Court Tuesday - not good

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by AmericanGirl, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    difficult child has court Tuesday for third degree theft. I called to find out where to go and ended up talking with the clerk a few minutes.

    Clerk says fine will be $489. No probation if you don't have the cash. You sit in jail for $35 a day. Judge won't allow him to go on weekends due to school. She said he is hard-nosed about theft. That's two weeks. That means this semester will likely go down the tubes.

    I texted difficult child and said I wanted to see him. He acts as if there is nothing he can do about it. Said he has applied everywhere for jobs. I disagreed. Said cop who arrested him for dui saw him last night when he was walking from friend's house back to dorm. Stopped and made him take a breathalyzer. He passed. Cop drove him back to dorm. He checked his record and told him he could get his license back as of today. So difficult child wants it back. Not happening. There is a $275 fee plus I wouldn't rest for a second knowing he was out here driving who knows where, etc.

    I can go pay $489. It's cheaper than redoing a whole term. But then again, even if difficult child had a degree, I don't think anything would change.

    I'm just sick of dealing with this stuff. I'm angry at him. I think difficult child knew this as they postponed the original court date. He said that was so he could earn some money. (He knew the cop who arrested him as well as the bail bondsman.)

    He texted me a minute ago. Is going to Celebrate Recovery tonight. For that, I am grateful.
     
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    any way he can earn the money from you? Probably not in time though. (and after, well... we know what would probably happen)...

    Maybe he will get honest at CR tonight and someone will help him find some insight.
     
  3. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Oh hun - I have no answers. i'd probably pay it. How's he doing in school? Can you get a copy of any grades thus far?

    I am out of it with a horrible monstrous cold and have been reading the boards a bit if not responding regularly. But I want to reach out and let you know I care and I know how you are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    Can you pay the $489 in return for something? 15 Celebrate meetings in a row? Absolute sobriety? I don't know - just grasping at ideas

    {{{hugs}}}
     
  4. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I have no answers....if he is not doing well in school a couple weeks in jail might get his attention. It will be hard on you though....gosh if they would only get what they put us through.

    hugs

    TL
     
  5. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    I've had the same cold and that's why I haven't been online as much. I hope you feel better soon, Sig.

    I could cut a deal with him. But that's proven to be a pain in the past. We fight because he doesn't do his part. I nag. He finally halfway does it.

    I doubt two weeks in jail will change him. If so, it is worth it. So, in a way, paying this or not paying this may likely make no difference in the long run (other than in my wallet.) He needs to stay sober go to meetings, see a therapist, take his medications.

    I'm just happy he is at CR right now. Thanks for being there. It really helps.
     
  6. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    I don't know about one class. The others are A so far. Hate to see him walk away.

    I dunno.....
     
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'd probably pay it but make him sign an IOU. And I would make him pay you back before he could get his license back. That will put a damper o that.

    I've been through two college semesters going down the tubes and tuition lost with no credit and since his grades are good you know what I mean. It's like the lesser of two evils.

    The good thing is he was sober last night.

    I hope you feel better.

    Nancy
     
  8. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Yeah I know all too well about those half done jobs and agreements!! Given that he is getting good grades, I might pay it also but definitely have a major condition.... like not getting his liscense until he has paid you back. Does he have a car or is it your car he would use if he did get his liscense... cause I am not sure you can actually prevent him from getting his liscense.

    I cant say the lessons lasted... because my difficult child is certainly not getting it at all... but I will say that 2 weeks in jail was a big wake up call for him at the time. He learned that that old bravado I don't care if I am in jail is a bunch of hooey.... he really hated being there and for a while did work at recovery afterwards. Unfortunately right now I see jail as the best option for my difficult child....

    So for your difficult child it might be a good wake up call... but it is hard to predict the effects it will have on them and I certainly understand wanting to help him stay in school... and maybe the judge will see it differently if he learns he is doing well in school?

    TL
     
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I don't know what he's taking in college... makes some difference.
    So, I'm going to throw some "stupid" ideas out in case any of these happen to trigger some thoughts or ideas...

    1) If college knows ahead of time, it is usually possible to pay for "note-taking" services - usually, its a top student in the class who is willing to put in a bit of extra effort to make really detailed notes and then photocopy (and get paid a bit)... and some profs will defer assignments based on stuff like this. If you could take him the notes and he has his textbooks... he might not get too far behind.

    2) what happens if you pay HALF of it and he has to sit in jail for ONE week instead of TWO?
     
