is that they held him until he can be placed in Observation and Assessment. There is approximately a two-week wait, which he’ll spend in detention. Then a forty-five day program in O & A. As is customary for youth remanded to this program, they placed him in Juvenile Justice Services custody. For the next sixty days or so, I do not have custody of my son. And during the time he is in O & A, I have to pay the state child support! Yes, even though I was his victim.

Losing custody of one’s child feels like the ultimate failure. Even though I think it’s true that he should not be at home right now. His apology in court was okay–until he strayed into justifying himself. He was clearly very angry at the outcome–I assume because he understands that he just lost at least his entire summer. I did hear his lawyer tell him to “Don’t just say the right things–DO the right things.”

I don’t imagine he’s quite ready to stop fighting and cooperate with the chances he is being given. Frankly, I think he got a huge break when the DA didn’t charge any of the counts as felonies. And the only Class A misdemeanor was the one they dropped. They keep giving him chances, but he just sees them as punishment.

He kept saying that he is frustrated because no one recognizes the changes he has made. That he did stop using and no one is giving him credit for that. The judge was smart. She said, “I don’t think that just because we keep enforcing the rules it means we are not happy with the progress you have made. But we can’t say to you, ‘Oh, okay, since you’re not using drugs, go ahead and drink.'” I hope he can hear that.

I guess all I know for sure is that he is relatively safe for the next 60 days.

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Posted in Consequences, Coping, legal issues | 1 Comment »

Made it through the arraignment

Posted by Leo G on June 23, 2008

Bup was there only by video. Handcuffed. He didn’t sound sorry. He asked a couple of questions–one contesting the facts, one about what happens with summer school. In a sad way, it shows how naive he is. No, son, they are not going to let you out to finish your classes…

The judge had already decided to keep him in custody until the hearing on Thursday when she asked me, “Do you have anything to say about that?” I simply said, “It seems appropriate.” They set the court date for Thursday and assigned him a public defender.

The probation officer seems like a good one. He agrees that Bup needs serious treatment. Lock down. He suspects he was using either crack or meth. If not, then there is the possibility of mental health issues, probably caused by earlier use. He affirmed that “Healthy people do not attack their dad for turning off the cell phone.”

The good news is that he won’t be coming home for a while. Of course, that’s also the bad news. Five new charges for this. Some of them will be felonies. I lost the battle to do this in a more humane way. He has chosen the hard way. What he may not understand is that he just made it impossible for the court to let him come home. Because if he were to hurt me again, they would face liability issues.

The next question for me to face is do I visit him? I know I’m not ready yet. Maybe after the hearing on Thursday. Right now, I’m too angry, too tender, too hurt and confused. I don’t even know what to say to him. And I sure don’t want to hear anything from him except a sincere apology. And from the tone of this morning, I won’t be getting that soon.

In the meantime, this is an extremely busy week at work. That may be a good thing. After today, it will serve to keep my mind occupied.

Posted in Consequences, Coping, Downs, legal issues | 5 Comments »

It Was Getting Better Until…

Posted by Leo G on February 1, 2008

About a week ago when we got a “notice to appear” in the mail. It’s a strange thing. It’s serious–an assault charge–but they are not taking it very seriously. Thank heaven, they didn’t show up at the door to take him into custody. Just a notice to appear.

Today we met with a lawyer. After only a little parental pressure, Buppie confessed. I don’t know what to do or think. He hasn’t been using lately. His grades have been going up. He actually turned over a new leaf. He’s been going to school and has extra credit points in several classes. This incident happened in early November (before his personal reformation.)

Once he told the truth, it was clear this is a “defense of friend” case. He and a friend asked some guys to leave a party. The guys and four or five of their friends jumped them. Bup was able to get free, but looked back to see his friend on his back on the ground being kicked and punched by five guys. Bup ran over and protected his friend by stabbing one of the guys in the forearm with a tiny pocket knife. Then they ran. They jumped in a friend’s car. That friend is the one who gave the police Buppie’s name.

I’m so sad and mad and worried. A trial is likely to cost us around $6000. He may lose. He may still end up in detention, which is the one thing he says he’d run from. He is feeling stupid for admitting he did it. He is scared and mad and worried too.

I never thought my kid would be the one who actually stabbed someone. Granted, there were mitigating circumstances and the pocket knife was tiny. Clearly, he didn’t intend to fight with a tiny little weapon. The four other guys involved were all adults. He says one of them already admitted to attacking a juvenile and went to jail for a couple of months. We’ll see…

If you have spare prayers, send them our way.

Posted in Downs, legal issues | 5 Comments »