She's been arrested on a felony charge..

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by troubled, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. troubled

    troubled Guest

    I don't know what to do. She tried unsuccessfully calling her grandma and aunt and they refused the collect call from jail. Finally, I called the jail where she is temporarily being held to find out what I could but they would not tell me much, only that they picked her up on a felony warrent and she will be transferred to another jail this morning. She can only call people with land lines and call collect. By the time we had the officer send her a message to call, she had fallen asleep. She's been roaming around homeless since Feb 1st. leaving one place for another and never stays long enough to even get her ID, Soc Sec card, or to sign up for any help. All she cared about is seeing her mentally ill boyfriend in another state. So now, she is in big trouble and I don't know how I can help her or if I even can. I can't afford an attorney and what little I've found online isn't much help. There's not even a NAMI representative listed for my county no info at the website of the county, no help anywhere in sight. I feel like I can't just let her rot in jail without any consideration for her mental illness but I also can't take her back in my home.

    Please can someone tell me what I should do to help her?? I don't know what she is being charged with but it must be serious if it's a felony. They haven't set bail so they won't release her.
  2. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    I am so sorry to hear your news.

    I have a small amount of experience with juvenile justice here. I expect others will have more suggestions for you but the only piece of advice I can give you is to call the public defenders office in the morning and try to find out who has been assigned to her (if anyone yet) and ask to talk to them. They should at least be able to tell you the basic info on what she's being charged with and when her first hearing will be so you could go to that if you wanted to.


  3. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member

    You may be able to check public court records online to find out what the charges are.

    Unfortunately, once they're 18 there are privacy issues that come into play that court personnel and peace officers normally abide by, which means they may not tell you anything - no matter how logical and how deeply it hurts you as the parent. The offender may be given the chance to sign a release of information form, so that folks can share with you,tho.

    I'm sorry you are going thru this; I know how tough it is and how your guts must be churning.
  4. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I do have some experience with the court system both because of my difficult child and professionally. Things do differ from state to state though but hopefully most of my suggestions will apply. My experience with the court system is that it is a frustrating, difficult process that screws up a lot.... but it also at times can be the best thing because it sometimes is the only way to get a difficult child help. So my suggestions are:

    Call the court she would be going to (hopefully you either know this or know where the charges are out of so you know which court). Ask the court when she will be arraigned. If she has already been arraigned ask for the name of her court appointed attorney. I believe this is all public information so I think they can give this info to you.

    If she has not been arraigned then find out when it is (it may be very soon like today) and if you can go to the arraignment. It is always helpful when family are there. During her arraignment she should be appointed an attorney if she has no money and given she is in jail and could do jail time. So find out who that attorney is. If you can get a chance to speak to him while there that would be great. He/She may be busy so may not have a lot of time but it is always good for them to see a face and know the parents are there and are concerned. If you can't speak to him while there then call his office and leave a message - keep calling if you have to.

    When you speak to the attorney tell him that you think she has some serious mental health issues that are not being treated. That your hope and goal in all of this is that she get some mental health treatment. For a first time offender
    who is 19 I think the courts often want to get them help, especially if the parents are there asking for it.

    I would also be clear with the attorney that she cannot come back home.

    Chances are the attorney will be talking to the DA to come up with a plea bargain. If there are mental health issues sometimes the day will agree to treatment. Of course it depends partly on what she has done. Felony charges range from a whole range of less serious things to really serious things.

    I would not talk to DA yourself as they are working for the state not for your daughter. Also the attorney is working for your daughter, not you. So anything he does will depend on what your daughter is agreeing to.... but jail can sometimes be the wake up call they need. i hope that is the case here.
  5. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    I know this is an awful time for you. Hopefully it will turn out in the end to be the catalyst for getting her some help. Toughlovin's advice is great stuff.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sending understanding and caring thoughts your way. Most communities have this info online (ugh, for the world to read!) but the only other action not suggested so far is to call the Clerk of the Courts and ask when the arraignment is scheduled. I think they will provide that information.

