I really need advice

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by rejectedmom, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I am thinking about writting a letter to difficult child's public defender and also to the judge hearing his case. It turns out that the girl whose house he trashed while in a rage is the niece of the assistant DA. difficult child is being charged with second degree asault even though he didn't hit anyone. In the state he committed the crime if the victim feels their safety was in danger it is considered an assault. So this is technically his third assault because they counted the one on me when he was almost eighteen which he did 3 years for. The prosecutor's office is refusing to even consider running his new sentence concurrent to the one he is serving. They are talking about adding another 8-10 years on top of a current 7 year sentence. So difficult child is looking at 17 years for two different instances. I have no problem with the 7 year sentence he is currently serving. I think it was relatively fair given the circumstances. But another 10 years for breaking a piece of furniture and putting a hole in the wall and violation of parole? That seems a bit much.

    The PD is not aware of difficult child's mental health issues and MI was not taken into consideration with his current sentance. I want to write to them to outline these problems and see if they will use some compassion during sentencing. I do not condone difficult child' behaviors in anyway. Honestly, they disgust me, but they do stem from mental illness and I think that should be a matter for consideration. I have stepped away from difficult child's court dealings since he walked away from every program and therapy I hooked him up to. However 17 years for a broken nose and some broken furniture (Two different situations) seems excessive when rapists and murderers have gotten less. At the same, time I do not want to give him the impression that I will rush in and protect him from the consequences of his own actions.

    What do you think? Would it be enabling of me to intervene? Would it be to his advantage? Or should I just let it be and leave him safely behind bars? His MO so far is that he doesn't learn from his mistakes and keeps repeating them over and over again. I have no way of definately insuring that he won't hurt someone else in the future and no medicine has ever truly helped him stay on track and away from pot and alcohol which was a factor in these assaults. The thing is I will be almost 80 when he gets out if they go through with this severe sentencing decision. I definately will not be able to help him then. -RM
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    RM -

    I don't think a letter from you is enabling in any way.

    Sadly, I also don't think a "note from Mommy" is going to carry much weight with the court.

    Is there any way you could get a psychiatrist to appear on difficult child's behalf? Certainly a "professional opinion" of difficult children illness would be taken into consideration ?
  3. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Daisy that is a good thought but I am not sure if husband will get onboard with that or if his previous therapist who difficult child lied to an manipulated and who got so frustrated with him way back when he hurt me would be willing. I am not sure of anyone difficult child might have seen since then. I also do not have POA on him so they couldn't talk to me anyway. That would be something his PD would have to do and honestly they do not go the extra mile. _RM
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I don't know your financial situation - would paying for a lawyer be something you could do in order to get the psychiatric info considered?
  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    RM, I don't think it's enabling. I think it's a mother's concern. I also think, as a mom myself, that sometimes we have to go that route for us, so we can believe, in our heart of hearts, that we have done everything possible for our child. Write your letter, put you heart into it, you never know how a heartfelt letter will be perceived and by whom. But, in the end, regardless of what the letter does or doesn't do, you will know you did everything you could for your son. Putting your true feelings on paper, including your "disgust" may be a cathartic experience for you, to help mend your heart. You concerns are coming from love, sometimes that has a lot of weight and can be a healing experience for all.
  6. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    in my humble opinion I would make sure the public defender and the judge received certified letters from you that include any supporting documentation you can provide. You could also request to appear in court to make a statement. This way you have done your best to ensure that the courts are aware of your Sons mental health and have to take that into consideration or risk breaking the law themselves by not considering all the evidence in the case.

    Is this enabling I don't think so. You can make it clear that you feel your son should be punished but that you feel the courts deserve to be aware of the issues your son has. Don't connect, don't spend all day sobbing in court, don't do anything other than attempt to make a statement and leave. You are his mother and no matter what he does you will always want to protect him. Allow you heart some peace and make them aware of the situation that is all you can do.
  7. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Thank you RE.

    Daisy I had looked into a NAMI lawyer for difficult child but there were none available in our area. husband is unwilling to spend anymore on lawyers for difficult child because his legal fees and court ordered treatment programs were a huge burden on us in the past. difficult child cost us over 50K in one year between treatment programs, legal fees, and evaluations, and therapists. Only to walk away from all of the programs and treatment and have additional arrests. husband got fed up and said no more money for those things that from that point on difficult child would have to use what was available to him through the system.

