How The System Works....

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by DDD, Oct 30, 2007.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    These are all the updated facts which gives a fairly complete picture of how the Judicial system least here. This
    is from the mouth of the P.D. and the pre/post Court results.
    Don't eat while you read because it is enough to make you toss
    your cookies IF you can imagine it is your child.

    The facts of the "crime" remain. The only crime happened over
    two years ago right after easy child/difficult children 18th birthday. The crime was
    that Rx. pills were found in the backseat of his unoccupied car.
    That is a felony. He was put on five years probation even though
    he was visibly impaired from brain surgery and his PD had put in
    the record that he "probahly will not be capable of meeting all
    the demands of probation due to his Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)".

    He has been in jail 90 days. The SAO want him to go to a Florida
    prison for 24 months and have threatened to make it 60 months if
    he fights the 24. His PD has provided documentation, including
    before and after photographs, of his Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). The PD keeps trying
    to get the attorney to agree to a year in jail and then no probation. Not!

    The Public Defender is quitting. He is getting out of this type
    of law. He told me "I can't take it anymore. People like your
    son do not need to be in jail or prison. The local Judges and
    some of the SAO attorneys are just looking at check marks in a
    book to build a career. I am sorry. I will try up until my last day on the 5th to get justice for him. I have gotten the
    official approval for him to be transported to see a neuro-psychiatric
    specialist at the expense of the State in November."

    My son has told me of three guys who committed new crimes and
    got to leave after six or nine months locally. I asked the PD
    "is my son misunderstanding what is happening to other people?"
    The PD told me "it all depends on WHICH attorney you get assigned
    to handle your case"...he got a young attorney who dreams of
    replacing the sorry Judge.

    It makes me sick.

    Oh yeah, before I go home and try to chill. The SAO made a new
    offer today. 24 months house arrest followed by 24 months of
    probation. There are sick Mothers in that office. DDD
  2. PonyGirl

    PonyGirl Warrior Parent

    I wish I had better words of support for you, my friend. All I can say is, I hear you.

    On the Judge, on the SAO, on your son. I hear you on all of it.

    heavy sigh.

  3. Ephchap

    Ephchap Active Member

    Ughhh. Glad I wasn't eating. I'm with you, my friend. It makes me sick.

    My son was the victim of an over eager prosecutor, so I definitely understand.

    Is there any way at all to have your easy child/difficult child's doctor write a statement about his brain injury? Can you somehow get that original verdict that said he could not or would not go to jail or be able to adhere to probation for that long?

    Ughhh. I'm soooooooo very sorry, DDD. This is not justice; it's injustice.

    Sending mega hugs,
  4. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I don't even have words for you!

    I am so sorry. Hugs and prayers, hugs and prayers.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    Doesnt Florida have minimum and maximum sentencing laws?

    If I am understanding this correctly, he was arrested back two years ago on the pill charge right? What sentence did that carry? Now he has violated on some charge right? What charge did they get him for to violate him for? What kind of time would that carry?

    Wouldnt they just activate the original sentence on the pill charge? And then add on whatever the violation charge is?

    So say the pill charge was a class H felony which carries probably around a year or so without any other record, and if they add on a misdemeanor parole violation...that couldnt add up to all this!

    You really should look up online someplace for sentencing guidelines.

    I have found them online for NC, so Im pretty sure they have them for all states.
  6. SunnyFlorida

    SunnyFlorida Active Member

    I don't know if these will help or not. Read down to the article on the first site.

    You know, my friend, I'm always with ya and always thinking. What about the other board you used to be on for his Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), any suggestions from them?
  7. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    DDD, Im so sorry things just aren't right in our penal systems.
  8. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    two yrs of house arrest???? that would be hard, you would be warden and he would not stay put. it would drive all concerned to an early grave. sigh.
  9. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Did I read that right??? 24 months of house arrest. What kind of drugs are they taking at that court house??????
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Thanks for being aghast like I am. It is so blankin' bizarre
    that sometimes I fear that I am "not getting it". Sadly, though,
    I am not misrepresenting nor misunderstanding what is happening.

