Back again-difficult child stealing contemplating arrest Help

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by lupylisa, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. lupylisa

    lupylisa New Member

    So I posted awhile back for problems w our then 17 yo son who is now 18. He has a hx of mental do (anxiety and now diagnosis bipolar....but I think not I think its more impulse control issues). He has put us thru the ringer for his drug addictions. We put him in tx last summer and he got free of opiates but contd to smoke marijuana and not be productive at home. However its up-down-up-down. He's good, not using on his medications, then off again A big factor is his really effed up/heavily bagged girlfriend. Well to bring you up to the last 6 mths, we basically asked him to go away and live elsewhere which he did, we stayed in touch and helped him out as he was finishing up high school and did graduate in June when he was on top of the world. (However I add in March we gave him use of the car again which we had taken away so he could go to his job and look for other work and start college this summer). Well he never did get to college, and went on a bender the weekend the car was given to him and started hanging with his old running buddies as he and the girlfriend constantly fight and are on again/off again. He stole our debit card and ran up about 2K of charges (long story but we stopped card immediately but bank made error and charges went thru and they later returned the money to us). However his Dad did nothing. He has been living elsewhere and had a job but then out of the blue, quit the job, moved out of girlfriend's aunts house and into a new older guys house who he and the running buddies are working for in a telemarketing job. This old guy lets them party at his house and its been uncontrollable. But we basically don't see him or talk to him but on occasion my husband will meet him and give him a lil money (arch). He has been sweet w me and talking about college etc but I know now this was just a game.

    So while we were on vacation (we got a security system and told him the day before we were going and had a security system), he started cashing checks fr a checkbook he stole from us. Apparently we did not catch that he had been doing this since May (again my husband thought I was writing checks for cash of 100 to 200 and I thought it was him). But it was our son to the tune of about 5K!!!! So we transferred all money out of the acct and called him fr vacation and told him the gig was up and to cut it out and we'd deal w it when we got home. He just kept it up and sucks for us that the bank kept putting money in bc I had overdraft money fr savings (where I had parked all the checking money!!!). So I got to the bottom of it today and when I found it was so much I was furious and now we are at that stinking crossroads of whether to have him arrested and put in the system (which basically means he will be out on some sort of probation as he has no record and living near us begging again and causing trouble) OR do we stage an intervention and ship him out of state like to the other coast and put him in a treatment program which he would only agree to to drop charges. My thoughts are that if he signs himself out then we press charges and we tell him this. If he signs himself out we follow thru and tell him this and tell him we are not giving him money to come home. So at least he will not live where we live.

    I need to add that while we were gone he also loaned our car to someone who used it in a drug deal that went bad and a Hispanic gang shot at the ppl in our car and shot our car w an automatic rifle, and killed the guy in the backseat. And the ppl drove the guy to a gas station and dumped the dead guy out and took off but the cops picked up the car and impounded it. They never called us as registered owners AND my son had the audacity to write a forged check to go get it out of impound and scammed the cops into letting him pick it up even though he wasn't the owner. SO SEE THIS IS ALL GETTING REALLY SERIOUS AND HE WILL END UP DEAD AS A RESULT OF THE CHOICES HE'S MAKING.

    Also in June he OD'd intentionally on his anti psychiatric drugs and ended up Baker Acted in ICU hospital for 2 days. They put him in psychiatric ward where his hold time was up. We and his doctors encouraged him to stay and get tx but he signed himself out. Ive not spoken to him since this happened. I met w him in the hospital (even bringing him dinner) but when he said he was checking out that next day I asked him to at least stay and try the new medications, and he said No, so I got up and took my Olive Garden w me and left. And told him that he was sick and needed help and I was not going to listen to his lies and denial anymore. Like I said, no words or texts have we shared since then (except when I yelled at him for the forged checks)

    SOOOOOOOO all that being said, my problem is that I am tired of all this and want to have an intervention and give him the option of going to treatment and not being a part of our family until he is sober, in college, and working to pay us back and expresses remorse and apology for what he has done. If he does not agree then I think he leaves us no option but to lock him up and let the courts deal w him which will give him a permanent record and no chance of a future but Im Ok w that because he's done this to himself. My husband on the other hand can not separate. He can not distance himself and still says how could we arrest our child? He wants someone else to arrest him? He even went so far as to tell me that if he killed himself I was going to be the guilty one. But I have thought about it and think I can handle that bc I do not feel that is my fault. He backed me into a corner.

    My husband just keeps saying he doesn't know what to do, which in the past meant he does nothing (like he did w the Spring theft and the debit card) and the fact our car was in a homicide and he has not had the car asked for back. He also continues to let my son call him and he tries to talk to him and keeps going around in circles. Whereas I on the other hand am matter of fact and won't have anything much to say to him. I call a spade a spade. I can no longer see the faces of my other two kids when I tell them nothing was done. They know he is wrong and want him arrested but they are young and don't understand its not that simple....or maybe it is? I don't know.