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I know the semester may go down the tubes if he cant' pay the fines. But why should you pay his fines? Has he ever paid you back for things that you paid for him or that he borrowed $ for?

    DId you go and steal things? Given the MH issues (possible bipolar), the judge MAY agree to treatment and a pmt schedule. This often depends on the atty. Does difficult child have an atty? I would NOT pay for one for him. A legal aid atty might be able to help, but difficult child may be able to ask for treatment for MH and sub abuse and that might get the judge to order those things.

    If the judge won't allow him to do weekends or some arrangement, then I think difficult child may need to sit in jail for the time. Yes, it will be HARD for you. It won't be great fun for difficult child, but it might be the wake-up call he needs to turn things around. Having you pay the fine will NOT help him to see that he needs to change. It will help reinforce that Mom will get him out of trouble and Mom's money will fix things so he doesn't need to work hard or get up and go to class or not commit crimes or get wasted.

    If difficult child won't show you his grades, it is because they are not good. Period. If he had good grades he would be very proud and would be telling you and using them as a reason that you should help him, pay his fines and restitution, buy him new things, give him his license/car back. He isn't doing that, so they are not passing/good.

    Many of us have begged for the police to help us with difficult child problems incl sub abuse and MH treatment. Many difficult children have LOTS of times where they got warnings or the cops couldn't/wouldn't do something to help. The lack of any real consequences reinforced the difficult child idea that they can get away with anything and the only people who think they have a problem or did something wrong are Mom and/or Dad. This is the chance for difficult child to experience real world, natural, logical consequences in a BIG way. This is your chance to let him truly see what his future will be like if he stays on his current path.

    If you pay his fines you are telling him that it wasn't "that bad" and that you don't believe he should be punished other than going to meetings. If you require 15 meetings then you will be paying him $32.60 per meeting! Around here meetings are under an hour for lunch meetings and maybe 90 min for an evening meeting, 2-3 hrs for a monthly birthday potluck speaker meeting. This is paying him at the very least $10.87 per hour for the monthly long meeting, and at the most $32.60 for a lunch meeting. An actually the lunch meetings try for 45 min, so that would be $43.47 per hour!!! ($32.60 divided by 45 min = $0.72.4 per min times 60 min = $43.47). I KNOW that his sobriety is worth that TO YOU, but what is it worth to HIM?

    What if you were the person he stole from? What would you want to happen to the person who violated you by stealing from you? Would you want his parents to pay the fine and send him back to college, esp if you knew the problems he had and how he refused to get a job or good grades or to get help for his MH and sub abuse issues?

    I can't tell you 100% that it is right to let him sit in jail for 2 weeks. I care very much, but I don't know all of the situation and I am not there living this the way you are. I do think that someone posted a quote that basically said when you help someone and it feels awful then you are enabling them. It is a VERY subjective decision about a VERY complex situation. From my point of view it seems that sitting in jail for 2 weeks or so, then having to deal with asking his professors if they will allow him to make up the work seems like it has the better chance of helping him see that he is powerless over alcohol/substances and that he needs help.

    If you choose to pay the fines, then it was what YOU needed to do and what you thought was the best way to handle this. I respect you and will respect your decision because you are the one who has to live with it every day.

    I hope this doesn't sound too harsh or mean. I don't intend for it to. I just wish there were easier ways to handle these complex situations.

    I am sorry you are in so much pain and turmoil over this. (((((hugs)))))
     
  11. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would pay the fine to keep him in school. You could make him sign an IOU but my experience is that you will probably never get it back.

    I would definitely not pay the money for the license.
     
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think I read above that he is in school...I am taking this as high school right? or is it a community college? Either one it really doesnt matter. I am getting mixed messages on grades but in the beginning I thought he was getting good grades. If he is getting good grades, I would want those to continue.

    I will be honest and say that we have paid some of Cory's fines for him over the years. The last time came the end of last summer when he had to pay the last of his probation fines or they were going to lock him up due to all that junk that idiot girl was spouting about him. He was behind in his fine payments by $400 and they could have locked him up 6 months for that. We chose to pay that for him rather than have that hanging over his head. He pays me back in little installments. I will probably get paid back by the time I die...lol.

    Now I guess if I didnt have the money to do that, I would have had to say no. Im glad I was able to say yes though. But also, Cory had been doing a whole lot better by then too. Its all a situation where you have to weigh are you doing this because it makes you more comfortable and feel better about the situation which is perfectly fine or are they attempting to completely manipulate you into doing it because they want you to feel so bad. I think if you are doing it because you want to do it of your own free will, go for it.
     