    The original (and only) "pill" charge had a maximum of five
    years probation. He got five years probation. His attorney
    stipulated that with his Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) that he might not be able to meet
    the demands of probation.

    He has been in jail (no bail allowed because he is a felon) for
    90 days so far because two policeman took him to jail for a few
    hours maybe 5 months ago for "appearing to be intoxicated" and
    "acting obnoxiously". They did not use a breathalizer AND they
    did not charge him with a crime. Three months ago he was
    picked up for a technical VOP..being drunk. It made sense to
    me that since he was not tested, had not committed a crime AND
    does act erratically on occasion due to the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) that it would
    be dismissed.

    The State mandates do NOT call for prison time for an adult with
    one non-violent conviction. The local SAO office, however, has
    been sending people off to prison left and right. Supposedly
    the county is under investigation because so many people have
    been sent to prison from such a small place.

    The SAO office HAS a letter from the psychiatrist outlining the short
    term memory loss, the cognitive issues and the erratic change in
    behavior that easy child/difficult child has experienced. The PD actually told me
    on the phone "I personally handed copies to the attorney and
    stood there while he read the Doctors papers. He handed them
    back to me and said...24 months."

    Logic doesn't work. I am a logical thinker. This is "off the
    charts" no matter how I look at it. I'm going to get the $7500
    ready and make an appointment. in November with the best attorney in
    town. easy child/difficult child tells me on the phone "a couple of guys have used
    a lawyer by the name of xyz and he only charges $3500...maybe
    that is better to get someone from out of town."

    Truthfully I think this is a big factor in my husband being sick. He
    is even saying things like "maybe he'll be home for Christmas".
    Not! I hate to be pessimistic but I can't let him get to hyped
    up. I make some benign comment like "yeah, that would be great
    but we best not count on it" or "I hope so too".

    Thanks for listening. The Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) local group meets again next
    week and I will attend. Sadly I think the PD is correct. He
    says that the SAO doesn't care who advocates etc. I will continue to do all I can do...but it is tiring. DDD
  11. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    sigh and a hug
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member


    I agree its time to get the hired guns. If the state mandates are not being followed then something has to be done. Even if they have to move for a change of venue. This is idiotic.

    Honestly, when this is all done, you really need to think about moving.
  13. lisae

    lisae New Member

    Oh this is a terrible thing to go through. Can you contact your legislator for your district and plead your son's case? Sometimes all the politicians are buddies and don't want to see bad press. For that matter, can you involve the press?

    Is there an Office of Court Administration for Florida, who oversees these attorneys AND judges? Can you contact the Judge who is the "boss" of the local one and outline the situation? Always put it in writing and stay professional and calm in your tone.

    I also agree with hiring the best attorney you can afford, but I know in my County that if you hire one from out of town you lose the 'familiar with the local system' element....
  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Our plan has been to "try" to relocate this year. We have a few
    bucks put away etc. BUT those bucks will be used to get easy child/difficult child
    out of the system plus (not to sound dramatic, lol) we are old.
    With husband 75 and me now in my late 60's relocating with a teenager
    and a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) young adult would be a BIG challenge. Some days I am
    up to facing the relocation stress. Other days I just feel a bit
    fearful of uprooting and trying to reestablish a home, new doctors
    etc....especially since husband has been under the weather for such a
    long time. The other major factor is that economy in our part
    of Florida is truthfully dreadful. The housing market is dead.
    I don't mean it is dying...its' pushing tulips! Business is so
    far off that a paper company (40 years and national) pulled out,
    two concrete companies have laid off almost everyone after over
    30 years with no layoffs, the auto dealers have discounted to the
    point of ridiculous, the sod companies (who never have been too
    stable) have parked all their trucks and trailers etc. etc. etc.