    So oh enlightened ones, share your thoughts. Do we just have him jailed or offer treatment (keeping in mind treatment costs A LOT AS IN MORE THAN WE CAN AFFORD WITHOUT BEING UP TO OUR EYEBALLS IN DEBT) And also how to approach Dad on all this.

    Thanks. Lupy Lupus
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Press charges ASAP. He's 18 now and needs to learn the hard way that there are consequences for his actions. He stole a LOT of money. The amount of money is usually what decides the punishment to a certain point and any "good" prosecutor is going to at least check with you to see what you'd like to happen. In this case, I would go for the maximum followed by inpatient treatment followed by half-way house, etc. Since he's 18, you don't get stuck with the bill, HE does or he gets financial help to do it. He's had it too easy. Since he stole from you and husband, Dad has absolutely no say in any of it. difficult child didn't steal from him so he's out of the loop. This is between you, husband, and the legal system.
  3. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    If this were someone elses child and they were telling you this story you would be out raged. You would probably tell the parent to throw the book at him. He is no longer your child. He is an adult. His mental diagnosis is not causing him to behave the way he is ( lots of people with serious mental issues do not break the law).

    I believe you already know what you need to do. If you love your son, then don't let him off the hook. Jail may save his life.
  4. lupylisa

    lupylisa New Member

    Thank you Tedo and Pasajes for your replies. Yes I slept on it all and just keep going thru the entire absurdity of what we have lived thru this past 3 years. And had already awakened this morning knowing this is what I have to do. It is just like watching a baby grow: when you are living with them and you see them everyday you don't realize how much they have grown until you go away for awhile and come back and then you see the changes. What I mean, is that we have lived with such TOTAL chaos and upheaveldness and having to deal with things in and out on a daily basis for so long that our sense of "normal" has been changed completely. We are so inundated with his problems and trying to work and keep our heads above water that we do not see how horribly, horribly bad this has become. YOu are so right in that if a friend told me this story I would say WTF and hold their hand walk with them to the police station.

    So I guess I go today to set the wheels in motion. This is just awful and I know that it is him that did this to himself. My guilt stems from the fact that as a parent I guess we always feel there is something more we could have done or done differently. My husband just this very moment woke up and grumbled that I was STILL on the computer. I told him"Yes I am having him arrested". He said "Well this is all on you". WOW. We have a good marriage (30 years) and are friends but have always argued A LOT. I guess in some way I will just have to learn to deal with this too . Our daughter, 24, was FURIOUS at me last night when I told her I had second guessed myself at the entrance to TPD and decided to try another alternative such as intervention. Her comment was "Mom you are in denial. He is a bad person. He continues to steal and use drugs and you REWARD him with saying "oh baby you need help. Let me pay 60K for you to go off to this nice place by the sea to get better." Out of the mouths of babes right??

    SO a cup of coffee and I am off. I will update everyone as I do need support for what I have done.

  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    My caring thoughts are with you. DDD
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You will certainly have our support.
  7. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I know this has got to hurt. It hurt me when I finally realized with my oldest son that he was who he chose to be, and he chose a horrible way to live.
  8. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Whatever happens, you, your husband and your daughter may want to go into family therapy together, because difficult child's issues have surely driven a wedge through ALL of you, in one way or another. I know it's an understatement to say you have a lot on your plate right now, but you're entitled to be a cohesive family that sticks together and supports each other. I'm thinking of you today, and wish you strength and peace.
  9. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    You've gotten good ideas here from people who have been there done that...Been There, Done That. And isn't it interesting how we would be outraged if we heard this story from someone else????
    I would consider NOT bailing him out of jail AND pressing charges. And if he should make his way out of jail anytime soon, , tell him that you would only consider helping out with certain things, i.e. food, etc. (whatever you might be paying for...whatever makes sense) if and only if he agrees to therapy: either individual therapy or drug tx ( at least one required) and possibly family therapy too. If he says "no," so be it, he's made his choice. (by the way, I would think any lawyer would suggest he go and a judge might require it).
    Even if he wont participate in family therapy (unlikely) it might be a good idea for the rest of the family to go.
    Also, you and your hubby might need to get to therapy. It doesn't necessarily have to be anything long term. But this is a horrendously difficult dilema and you are not on the same page. You likely need a professional to help you work it all out.
    Would your husband consider reading any books? There is one called "Boundaries," by Cloud and Townsend that I think is good...but there are others. Explain to your husband that by helping too much and by letting you two as a couple be under constant stress and in debt, it is NOT helping him and clearly hurting you two as a couple. Your child is not a child anymore and needs to start making efforts to get healthier. Read the post about the Bridge and google information about detachment. Hang in there.