  13. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I agree with Kathy. Although I understand the reasoning of those who think jail time might help I think that his connection with school may be keeping him from sliding further down the hole. It may or may not help him see that he has the potential for a good future. on the other hand, jail time can be an affirmation of either how "bad" he is...or that his issues are not "bad" by comparison with other inmates. Sorry you are facing such a difficult decision. Hugs DDD
     
  14. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I like this idea. Or have the attorney ask the judge if you could pay for half and serve the other half on the weekends.
     
  15. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    AG, I am so sorry you are having to make this decision. In my experience consequences just don't register with difficult children. If they did then all of us would not have scrambled to find other ways to parent our kids. I am not saying he shouldn't have to suffer the consequences the world doles out-just that placing hope that a 2 week jail sentence will change his life is iffy. I do know people who have changed after a few months in jail, but these were not people with adictions and mental issues.

    While my difficult child is too young to go to jail-she has had to sit in DT awaiting placements and she actually told me she liked it better than the placements?? Jail is a different situation but surviving 2 weeks there may not be that tough.

    Questions:
    1. Can he get treatments through the system?
    2. If he stays in school and you pay the fine, do you think that he will be able to finish? Has his desire to be sober been more sincere as of late?
    3. Do you know for a fact that his grades are good?
    4. What does he want? Does he want to stay in school?
    5. Will stabalizing him and getting his medications. on track help him so he can finish school?
    6. Does he own his MH issues along with the substance abuse? Or is this still iffy? You cant get better if you don't own your issues.
    7. Can he get a work study job at school? I always was able to find one of these. I usually did this and had a part time job outside the University. Jobs are hard for kids to get in college towns, but he could be riding public transit if he needed to go further away from school.
    8. Has he gone to the student counseling center and asked them for advise. I know he is not the first kid in this situation. They might be able to help?? I think he needs to show some initiative. I know our immature difficult children, and esp. those with MH issues just lag in the initiative department, but maybe if pointed in a direction he can head that way.
    9. Is school the most important thing for him? How does it help him?
    10. If you pay the fine can you request some kind of probation or court orders for treatment? And will you let him know you will not do this again?

    I agree that you should never pay the fines so he gets a driver's licence back. I would not encourage driving until he was sober for a long time. His life could be ruined if he hurt someone while driving intoxicated. You may not be able to stop this, but I wouldn't aide this at all.

    These are tough decisions. And so tough because our kids might be 18-but we know how immature they are. Part of me wants to tell you to be tough and part of me says that you know him and you have to live with the decision. I have enabled before and I have been tough before and the trith is, either way, we seem to get a few weeks of good behavior and then a slip up or relapse. Is this part of the journey of recovery? Who knows? Hang in there, your a good mom! (((Hugs)))
     
  16. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    Really good thoughts here...thank you. I'll copy exhausted question below and add my answers as I think it summarizes most of the issues:

    Questions:

    1. Can he get treatments through the system? (yes, there are dui classes (both for single and dual diagnoses. therapy is also available.) But he needs court ordered.
    2. If he stays in school and you pay the fine, do you think that he will be able to finish? Has his desire to be sober been more sincere as of late? Yes. Sober? Dunno. Went to Celebrate Recovery for the first time in a month last night. I asked him to do so.
    3. Do you know for a fact that his grades are good? I know about two for sure. The other I am almost certain. The last one - dunno but getting info from source on Monday.
    4. What does he want? Does he want to stay in school? Who knows? He doesn't care about anything.
    5. Will stabalizing him and getting his medications. on track help him so he can finish school? Yes. But he isn't good about taking pills. With his history of selling Adderall for alcohol cash, I am worried about sending him with Risperidal. (doctor prescribed but he wouldn't take so I never filled.)
    6. Does he own his MH issues along with the substance abuse? Or is this still iffy? You cant get better if you don't own your issues. As for the depression, yes but again he isn't good about the pills. I haven't used the word bipolar but in discussions, he indicates it isn't a big deal to him.
    7. Can he get a work study job at school? I always was able to find one of these. I usually did this and had a part time job outside the University. Jobs are hard for kids to get in college towns, but he could be riding public transit if he needed to go further away from school. Not at school. Says he has applied for works everywhere. He agreed last night to apply at Lowe's today. They have big signs out saying they need people. A little while ago, he texted me and said he felt bad and wanted to play xbox with his friend. He wanted to go tomorrow. When I pushed him to honor his commitment, he told me I was pestering him.
    8. Has he gone to the student counseling center and asked them for advise. I know he is not the first kid in this situation. They might be able to help?? I think he needs to show some initiative. I know our immature difficult children, and esp. those with MH issues just lag in the initiative department, but maybe if pointed in a direction he can head that way. No. He knows it is available but frankly, it isn't that good. There's a local minister who would counsel him. He says he likes the guy but he hasn't gone.
    9. Is school the most important thing for him? How does it help him? I think he is in school because it is easier than working.
    10. If you pay the fine can you request some kind of probation or court orders for treatment? And will you let him know you will not do this again? Dunno about asking for stuff.