    I've always done anything and everything I could to nurture my
    children but this situation is bizarre and frightening. Thank
    heavens for the Board.

    by the way, it is premature to reach beyond the local judiciary as there
    has been no adjudication. The SAO is the power place right now
    and there is no safety check system for the Prosecuting office.
    That is why Mike N. (can't remember the name) was able to ruin
    the lives of those young men at Duke. If their parents didn't
    have BIG money and BIG power connections, their sons would be
    doomed. It is a travesty really. DDD
  15. KFld

    KFld New Member

    I know the thought of relocating would be exhausting, but look how exhausting all of this is. If you didn't have all this drama to be exhausted by, then maybe relocating would help you to be able to settle down and get away from all this drama in your lives. Sounds to me like this is what you will always be going through for one reason or another if you continue to live there.
  16. Mikey

    Mikey Psycho Gorilla Dad

    DDD: I am so sorry you are going through this. My family has a similar story with my brother, only in his case they threw the book at him on trumped up charges because he was a cop. They even went so far as to "double charge" and convict him (theft and malfeasance in office), which you can't do because they're considered the same offense.

    After he was found guilty on four counts (two theft, to MIO), he went to prison on a 20+ year sentence. He had to fight for four years at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. First was on the sentencing because the judge went far beyond what both the prosecutors and the PD were asking for. 5thCC agreed, remanded it back to the judge for reconsideration and resentencing, which he promptly did - he resentenced him to his original sentence! Second was on the MIO charges. Bro was finally able to get the 5thCC to overturn conviction on the two MIO charges because they were considered double-jeopardy with the theft charges.

    Afterwards, the 5thCC sent another demand to the judge for reconsideration of the sentence on the remaining charges - this time with specific guidance. There was also the subtle hint that if the judge balked this time, that the State Supreme Court and the state BAR association might get involved. Bro finally ended up serving 7.5 yrs, only about 2 yrs less than if he'd served the full sentence with good time.

    I say all this because we discovered that there is help out there. The ACLU wouldn't take his case, but provided some great information to his lawyer on the double jeopardy thing. Local advocacy groups with ties to the BAR in our state also helped shape the arguments at the 5th Circuit. Ultimately, Bro's jailhouse lawyer efforts, combined with his attorney and outside help prevailed - but it was a long fight.

    My message is that there may be help out there that you haven't yet found, so keep looking. Also, that the judge on your son's case is NOT the final authority on what happens; if ever there was a situation that screamed "appeals", this is it. (unfortunately, though, you can't appeal until convicted and sentenced, so hopefully this is an option you won't have to use).

    Finally, DON'T GIVE UP!. You don't always slay the dragon, but dragons can be killed. Get some help, and look in places you haven't looked yet. There may even be some prisoner advocacy groups that would be willing to help you. Look for them - especially ones that concentrate on cases like your son's situation. In my Bro's case, he even had the prosecutor supporting his arguments at the 5th CC! You just never know....

    Hope this helps, or at least helps you along for another day.

  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    DDD...I well know that Mike N guys...he is getting his due right now. He has been disbarred, charged, penalized, and convicted. Now he didnt serve a darn lick of time in jail like his sorry butt should have but he did get in trouble and I assume those boys are suing the living daylights out of the state of NC and him personally.
  18. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Yes, Janet BUT the reason it unfolded the way it has is because
    of BIG bucks and BIG connections accessed via those bucks. Those
    boys would be wearing orange jumpsuits if they came from limited
    means. If they were born into families with no bucks and no
    connections AND not enough sophistication or education to advocate...........those boys would probably be heading for a

    Sorry, but I do believe that as ugly as it sounds. DDD
  19. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    D3, I am sick at heart for you over all of this.

    Gentle hugs,
  20. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    so sorry, I know the housing market is dead. boyfriend has had his lovely house on the market over a year, lowered the price ridiculously and changed real estate agents. no one even comes to look.
    lots of folks are going to be in dire need soon. gas is about 3 bucks a gallon, mortgages with adjustable rates, no wonder people are getting panicky.

    I too am very disappointed in the system. many have lied, guards are cruel and the lawyers and POs I have dealt with, just plain dont get it. sigh. hugs. wish I would be able to help. I do have two spare bedrooms recently if you need a break.