    Dstc_99, Thank you I will have to find out who the judge is and also his PD but I think that should't be too difficult. I am not sure when he goes to court. I know it is very soon. I hope I have time but we just got the letter from him teling us of the new developments yesterday it came whie we were traveling to my aunt's funeral.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  8. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Ok just found out that he goes to court day after tomorrow. UG Not enough time for a certified letter. Not sure what to do now. -RM
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I would go and ask to speak to the court. Try to speak to his public defender before court about this, but if it seems like it might provide info, interrupt and ask the court to allow you to speak. in my opinion info on mental illness should be heard, but it may not help. I don't think you are enabling. I think if you don't try, you will have a hard time coping with that after the fact.
  10. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    That is so tough---it is hard to know the difference between being a mom and being an enabler sometime. Me, I would definitely ask to speak on behalf of difficult child to the judge and the da. Not that I feel it will make a difference, but it might. And as a mom, you would in your heart know you did something.
  11. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would ask to speak to the court on his behalf also, but do go through his attorney/public defender if possible. Good luck. I would be doing the same thing.
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I've been there done that and where we live you can fax the Judge's office with your request to be heard AND include the reason you are requesting the Court's time. When I did that with success it included a retrospective, medical reports and the specific reason that I opposed the Prosecuting Attorneys position. I did notify the PD that I was contacting the Judge and faxed the PD a copy of the paperwork as well.

    The Judge delayed his case until after all other cases were heard and then gave me permission to approach and present. It was very difficult to keep the emotions out of it...and I am accustomed to public speaking. on the other hand I truly believed I had very relevant information and fortunately the Judge agreed with me.

    I don't see how it can hurt his cause but it has to be "professional" as opposed to personal. Good Luck. DDD
  13. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Thank you ladies. I am hoping to get to court as the PD office couldn't even tell me who his defender was. There is no time to go through difficult child. so I am searching the county court schedule for his case number and who is the judge assigned. Here is hoping I can get things together in time. -RM
  14. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I am confused I searched the court on line by name and got difficult child's case number. It is showing the date to be Feb 8th. difficult child's letter said it was being heard on the 31st and on the 8th. Only one case is comming up in the search so I am not sure what to do. I will have to speak to the Clerk of the Court tomorrow to see if she can shine some light on this. Those of you that have been through this process please if you have any suggestions I am all ears.The last time I did this was several years ago and I had an attorney doing all except writting the statement. -RM
  15. toughlovin

    toughlovin Well-Known Member

    Definitely call the clerks office to find out when the next dates are and what they are for. Try and find out who his public defender is and call them and leave a message... if you cant get in touch with him (lawyers can be hard to reach) then show up in court and talk to him and tell him/her about the mental health issues and that you would like to be heard. I recommend you talk to his public defender before you talk to the prosecutor. And I definitely do not think you should interrupt the court to be heard... go through his lawyer.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

  16. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Fortunately, I do not know much about the courts, but I do agree with others that a letter to the judge is not enabling at all. It is informing him so he can make his best decision.
  17. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Based on what you've written, it does seem like your difficult child is being harshly punished compared to others.

    If i were in your shoes, I'd like to think I'd follow through with what I've told difficult child. And that is, "If that's the way you choose to live your life (involved in judicial system), fine. But don't call me to bail you out or jail, nor involve me in it in any way.

    Truth is though, that one doesn't know what one would do unless they've walked in your shoes. Most likely in an instance like this, however, I'd likely let my heart overrule my head and fax the judge.

    Very difficult place you're in. :( Big hug
  18. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Well I went to the Nami sight and they have a guide on navigating the judicial system if the defandant is MI. Very interesting stuff and it only makes me sa bit fearful to intervene. It seems that letting the prosecution and the judge know of MI before sentancing can actually backfire. Also if they get a guilty due to MI sentenc,e they can be held in a psyc facility indefinately! Even longer than their actual sentence. I definately will only go through his PD. Only he will be able to determine if a statement will help or hinder in the sentencing. No matter what though, I will contact the jails he is held in to let them know that difficult child needs to be observed and treated. He says the county facility currently has him on Prozac and welbutrin right now for severe depression. He claims to not be doing well and I believe him. He is 25 and is looking at incarceration till he is at least 37 and that is only if he is able to maintain an exemplary prison record. UG! -RM
  19. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Just wanted you to know I support you in all your efforts to help your difficult child in the best way possible.

    You are such a loving warrior mom.