    Here's one line of thought. I talk to public defender. Tell him difficult child was detoxing when the theft happened. That local treatment facility wanted him to go to inpatient but he refused. I knew he was sick. No history of stealing. Explain he admits to a drinking problem. diagnosis as depressed. Not compliant with medications. diagnosis as bipolar recently. Not compliant. Ask him to consider finding a way to order counseling, treatment, etc. difficult child will be ****** but what else is new?

    I don't see any good end to this. If I pay it, then he stays in school. However, if he won't get a job, I simply cannot continue allowing him to "molt" in school. He isn't really trying, just clocking time. And it is a matter of time before he gets in trouble again for something.

    If I don't pay it, then he fails probably two classes. He will use this as an excuse to do even less in school. I'll tell him I won't pay for school this summer and he needs to find full time work. He'll use car as excuse to not do that. He'll couch surf and end up getting in trouble again.

    I don't think jail will have any effect on him except maybe teaching him worse things. He needs to get chemically under control with no alcohol and proper medications. He needs treatment and counseling.
     
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    What is his BEHAVIOR telling you? Is his behavior telling you he wants to be in school, to live within the rules/expectations of the family (you) and have the support of the family? Or is his behavior telling you that he wants to party, play at going to school, have you support him, and do what he wants no matter what?

    I know he is immature and a difficult child and has MH issues. These would excuse things if he WANTED to get an education and a good job and live a sober life. Does he want to get an education, get a good job, work to support himself and have a family and a great life? Or does he want to party, to go to classes when it is convenient, to NOT work, and to party and get drunk/high most of the time?

    Until he is mature enough to make the choice to get and stay sober/clean, you can pay for anything you want but it won't help him. It will enable him. difficult child has to get to the point where life is SO HARD that he is at his absolute bottom and he wants and needs to get/stay clean and to get help for the MH issues.

    Didn't he just get a tattoo that had to be expensive? If he can get $ for that, what is he telling you with his behavior? What is that telling you about his priorities?

    Sometimes we have to figure out how to accept taht what we want and what our kids want is different. That we cannot help them until they hit bottom, and that most of the help we do on the way to that bottom is actually enabling and not helping.

    That being said, do what makes YOU feel good. DO what makes YOU sleep easier and what doesn't end up making you feel horrible. If you want to pay the fines, school fees, etc... AND it makes you feel good, then do it. If you feel bad after you do it, dont' do it again.

    I am so sorry things are so difficult. Sometimes our kids just have to learn the hardest possible way in order for them to retain the lesson.

    (((((hugs)))))
     
  18. AmericanGirl

    AmericanGirl Guest

    This board and all of you are such a blessing.

    I called the court clerk today. When she mentioned a continuance to me Friday, I thought she meant a month. No. She meant until the term of the semester. (God bless her.) May 1st.

    I have not yet shared this with difficult child who is very busy planning a 'drunkfest' for this evening, I suppose, as a send off as he thinks he may go to jail tomorrow.

    The book I just read - Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children really helped. I am writing out a list of what I will and won't do. Adding specific terms. Basically, at the end of this term, if he doesn't have a job, $ for this court date and $ to start paying me back for other things - then I will not support him in attending school this summer. He will be forced out of dorm. Will have to support himself. I will keep medical insurance on him (for now) but that is it.

    Going to get everything straight in my head and all on paper then sit with him and let him know. I don't like it but it is my only sane choice. The rest....up to him.
     
  19. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I hope he realizes what a gift he is about to be handed and cooperates with you on what he needs to do to now

    Good work AG.

    Nancy
     
  20. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    You're doing an awesome job. That's terrific about the Court Clerk...whew! Sending hugs. DDD
     
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