    In our exprience a great deal depends upon who the SA is and whether they are "into" conviction rates or not. Some Public Defenders are good...some are so overworked that it is hard to get individualized attention. I hope you luck out! by the way, the term "felon" is perceived as a serious crime against society. Before we got into "the system" we honestly thought of robbers, murderers, sexual offendrs etc. as "felons". Our exprience has proven that a felony charge can be for a totally nonviolent crime. Our easy child/difficult child had a few pills in his car (not enough for resale) and had no verbal or physical confrontation with law enforcement. He was found guilty of felony possession and just completed five years of probation. That label follows you for life. I'm not trying to be depressing. The fact is that with nonviolent crimes a PD can often get a reduction to misdemeanor
    charges if they want to. We know that to be a fact.

    Once you know what the charge is or charges are try to "politely" advocate for a reduction of charges and or MH treatment options. The outcome is life affecting. Also, by the way, some private attorneys allow a free visit which can be illuminating. Just make sure the attorney specializes in that time of case and has a reputation for effectiveness. I'm sending prayers your way.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    One more thing to add. The young people are often encouraged to sign off on a guilty plea with the enticement that they "can go home" if they do. That is what happened with our 18 year old. We were not informed and therefore could do nothing about his choice. Jail isn't fun and "the sytem" knows that most kids want to get out of there as soon as possible. Be prepared. DDD
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I don't have anything to add, just wanted to give you some encouragement and see how things were?

  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am so very sorry. Toughlovin's advice is very good. It is most important to let them know she has serious mental issues. If this is her first offense she may actually qualify for some services that weren't available previosuly.

    You should be able to find out what she was charged with online. That's how we found out difficult child was arrested for drug/alcohol use. Look up either the common pleas court docket or municipal court for the county where she was arrested.

    Keep calm, she is safe now and off the street. Now is the time to work at getting her the services she needs.

    I'm thinking of you.

  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    No advice but wanting you to know I'm thinking about you and difficult child and you're both in my prayers.

  11. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Adding in my hugs and prayers...
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi, Sorry it has come to this but isnt it interesting how many of us can chime in with advise about jail! Sad isnt it? I know more about the court system than I do about college admissions! (Thanks Cory!)

    As the others have suggested, you can most likely find out what she was arrested for online if you can find the docket. Here I would search for the NC Court Docket I think is how I found it. I really cant remember exactly. Just google some names and you will eventually come up with something. It is a free thing so dont pay! It should list what she is charged with and her court date. Not much more.

    Now, dont get in too big of a tizzy about it being a felony. There a BIG felonies and there are little felonies. Murder is a BIG felony. If she stole something worth more than a hundred bucks thats a little felony. If she even forged a check for 5 bucks, thats a felony. Heck...even for a dime thats a felony.

    If she has never been in trouble before and lets say she got caught shoplifting an Ipod worth $300, well, then yeah its a felony but they arent going to lock her up for life. Actually, she will probably be arraigned as soon as they can get her before the judge, bail will be set for around ...ehhh...I would bet around 1 or 2 grand and if no one comes to get her in a week or two she will be let go on her own recognizance.

    I have always had very good luck with talking with my son's Public Defenders and the DA's for him. Of course, I was in the unenviable position in one case of being both the victim and the mom to the accused so I was working with both the defense and the prosecution to try to get the best outcome possible. I guess I did. Sigh.
  13. troubled

    troubled Guest

    Thank you all, for your advice. I've taken it all in and thought a long time about it. My difficult child called her aunt this morning, told her that she was charged with stealing a cell phone and charger from a person at the women's shelter that she was at recently. She claims she did not take it and she wanted my sister to call the shelter and ask if they found it yet. So, she is denying the charge and feels that because they didn't like her there, they ganged up and accused her of the theft. She had an argument with the one girl there accusing her of saying something to someone and starting trouble, so she says. I think this girl called her names and threatened her in an email and difficult child wanted my sister to go online and copy the email as evidence that the accuser was out to get her so made up a lie and got the others to lie too. At least that's her story. She lies, so we can't be certain of anything.

