I wrote the Solicitor...sorta vent

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Star*, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Hi family,

    Throw rocks or sticks (I'll fetch I swear) or whatever - I just felt an overwhelming need to write the County Solicitor in the upcoming court case for Dude. He's on probation for 3 years for some felony B&E charges from last year. He has a probation officer, he has restitution, he has court costs -and all in all it's around $6500.00.

    He went to that group home - which I'm being told has chose to shut down - with the idea that he would be supervised, fed, taken to school, help with jobs, and counseling/therapy. We all know none of that happened. And we know that the owners took ALL the money from 7 boys staying there over a 5 year period and spent it on himself. None of the money save bills and occasionally food for inspectors to see - went back into the business. Even charged the boys for gas money to get back and forth to work, probation, school.

    While living there Dude was given a moped. It didn't work, and he fixed it. One night around midnight (glad there was a house elf) he was found joy riding around town with another kid from the same home. Dude was afraid since the moped didn't have a head light he was in deep. Instead the cops stopped him, talked to the boys, and said everything looked ok to them.
    The next day apparently they went to some business the boys didn't even go near and the owner said there were scratches on his hasp lock. Two weeks later a warrant was issued for both boys arrest.

    They were handcuffed, and taken to jail and grilled for 3 hours. First they would tell Dude the other kid gave him up. Then they told the other kid Dude gave him up. The other boy is severely illiterate. Finally the officers let the other boy go, and booked Dude into county jail. Dude was floored. He asked for an attorney and no one called a PD. He said he wasn't being rude - he just had NOTHING to admit to. It was later discovered that the other boy lied and a statement of such writing talent as to rival my own English was presented. When we asked the boy to read what he wrote - he could not. We read it for him and he was beyond freaked out. We asked him if he even knew what the cops asked him to sign - he said no - but they told him it was all over and he could go home if he'd just sign that paper. So he did - He said he thought Dude was coming too.

    Dude with his other charges is now in violation of parole. and the charge this time is Attempted Burglary. The police have no witness, no fingerprints no nothing - and Dude swears (and I believe) he did not go anywhere near the building. Matter of fact the parking lot is HUGE chunks of Gravel and a moped could NOT roll around on it - no way. I honestly believe him that he did break curfew, and was out on the moped at midnight - but did not try to burglarize a store that mfg. pool tables.

    So we take him home and in true justice - If Dude is in jail - he can have a PD. He can also get 6 years in prison for violation of probation. It took me 2 days to accomplish things for him that the group home failed to do. It took a month to get another placement - and Dude is really doing well with them. Despite a few horrible set backs and a lot of hurt feelings for me - due to his ugly mouth - he's been doing better than he ever did. For DF to say ANYTHING about "he's doing so much better" was shocking. DF gives no accolades at all ever.

    So.....I took a chance and wrote the solicitor. We are to be in court on Monday 3 hours from home - to meet this man at 8:00 AM. I wrote the solicitor and told him about the conditions at the group home, and about all the good things and therapy and placement, school, chuch....and Dude is working odd-jobs while he looks for a perm. job. He worked his butt off around the house too but I never said about that.

    I asked him to take into consideration that if he (dude) is put in jail - he won't have these services in place and he will fail. He won't have school, he won't have a job. and he'll come out after serving his time - either like he went in or worse, and asked him to consider dropping the charges.

    I kept the letter a couple days and it's just eating away at me. So I called and spoke with his secretary. She asked a few questions about the group home and Dude - then said If you send it - I'll make sure he reads it and Yes she thought it was ok.

    I just needed to vent and get this out of my system. I swear I can't sleep and my mind races - and I try to stop it - but for the first time ever he's trying....and I'm not having to sugar coat it - he's really wanting to change.

    i hope I wrote a good letter....blargh....I don't regret it. I was just thinking - if we get to court we have to talk to him and then we have to see IF he wants to prosecute or can drop the charges.....and then we have to get a public defender and go back to court. blarg again.

    I also put in the letter that if he wished to talk to Dude about the things in the letter he was welcome to but Dude is sorta shy and can't write very well. Dude has no idea I did this.

    Thanks for listening
  2. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Unfortunately Star, once our difficult child's are involved in the system, they will be closely looked at for whatever goes down, and they will bring charges no matter if they have evidence or not. Our kids have become disposable members of society.

    SO was talking to some of our local pd who he has become friends with and they pretty much told SO that this bringing charges without evidence is pretty common when it comes to difficult child's. They have a case, they want to close it.

    I would send that letter, not only to the solicitor but to the judge and DA as well.

    Will keep my fingers crossed..

  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Well, bless your heart for trying, Star. I hope that they will at least take it into consideration. I know Dude is no saint, but he can't seem to get a break, either.
  4. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Star---I think you did the right thing---and coming from a mean mom who allowed her son to sit in jail for 23 days on bogus charges and then made him plead guilty to a felony because he was kinda guilty---that says a lot. If difficult child is trying. If he is making an effort. Then he deserves a break. After all---the time he spent at the group home from he** should count for something. I know others haven't had my experiences with their local solicitors, but I have found mine amiable and willing to help---if they can. difficult child has all the things you've mentioned that dude has----because I wouldn't let him be defended. I made him plead. The charges against him were bogus. He was staying with a friend. In a drug induced state, he went with friend to cash a check. The store cashed it. The next morning, he took another check the friend had written and tried to cash it. The store manager is a friend of ours. She called husband. He said to call the cops. She did. The friend had stolen the checks from his 85 year old grandfather. difficult child never got a dime of money---he didn't steal the check, he didn't write the check. But he is now a convicted felon forgerer. It will be on his record for the rest of his life. He can't find a job, because who wants to hire a 19 year old felon check forgerer. Friend---he is still living with 85 year old grandpa and probably stealing him blind. difficult child---he is living in another town and going to college. Even if it was not fair---and it wasn't---it helped spark some change. Not enough to light a fire with---but....when you have lived 19 years with a difficult child, any small change is good. So.....you did right. I would have done the same if difficult child had made his changes before he went to court.
  5. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Definetely do this. And, depending on the state you're in, there are time mandates in which you can send this info. You need to have three copies in order for the defense and offense (and sometimes the judge) to look them over. In CA, it had to be at least 3 days before court. Sometimes are longer.

