A letter from difficult child.....


No real answers to life..
<span style='font-family: Comic Sans MS'>Received a letter from difficult child....I think our phone is blocked from receiving calls from jail so he must communicate thru writing...I much prefer it this way, since replying in letter form I can take my time with a response and not blurt out the things I am really feeling......he once again apologized for his stupid choices....He asked if we would contact a lawyer he used the last time, but stated he would understand if we didn't want to do that.....

I'm conflicted with what to do....I really am not concerned about the cost of the attorney, but don't know if repeated "saving" of difficult child means anything. I also have no faith in the justice system that his punishment will fit the crime...This will be his third strike and he will get sent away for a LONG time if he doesn't have decent representation....may be sent up for a long time anyway....

On the other hand, he was drunk out of his mind when he committed a burglary and could have easily killed someone by driving under the influence.....

His attorney may not even want to represent him as I think he was tired of all the antics and advised us last time that if he takes anything to trial there is a penalty for taking the "court's time" (meaning longer sentences) rather than taking a plea bargain. It looks like he needs to be institutionalized somewhere and he may have made the choice for himself.....

I'm leaving the decision with husband as to what to do..... Hope for the rest of you that you can find solutions for your difficult child's before you have to make these decisions..... </span>



Active Member
wish I could be there to hug you in person. I too have had to agonize over whether or not hiring a lawyer would help or hurt. ant has had so many hearings and court dates I cant remember. I do remember only hiring a lawyer twice. once was when he was only 14. I cashed his savings bonds and he paid 800.00 for the lawyer.

in that case, it was the right thing to do. ant had made a veiled threat to a teacher. the teacher knew ant was only mouthing off, but it was right around Columbine time. the school got the DA involved. ant was taken from my home and held in a facility. I was traumatized. ant ended up on a leg monitor and then had his trial. the lawyer helped a lot and ant was let go but expelled from school...an appropriate act I felt.

all the other times I let him go with a public defender. they have to do all they can to get you a fair trial. the public defender was always able to get a plea bargain. again...so many cases I forget...terroristic threats, kidnapping a minor, interfering with the cops, conspiracy, forgery, DUIs (3), theft, etc etc etc. I stayed out of most of the court room stuff too except a couple times.

I hired a lawyer for 500.00 for ant last year. I felt he did a poor job, really nothing. he didnt even know when the hearing was and never went to speak to my son in jail. he was highly recommended. the day of the hearing, I went to his office and we almost missed the hearing because he did not know it was moved up time wise. I could have killed the guy for being so inept.

he spoke to the judge but really did not help, ant got the max sentence. I later went thru a long time of calling and writing the lawyer to try to get my money back or some results.

nothing helped. I finally called my congressman and state rep offices. the state rep office made calls and got ant out of that county and their revolving door to jail.

I want my son to face consequences but it has to be fair. I also expect the lawyer to let me know what he can and cannot do before he takes my money.

you may want to consult the lawyer yourself and see what he thinks he could do given the charges at hand. then you can decide if you want to retain him or not.

I hate what our kids put us thru! not our fault! still we are dragged along.

if the phone is shut off from jail it most likely because they get about 10 calls thru before you must contact the prisoners phone service company and put money on account.

most jails in my state use Inmate Telephone Service. they have an online account.


Well-Known Member
I can so relate. Its only a matter of time before I end up in this same situation because Cory simply fails to learn anything. I cant afford a lawyer for him and really dont think I would pay for one since it would mean such a hardship for the rest of the family. He has to deal with public defenders. Ours here arent too bad.

I tend to think that if you can afford it, then maybe at least talking to the lawyer would be appropriate. If he feels he can do anything to help, maybe then hire him. I dont know for sure since this is not a position I will ever find myself in. I do know years and years ago when I was about 19, my parents hired a lawyer for me when I was charged with a crime I didnt commit. Thank heavens too because we got the case dismissed at prelim.


No real answers to life..
If I thought for a minute he was innocent I would definately hire the lawyer....the problem here is I am positive he committed the crime and needs to figure out he cannot EVER take a drink.....I'm torn because the longer he is in jail the longer he will not be drinking with the possibility of hurting someone....yet, I don't think for a minute that jail will be a fix for his alcoholism.....


Well-Known Member
I certainly can relate. The last time difficult child was arrested, we let him sit. He got a PD and was later let out on his own PR. I refused to let husband hire an attorney. I'm tired of wasting my hard earned money on someone who knows better!


Well-Known Member
A case can be made for either position. The experiences that we
have had indicate that a heck of alot of the impact is based on
where you live and exactly who the attorney is. We hired an attorney for a 14 year old juvie case and the attorney (who I knew, by the way, was a great child advocate) told us that juvie records
did not impact the future. The Legislature changed the law and
now juvie crimes (yes, non-violent crimes like 1 joint) are assigned points and your adult sentence is based on how many points you have. Bummer! Since the brain surgery our son told
his public defender he just wanted to come home. He is a legal
adult. He got to come home. He is now a registered felon. husband and I still can't wrap our head around that. No violence. No dealing. No threats of violence. But he is a felon.

IF we could go back...would we hire a personal attorney? I don't
know. It would have been a huge financial strain for us. The minimum charge is $2500 where we live. on the other hand, he really should not be labeled for life for individual minor drugs.

I understand. No answers. Just wanted you to know been there done that and it
is a bummer! Hugs. DDD


(the future) MRS. GERE
When Rob was a juvenile he had such a good PO who advocated for him that we didn't feel that we needed to hire an attorney. When he continued to get into trouble as an adult we let him use DA's. So far he should be counting his blessings because his sentences have been fair. I still think he will continue to test the waters until he's thrown in jail. I hope I am wrong and that he grows up without that experience. We shall see.