    My sister does not like being involved and has been warned by her doctor against it. difficult child started in on her, asking her to come get her suitcases and bail her out and once again, wanted to stay with her. This has been an ongoing thing with difficult child - asking her aunt for help or a ride and other things BUT everytime they drop her off at a shelter (and this has been 3 times since Feb 1st) she leaves almost immediately for various senseless reasons like "they had no WIFI internet access there" or "they were mean to me, expected me to do chores" and so on. Will only stay there a couple days at places that have internet and all the comforts she likes and some food. She then leaves to hop on a bus to go visit her difficult child boyfriend in another state, traveling over 16 hours or more on buses to get there where she is not welcome by his parents. She begs money from her paternal grandma who gives it to her to get her to go away. Other times (which this is completely insane!) this boyfriend's parents have actually brought him to "visit" (have sex with) my difficult child in a motel room for a couple days and then she is kicked out of the shelter and homeless once again for leaving the shelter. The boyfriend's parents threatened my difficult child with calling police if she so much as shows up on their property but they bring their son to come and have sex with her for a few days and then take him back home leaving her stranded. This is all to appease him and prevent him from trying to take a bus to see her by himself which he did once already until they cut him off using credit cards. My difficult child is happy that she got to spend time with him and is even trying to get pregnant. He, on the other hand, being a bigger difficult child than she is, slices his wrist when he can't get his way and takes a few days in the hospital to avoid situations then goes home again with his parents. He has been doing this at least once a month since she started talking to him online. He is (in my opinion) a severely ill difficult child who can barely talk coherently. He is also scary, violent and he has threatened my life and anyone who my difficult child says has upset her. To difficult child he is the love of her life.

    difficult child's current plan is to continue to hop on a bus to go see him on Apr 8. Has already purchased a bus ticket. She talks about being homeless in Minn just so she can get to see him despite the threat of parents calling police on her if she shows up on their door step. So she's in jail and wants someone to come get her out and the at the earliest opportunity, she is STILL planning on hopping on a bus again. Not planning on getting her ID, getting a SS card, signing up for food stamps or SSD, none of that. Only wants free so she can go see him again. She told her aunt that she fully intends to get on the bus again. *BIG SIGH*

    I will not help her to do that. I have decided to stay out of her life. She caused all of this and she has to get herself out of trouble. I've told the rest of my family to stay out of it too that it is just enabling her to continue to screw up her life. She won't listen and she probably will not show up for court if she is bailed out. None of us can afford to lose that kind of money and we cannot believe her promises or keep her from running off again. So it's useless to attempt to help her out now. So we'll see what happens next. I'll update you all. I don't feel at all guilty about staying out of it because she's dragged me through the mud and made a fool of me forever when I've told police that she has a mental disorder. They don't want to hear it. I don't want to talk to her attorney and let her think I'm helping her. She has a mouth, I am sure she will tell of her diagnosis and all. I gave her the paperwork I had from 5 years ago with a diagnosis and I don't have copies! I don't know if she lost it or what. I told her that was all I had. If her actions and behavior in court don't show what difficult child she is, I don't know what will. Her doctor's notes are outdated. She only wants to get OUT and get back together with her boyfriend. I hope that the courts see that she is a mess mentally and decide to help her but I can't be involved in it. She has to ask for the help for herself. I honestly don't think she will cooperate or comply with getting help for her illness at this time. She would have to be forced. Oh, and this is not the first time she was arrested. She was cuffed and taken to juvie when she was 13 twice and spent over 2 weeks there. I told them at the time that she carried some heavy duty diagnosis and guess what? They did not care but they did end up dropping charges completely thanks to her public defender who came to court so late I was unable to have a word with him.
  14. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    It makes total sense to me that you want to stay out of it. It seems to me that you have a healthy dose of attachment. If you do have any contact with her it might make sense to tell her you will support her when she really wants to get some help for her problems but until then she is on her own. Your only goal is for her to get help for her mental health issues and whatever else, your goal is not to get her out of jail, and certainly not to get her back with the boyfriend. I think often parents have the goal of getting our kid out of trouble, when in fact that just enables them to get in worse trouble. Sometimes the best thing is for them to have to face the music of the legal system.

    The court system can sometimes be slow and laborious and ridiculously lenient. My son kept getting in stupid petty trouble and every time they told him if you get in more trouble your bail can be revoked and you could go to jail. It didn't happen and so he just plain stopped believing it and just kept doing more stupid stuff.... until the last time. I think it was like his 5th offense the court finally said enough is enough and revoked his bail! I was sitting in court both hoping it would happen and devestated to see my son go to jail. Two weeks in jail was a huge wake up call for him and then he was willing to get help and we were willing to help him get help.
  15. troubled

    troubled Guest

    I so agree with you toughlovin!!! Each time I start to want to help, I think instead of how badly difficult child treated me. I get mad then instead of crying. All the rotten things she did and said to me come back as if she just did them and I get strength through my anger. Sadness suddenly takes a back seat. Sympathy is redirected to myself instead of my difficult child.

