Possession and lying need advice

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Marysmith2581, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. Marysmith2581

    Marysmith2581 New Member

    I knew my son smoked pot before he left for college, but thought he'd be smarter (no, I don't think it's okay to smoke pot but I choose my battles perhaps unwisely). He called to tell us a cop stopped him on the street because he was wobbling and gave him a ticket for disorderly conduct. Son said there was a little pot on him, but cop said just please guilty. He only charged him with the disorderly conduct.

    I found out from a text message of his that he is lying to us. He was actually busted by the cops in his dorm room for possession and disorderly conduct. He wasn't arrested.

    He wants to plead guilty (he doesn't know we know about the possession). I want him to have a lawyer to lower the charge. My thought is to tell him Monday that the college called to tell us his scholarship is at risk (which is probably true) and that's how we found out. No matter how mad I am at him, I want to try to keep this off his record. Every time I offer a lawyer, he gets mad and insists that he wants to plead guilty and we should just lend him the money (he has grandma money for college that belongs to him, but we have him convinced it can only be used for college. I'm fine with the money part as he agreed he will just get no fun money from the fund until it's paid off).

    What I'm most upset is: 1. I want to get him to understand I'm right. He needs to try to plea this even if he was caught red handed. Maybe I'm wrong but at least we can try. 2: He's lying. I want to "catch," him but I will have to lie to do that. I can't tell him I read his text. I just won't do that - I will never have access again and who knows what's next.

  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Mary. Tough call. everyone needs to do what is right for their family but I will tell you we had the exact same experience with our daughter. We dropped her off at college in late August and by Oct 13 she was charged with drug paraphanelia and underage drinking in her dorm. My husband is a lawyer and he did represent her but we thought long and hard about it. She did not get offered a lower plea because that particular court at the time was run by a judge who refused to plea bargain with this sort of offense. She was ordered to do community service, attend an alcohol/drug assesment and class and if she was compliant at the end of three months the charges would be dismissed. She did and they were, but of course my husband had to have them expunged since they would still be on the record. She also got suspended from college for the next semester and never went back.

    At the time we also wanted to protect her future and in the end I am glad we did, but it did not prevent further trouble. That pot use and drinking was just the beginning of a few years of out of control alcohol/pot use. We put her in a residential substance abuse treatment center shortly after her coming home from college. She continued using and got into more trouble. We had to make her leave our house and she lived with a neighbor boy who was a heroin addict for about 3 months. She eventually got her own apartment and job but was fired because of her drinking/pot use. She was arrested for shoplifting and had to call us for help. My husband provided a lawyer for her through his foim and she again was required to do community service (a lot) and was banned from the store and since her record at college was expunged they were able to treat it as a first offense. When she completed her sentence the charges were dropped and again they were expunged.

    Fast forward to today. She is doing much better, has a job (minimum wage but at least it's a job) is living with her boyfriend and has passed a background check. If that would have still been on her record things would be much different.

    Having an attorney for a husband I would always recommend getting an attorney. One of the boys who was charged with her in college still has the charge on his record even though it's been dismissed. I guess he doesn't care since it's a misdemeanor but without an attorney it will be there forever.

    We did everything we could to help protect our daughter's future while at the same time making her responsible for her actions. That may have not been the right thing to do for some bu for us it was what we felt was right at the time. She is now 22 and I have more hope now than I have had in many years.

    I was not above lying to her when we found out the story which she did not tell us either. I actually found her arrest on the court website in the college town after reading some comments on fb that made me suspicious. Then I told her her college called us.
  3. Marysmith2581

    Marysmith2581 New Member

    Thank you Nancy. I'm sorry your daughter went on to have continued issues, but glad she's doing better.
    I didn't realize there was a chance he got get kicked out of college. He wasn't actually arrested (according to him and what I read) but rather given a ticket for these offenses and told by the cop that he'd better plead guilty or it would be worse for him. According to his words, the cops took the weed and the paraphernalia so I understand why he thinks this will be impossible to plead.

    What I don't understand by your post is this: If your daughter wasn't given a plea, how is the record different from the boy who was with her still have the charge? Is the trick getting it expunged later? Can we let him plead, pay the fine, and then get a lawyer or must we insist he have a lawyer now? He is so stubborn. He insists it's not worth getting a lawyer and that it will just make things worse. He thinks if he pleads guilty and pays his fine, it will just be a blip on his record and he can move on.