I'm sending big hugs. It's a lousy position to be in.



New Member
My son has only had a public defender. He wasn't locked-up but single handedly has to pay back what he and two other's took from a family.

I was advised by PO that the PD would do just as good a job as a hired lawyer. I also saw how they all worked together to cover themselves at the trial.

I don't have faith in the system. I agree with DDD that carrying a felony record around is not fair for some.

Your job applications ask about felonies, any apt. complex ask about felonies, the person with a felony is restricted in so many ways when they do try to do the right thing.

I am sorry you are going thru this. Thank you for wishing that we don't find ourselves in the same place. I for one know it is only a matter of time before my son's antics catch up with him.

Every situation is different. When my son's actions take him back to court, I won't spend a penny trying to help him get out of any trouble.

I let him disrupt our family for yrs. I won't put another hardship on any of us because he continues to make bad choices, but I know each situation is different and I hope you find peace in the decision you make.

God bless you,



No real answers to life..
<span style='font-family: Comic Sans MS'>We actually know the attorney he wants us to contact. My husband talked with him today and said that if he gets charged with the habitual offender law it could mean up to 30 years in jail.......Somehow he found someone to bail him out. He hasn't contacted us yet, so not sure what his plans are. After the attorney read the write-up in the paper he said your son is certainly on a mission to hurt himself.....

Our difficult child had befriended a girl who was his manager, so I'm hoping she isn't going to be out of the bail money. I don't think he would run, but if he talks to the attorney and thinks he could be going up for 30 years, I'm just not sure of what he would do...He may consider going someplace for treatment now as an alternative....we shall see what the future brings.....</span>



New Member
30 years for being a habitual offender at 24??? That seems a bit extreme to me. You really are between a rock and a hard place. I dont know what I would do in your shoes, although I do know that when difficult child was needing a lawyer last year, she got one through legal aide as I wasnt prepared to pay a lawyer to get her out of the hole she dug for herself.



New Member
When husband talked with the attorney did he think he could lessen the sentence?

30 yrs @ age 24. I had no idea you were talking about that amount of time.

If the attorney could get him in a treatment fac. instead of all that jail time I would take the attorney.

I know you feel like you would be helping difficult child fix his bad choices yet again, but it really is different when he is so young and looking at being in jail most of his adult life.


New Member
I am sorry to post from one extreme to the next. I know that is not helping you in anyway.

My first reaction was the same I feel about my son's choices and the anger and frustration from trying so many things only to be slapped in the face with his ongoing drug use.

Truthfully, when I read 30 yrs was the amount of time it shocked me. My heart breaks for you.

I am sorry your son has put himself in this situation. I really don't know what else to say, but I am sorry for giving you conflicting advice.

You and your husband will be in my thoughts and prayers ~

Sending you {{{hugs}}}



No real answers to life..
The attorney was trying to be honest with what he could do, but I really don't think he was saying that he could promise anything...Right now things are still up in the air...I think one mitigating factor in what my son has done is there was no violence used against anyone. He did not have a weapon on him and he broke into places that were closed for the evening, so threatened to harm NO one. I guess what it boils down to is which judge he gets and if the judge wants to make an example of him or realizes this kid needs help!

Wouldn't wish this on anyone......thanks for all replies as its just great to hear other opinions.....


Active Member
I'm really sorry WMM. The heartache that one difficult child can cause is just overwhelming. And to think we still love them too.

If difficult child went into a treatment program would 30 days be enough? or would he need to find a long term program?

Please know that you are not alone. There have been others before you, and unfortunately there will be others after you.

Sending you some ((((sunny hugs))))


No real answers to life..
I doubt 30 days would be enough, either for the courts or for difficult child to really change. I think he would need a much longer program.....


New Member
In my painful experience, a lot will depend on the prosecutor and the judge. If you can afford it, I would hire an attorney, even if you know in your heart he is guilty. There are many people in prison for long stints that did not have decent representation. Try to find one that is familiar with criminal law and the judge/prosecutor in this case.
If he would voluntarily go into rehab, it would probably help his case....IF he would go. My son could have done a lot of things to help his case...it was 1 1/2 years between arrest and sentencing (our lawyer kept getting it put off)...but he did nothing...he just continued to drink heavily and act out. He could have gone into rehab, gone to AA meetings, stayed in school. So you see, the choices he makes now are his.
I never thought my son would go to prison...he could have gotten 20 years. Thank God he only got 2. Has he learned anything? We will soon see.
90% of cases are plea bargained. Most do not go to trail.


New Member
I wrestle with this same question. Should I try to get my son out early? Should I try to get his felony erased? There are no easy answers when they put us in such a difficult situation. My heart goes out to you. -RM


No real answers to life..
rejectedmom, if there is a chance you can get the felony erased I would go for that....don't know that I would get him out early, but if he is out for some time and can remain out of trouble there is a chance he has learned something and may have the possibility to get it off his record. A felony follows you everywhere and if you don't inform accurately when they ask you it is cause for dismissal from most jobs, if they will even hire you to begin with.....


No real answers to life..
<span style='font-family: Comic Sans MS'>My husband emailed difficult child that he would help with the attorney. difficult child somehow posted bail and got himself out of jail. We have had no communication with him since then. I don't have a good feeling, but not sure if there is anything I can or should do?

I wasn't happy he was in jail, but at least I knew where he was. I've tried emailing, but getting no answer....He could have had someone hock all that he had.....so no phone or computer....not sure I really want to know....just don't want anymore news via the newspaper.....</span>