    ************ps I have lupus too. STRESS is so NOT good for us. in my humble opinion, you should set boundaries and limits with your son ASAP. Read whatever you can get your hands on re: detachment. Consider going to meetings of Families Anonymous. Wishing you well!
    Lasted edited by : Aug 3, 2012
  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I would definitely not bail him out, and I would definitely press charges ASAP. The thing about the charges is, legally this is not just a crime of theft from you, it's a crime of fraud upon the bank. You'll need to coordinate with them, and they will not likely do anything if you refuse to press charges. You already "gave" him $5,000 - which he stole from you.

    Intervention? No way! He'd be out of state and beyond your jurisdiction and he'd check himself out and be gone and back again. Or worse yet he does what he did to you to some other unsuspecting person. I can't believe that they aren't charging him with accessory to murder for supplying the car used in a drug deal that ended in a shooting death. Your son is doing way more than smoking pot.

    Not only would I press charges, I'd get myself a lawyer and protect myself and my property from any lawsuits that might arise from injuries incurred by others due to your son's actions. Someone could realistically make a case - maybe not win it - that your son had "implied permission" from you to do all of the things that he did with your property. I guarantee you, you'd fight that for years, pay attorneys for years, and you would end up settling. Settling the sooner the better is the only way that could turn out well. Make an appointment with an attorney for yourselves first thing Monday morning. Do not hire an attorney for your son or bail him out. Anything you do at this point to support him is going to look very bad for you if someone decides to sue.

    Quite literally, this is the day in your lives where you and your husband get to decide whether you are going to be "Mr. and Mrs. Lupylisa" or you're giong to be "that criminal's mom and dad". Don't be "that criminal's mom and dad". Get on with your lives. If he can figure a way out of this, good for him! I guarantee you that you can't figure a way to get him out of this, and he wouldn't let you even if you could.
  11. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I meant to type:
    I would consider NOT bailing him out of jail AND YES to pressing charges.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am one here who has actually had experience with this. My son has taken my check book and forged checks on it.

    I am going to tell you what I did. My son was 21 when he did it. I had tried all the "oh he is young when he started with the debit cards at 12 and 14." Thought taking him to the bank and them telling they could charge him with a felony would scare him....ha..did no good. 21, I found out he forged checks on me for $1500. I went to the bank and filled out forgery affidavits. I also had them shred every checkbook I had in my possession and I put a stop payment on every check that was in the book that he had taken. I had no clue if there were more checks floating out there. Who knew if he gave checks to his friends to use.

    After I took out those affidavits I went down to the local police departments where he cashed the checks and I swore out warrants for his arrest for uttering which means he cashed those checks in their jurisdictions. Forgery was much harder to prove because I had no clue where he was when he signed those checks but I could prove where he was when he cashed them. We had video of him cashing them in the banks. You will probably have an easier time getting him for uttering too because you will know where he cashed the checks. Forgery and uttering are two different charges and can be two different felonies. I chose to go with just the uttering charges. My bank gave me back all the money my son took. Of course when he was convicted he had to pay back every dime. He was convicted of 3 felony counts. One for each check.

    He actually got a fairly good sentence but it scared the hell out of him. He got 14-16 months that was set aside as long as he complied with his probation. He had 60 days on house arrest, 30 days active sentence, 60 months Intensive probation, and 3 years regular probation where he had to go in every month for a UA and pay his restitution. If he had failed to do any of that he would have had to go do his whole 14 to 16 months.
  13. Lupylisa - I don't have any answers for you, just a lot of sympathy. I read your story and it just makes me want to cry for you and your family.

    I'm so sorry that this is tearing you up and that you have been put in a position to have to make this type of a decision.

    There are so many on this board that will have good advice for you. I"m sorry I don't have any, just my thoughts, prayers and a big cyberhug.
  14. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You're doing a good job in impossibly difficult circumstances. I think you've received good advice from others who've been there done that and I believe you're doing the right thing with pressing charges. And, I know how tough it all is on your heart and your marriage. We do get so used to the insanity of our difficult child's lives, normal for us is stretched out to something unrecognizable. I am sorry you are going through this, like many others on this board, I understand your plight because I have been in similar shoes. Please let us know how you are doing. I am sending you hugs and prayers that you find peace.
  15. lupylisa

    lupylisa New Member

    Thanks again to all who posted. It really gives me courage to see this through (even though I don't understand what the delay is with the police department). They still have not arrested him and the longer this goes the harder it is on us. The really hardest part was crossing the threshold to that police station. And my husband did finally agree that this was best and met me there and also wrote a statement. Now its in the hands of the police department. In the meantime he has been calling his Dad talking about "his plans". He has yet to say sorry for what he has done. We have not spoken of reporting this to the police. My husband had sent him a very lengthy email about "being done" and not bankrolling his actions anymore. But the longer it goes the harder it is. I just wish we could put this all in motion.