    I'm with you - I'd rather lie and save his future even though I know school of hard knocks is another choice.
    Thank you so much for writing to me, Nancy. Of course I have a fake name here to protect him - I hate liars so I thought I'd just admit that.
  4. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Mary my daughter was not technically arested either. They gave her a ticket and a court date. When she went to court they charged her then. The boy who was also charged had the same sentence and they didn't offer him a plea either. His was dismissed also but what I meant was if you search records, that case still shows on hsi record. It shows it is dismissed but if he applies for a job and they do a background check it ill come up. Or if he is arrested for anything else it will come up. You do not need a lawyer to have him plead guilty but whatever he pleads to you should make sure it is able to be dismissed if he completes his sentence and can be exunged. You don't need a lawyer to have it expunged, it's a matter of signing papers at the final hearing and then following up with the court to make sure it happens. It took us calling for at least six motnhs after her dismissal to get the paperwork through for the expungement.

    The other reason it's helpful to have an attorney is because sometimes they can get it completely knocked down to disorderly conduct or soemthing and there would be no drug charge. And also the prosecutor may not talk to you because he is no longer a minor, in which case you would have to rely on him and the prosecutor working it out.

    It probably will work out ok but I am never comfortable going into court without an attorney. Make sure you are there, judges like to know that parents are involved.
  5. Marysmith2581

    Marysmith2581 New Member

    You are so helpful! He has to go down to the magistrate to "pay the ticket," according to him. Is that possible without a day in court? Today I will tell him the school called about his scholarship. I hope he believes it - as school wouldn't really do that since he's not a minor. Thanks again. I hope this is the end of his troubles and not the beginning, but I'm no fool...
  6. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hmmmm I would ask to see the ticket. I'm wondering if that just means he is pleading guilty and paying a fine. Can you check the municipal court docket for that city and see what it says for his case?
  7. Marysmith2581

    Marysmith2581 New Member

    I called the campus police who told me everything. It could have been worse. The cop chose not to arrest him. I called him and told him that truth - that I called and know. He admitted everything and is now accepting my help. The police said plead not guilty - the judge will be lenient since it's his first time. 6 months later it can be expunged if not guilty. The police said we (parents) should be at the hearing - looks good - lawyer not needed if the judge accepts the not guilty plea and gives community service. I'm relieved that he is accepting responsibility. He knows he'll have to take some drug classes with the university to stay in the dorms.

    What do I do to help him keep this from happening again? We talked about how stupid it was to smoke in the dorms. I don't think he'll do it again, nor smoke much . But maybe a little. When we were kids, everyone smoked in teh dorms - times have changed. I just want him to have a great life as we all do for our kids. On the other hand, it's his life now. Thank you for all your responses.
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That sounds good Mary. My daughter had to go in front of the disciplinary committee at the college and they were the ones that decided to suspend her, but I'm sure it had a lot to do with the fact that she was not attending classes and her roommate testified that difficult child smoked pot often. She clearly was not ready for college and in the end it was good that we didn't waste any more money on tuition.

    As far as helping him not do it again that's up to him. Hopefully having to appear in front of the magistrate is an eye opener. Many many young people do the same as your son and it never develops into anything worse. I'm glad you called the college, your son knows you won't ignore the situation.
  9. Marysmith2581

    Marysmith2581 New Member

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
  10. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    No need for thanks, that's what we do here. But keep us posted on what happens.
  11. Marysmith2581

    Marysmith2581 New Member

    I will definitely come back and tell you. I know he mailed in the ticket with a no guilty response and intends to do the right thing. Let's hope.
  12. Marysmith2581

    Marysmith2581 New Member

    I wanted to update. We went with my son to the hearing (about 5 hours away). The judge was impressed we were there and gave him 5 hours of community service. Since then, he has kept straight A's and has completely stayed out of trouble (though I suspect he still smokes pot). I think we are lucky - but I realize one never knows. Thanks again for your help.
  13. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That is wonderful news. Thank you for the update. We always love to hear success stories.

  14. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Wow Mary that is great news. I think my difficult child got a much too harsh sentence at college but the judge in that county was very tough. He's gone now and I heard it's much different.

    I'm glad to hear your son is getting good grades and staying out of trouble. Let's hope this way just a hiccup.
  15. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Thank you for the update. For many, many kids - it's a one time thing -- they get caught just once and never again. I hope that is the case for your son. I am so glad things are going well.