    So here is an update. My Mom and Sister have taken over the task of a show of family support, although neither agree to bail her out or provide shelter for her. My sister's been taking the collect calls from jail. difficult child has told my sister that they added a ring to the theft accusation, they set bond at 10 grand (1,000 bail) and they want difficult child's suitcases out of there. difficult child also said she pi$$ed off the judge at her arraignment by saying, "yeah, but..." instead of just yes and no. Same old difficult child behavior. So tomorrow is visiting time and my sister will go get her suitcases and she will talk with her. I told her to tell difficult child she should request to see a social worker for her mental conditions and ask to speak to her attorney and to remember that she has to sign releases to share any info. difficult child's court date is set for April 11, so she will have to remain in jail 8 days unless someone else bails her out. No one that we know is willing to pay her bail to get her out. We all know her aim is to take off to see her boyfriend. I also read about this county jail expanding recently so they could accommodate more female prisoners since they've had an overflow in the past which resulted in some being released earlier and lower bails set. No more breaks for overcrowding -- they now have plenty of room to keep her now and if she is convicted. Since she is locked up in jail, she's unable to get in touch with-boyfriend who certainly is wondering where she is. Shes not asked my sister to call him but I am sure she would refuse anyway. I think difficult child is planning on sending him a post card as soon as she can and if I am not mistaken, it will be marked as coming from an inmate. She doesn't want the boyfriend's parents to know shes in jail, so she will be taking a chance if she sends a postcard to him. Maybe she doesn't think his parents will see it. I don't know. I keep reminding my family that she is safe, warm and being fed in jail and she might just be forced to get services while in there but who knows if she will even cooperate or ask? My Mom worries more than anyone else. She's watched too much news stories and movies and she's afraid for difficult child, even thinks difficult child might come out of there worse off than when she went in. I don't think so. I tell her what you parents on here have to say because she doesn't have internet. So thank you once again for your kind support. Don't know what I would do without you. I know my posts aren't very helpful but perhaps someone can gain some useful info or support through reading them. Many heartfelt (((hugs))) to you also!!! I have shed many tears reading your stories also!!!!!!!!! In case you didn't know. You're NOT alone. I pray for you.
  16. troubled

    troubled Guest

    Keep the faith, keep the strength. Many ((((HUGS))))
  17. troubled

    troubled Guest

    Had this been the case, I would have been furious! I have no idea what difficult child said or did while incarcerated and had no way of even knowing when she would be arraigned. In fact, she could only make collect calls to someone who had a landline, not a cell phone and that narrowed down her list considerably to a select few people who answered in person, most of whom automatically denied taking a collect call! The calls would not go through to an answering machine, either. She also had to remember the phone number because they were not offering her a phone book to do a lookup. Imagine if everyone she know only had a cell phone. No one would even have received a call that she was in trouble and in jail!! How is that fair to do to someone who is yet to be found guilty of anything??? I don't get it! She was not given a free call as far as we know.
  18. troubled

    troubled Guest

    Thank you. I wish you well also. I went out to the show yesterday to see a movie to try and take my mind off it all but it didn't work. I kept thinking about difficult child anyways. Those nagging thoughts in the back of my mind, popping in to remind me and getting in the way of me being able to pay complete attention to the movie!! :(
  19. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I just thought of something you could try. Try calling a bail bondsman's office and inquiring? Tell them you understand she is in jail for a felony charge. Tell them you don't know what the charge is and therefore can't decide whether or not to make bail. They have direct access to the Court/jail records and probably will tell you "the charge is X and the bail is Y" and encourage you to come in and see them. DDD
  20. troubled

    troubled Guest

    I found out through my sister what she was charged with. She is accused of taking a cell phone, the cell phone charger and a ring. My sister went to see difficult child in jail today, asked her if she saw a social worker or asked to see one and difficult child said no, because they want to charge difficult child $9 to talk to a social worker. Isn't that odd?