    This was what eventually helped us to help J with his situation. The legal system is so bogged down that they are just a number. When they actually get to read a story...one would hope it's another chance. Unfortunately, our chance was having our son incarcerated at ANY level. He was a threat to hiimself and others. It was only that letter that made the way.

    Sending positive thoughts.

  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sending the letter is a good thing.

    Situations like this one with Dude and the moped charges are why my parents sat difficult child down. They told him that if he sneaks out and is walking around, he is already on the radar for the police. He will be who they remember and he will have no way to prove he didn't do it. THAT is the reality. Luckily my difficult child decided to mostly follow this.

    I pray the solicitor and everyone else see reason and cut our Dude a break. He is so much in need of this chance.


  7. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Thanks all -

    I have no idea who the judge is - but could I take the letter with me the morning of court and have the letter handed to the judge? It's Friday court is Monday and a letter will never get there fast enough. Can you fax a judge?

    Also - the way court is here - Dude will go before a Judge and the solicitor Monday - he does not have a PD - but if the judge decides that he is due indigent defense, and if the solicitor decides to prosecute this = THEN we go downstairs to the PD office. It's a better system than giving a PD before you know IF the case will be tried.

    How do you find out who the District Attorney is - is that the solicitors boss?
  8. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    You won't know who the judge is, but by law you MUST submit the letter to both sides in a timely manner so they can forward it to the judge so he/she has time to review BEFORE the hearing. (If he has a PO, he should be able to tell you what time frame that is.) It doesn't hurt to bring one to the hearing, but he is unlikely to sit there during the hearing and read it. Sad to say, but these are cookie-cutter hearings. They go fast.

    We knew who the judge was because it was always the same one for juveniles. I had to drive to the office and deliver it. I didn't trust the public defender or prosecuter to pass it along.

    Good luck with this!

  9. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Thanks Abbey,

    In SC you dont' get a prosecutor for some reason right away. It may be that Dude was not still in jail - because in order to qualify for a Public Defender you have to prove you are indigent. In SC if you are living in the house of someone (like parents) even if you do not have a job - your chances of getting a Public Defender are ZERO - because Dudes income is based on mine and DF's SSd....which is redundant - as I make very little but apparently thanks to an influx of illegal aliens - I make too much to get him public assistance. (this is what I've been told twice)

    So they told us to go to General Sessions, and meet with the solicitor. At that time - he will say "Yes i'm going to prosecute based on the evidence" and then will send Dude (now in foster care and indigent) to the Public Defenders office - to do more paperwork so he can get an atty. OR he can say - You know what - There isn't enough evidence here to convict - state drops the charges. (This would be the best answer to prayer)

    So at this point he has not Public Defender or attorney. I can't afford the $2500 retainer and possibly 25,000.00 for representation. Not because the crime this time is huge or anything but he's looking at violation of probation and according to his last judge (different county) should he violate his probation he's to get 6 years. I dont know if it will stick - I don't know if they can tack time on = I don't know anything. I know we can't afford an attorney.

    So when I go in - I guess I will go with copies of the letter and contact lists for all concerned. WHOM do I ask to give one to the judge? The bailiff?

    I just wish it was over and done - If the state is hungry for $ they will send difficult child to the PD to pay him $500.00 it's a new law - even if you are dirt poor - you will owe PD (500.00) and court costs - Up to 1000.00 insane huh?

    So who gets the letter ?
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    You should be able to call the courthouse and ask who the DA it. Usually they are elected, and listed in the phone book.

    It seems like a strange situation there. I am praying for total dismissal. Cause they dismissed Dude from the care they owed him, sent to the horrid grouphome, and left him to ROT!

    When we were in court with my difficult child, I wrote a letter and had about 6 or 8 copies (wanted enough for everyone, including DHS). The judge read it (keep paragraphs very short and to the point - use bullets to list the things the home promised, and then what they delivered - maybe in 2 columns? , and then list very clearly what happened).

    It CAN'T hurt to have it there. But be sure to have enough copies, and be ready to READ IT OUT LOUD, because this may be the best way to get the info across.

    ASK to read it. ASK how to do it. (If the solicitor goes ahead with anything before the judge - here if I had agreed they would have just swept it away with-o ever reaching the judge)



  11. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Good going Star. The times I said anything to the judge in court was when I asked my sons probation officer if I could approach the bench. I then asked the judge if I could approach the bench and the motioned me too. I then said my peace as a parent. I may write a letter this time also. I have also talked to the Solicitors office. I dont really know who to talk to.
  12. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    When the day comes that it dawns on Dude what an amazing woman he has for a mother, the boy is going to be in awe. And I do think that day will come.

    I hope the solicitor, the judge, and the DA have a heart, a mind, and know how to use both.

    And I will be most certainly praying hard and furiously and crossing body parts on Monday for Dude.

  13. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    Why these things have to be so complicated when in reality simple common sense should work is beyond my comprehension. I hope this works for you and for Dude.

  14. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I couldn't have said it any better than Lisa already has. You are a fantastic :warrior: mom!!! Dude is so very fortunate to have you!!!

    I'm keeping you and Dude in my thoughts and prayers... WFEN