    But then again part of me is so scared. @ JANET BELOW--- your post makes me so scared for him. Your son got 3 felony counts for each check!! I think our son wrote about 40!!! I like the other parts about house arrest (although who's house would that be YIKES!!). Also is your son finished with all this and able to get a job now that he has a felony charge?

    This is what worries me most. That because of being stupid, 19, whacked out on drugs, off the drugs he needs for his bipolar, he did really dumb things. He hurt himself and us but no one else. (YET) Should this one stupid act (or few stupid years) be what defines him for the rest of his life? I mean his response would be "I have no future. I should just die." And really, I don't understand it either. What kind of future does a person with a felony record have? I mean I am really far removed from the criminal world so I just don't know.

    Anyway, thanks again to all who posted. I am just real sad.

    Oh and to WITZEND, you made some very insightful points. We have thought about these very things. Not that it matter, our car is the one that got shot up and the guy who took the car from my son was the one who was shot at and the guy in this backseat died. But nevertheless this is way way way out of our control.

    We have to do this I know. But it is just tearing me up inside. I can not get beyond seeing my lil blue eyed blond curly haired sweet boy. It is hard to visualize this boy as a monster.

  16. lupylisa

    lupylisa New Member

    It's so much easier to let go when I read what is going on in his life via fb. I got really sad last night and decided after not communicating for 3 weeks that I would send some texts at least telling him I love him and want him to get help. Of course, no reply. Well this am his fb status HOUSE PARTY. LET'S GET LIVE. HMU FOR DETAILS.

    Ok we are doing the right thing. End of discussion ......for now.
  17. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I understand alot of what you are experiencing and am sending caring thoughts. In answer to your question just about every job application asks "Have you ever been arrested?" or "Do you have a history of Felony charges?" Most often if the answer is yes...the job prospect is finished. There are also alot of specific employment areas that are closed to Felons. For example, our son was an outstanding athlete prior to opting for booze/drugs. When sober (and before his Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)) I suggested that he sign up as an ump or referree to get training for a possible future job that he would enjoy...and, of course, to keep him away from difficult child friends. Felons are not allowed. Sigh.

    I feel really really strongly about the subject of felony convictions for young people. Seriously if you did a poll (even here on the CD Board) asking "Would you hire a Felon?" chances are at least eighty percent would say No. The word brings visual pictures of rapist, molesters, gun toting drug dealers, robbers, murdurers etc. Sadly I imagine I know thirty young men who are "felons" that were so designated at 18 or so for non-violent offenses. Some are difficult children through and through but others were easy child's who messed up their lives before they even matured. It is, in my humble opinion, very sad.

    In Florida it used to be that after a specific number of years a Felon could apply to State law enforcement to get the felony conviction removed from their record. Governor Rick Scott was elected and in less than six months I think got that provision removed from State Statute. Some say it was a move to limit likely voters who would not agree with his Party stance. But, sigh, meanwhile thousands of Floridians are denied the right to vote or hold public office or be teachers etc. etc. etc. because (often) of youthful indescretions. DDD
  18. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry, I know how hard this is on you and your husband. And, I agree with DDD that these felony charges have a huge impact on these kids lives in ways that end up being detrimental and not at all matched with the crimes. Sigh. My difficult child got a felony conviction for a crime she didn't even know about, simply because some nimrod gave her items to hold on to in exchange for some help she gave him. The items, stored in a box at the house she was staying at had a computer with a GPS and the cops came marching in and arrested her. She hadn't even opened the box. Then I decided to not bail her out or pay for an attorney, she got a court appointed attorney and ended up pleading guilty just to get out of jail. It's all a travesty and it happened because she had no representation to speak of. One place that helps place these convicted felons is NAMI, I got my difficult child connected to that org. but I don't know if she is availing herself to that help. They also help with schooling. And, usually, if the kids stay clean for so many years, the charges may go to a misdemeanor or get expunged, so it may not be for life if he straightens himself out. You can check with the PO or the attorney about that. Again, I'm sorry. I send you prayers and hugs.....................
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member son got 3 felonies total for stealing 3 checks...not 3 felonies per check. I could have filed 2 per check for both the uttering and the forging which means the actual cashing (uttering) and writing (forgery).

    In my area, I live in both a county and city and I would have to know if he wrote the checks in either the city or in the county in order to charge him in the city and the county is about worthless. I didnt know where he wrote the checks though it was probably my house in the county because he lived here but I figured one felony per check was enough.

    I wasnt so worried about him and felonies and jobs. Cory only had a 9th grade education, no GED and most likely would be doing construction as long as he lived. I actually didnt think he would live that long at the rate he was going. I would rather he have felonies and be alive that be dead without them.