This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Is that legal?

Talked to Bear today and he said he still hasn't heard from his lawyer.  I was told that after he completed the packet it should only be 2-3 days before a lawyer was assigned.  He turned in the packet Wednesday night over a week ago.

Bear also told me that he'd been told if he pled guilty and waived his right to a trial he would get only 6 months in jail (since this was a first time offense), but if he went to trial he could get the death penalty.  To me this sounds like hooey, being told to him to get him to confess and build their case against him.

We're still unable to get him his meds and he is questioning whether or not he should try to get on them, because he was told that the cost of the meds would be added on to any fines and would extend his jail time to pay for them... which at $1500-2000/month for meds means he might never get out!  This doesn't really make any sense to me either.

I told Bear of my concerns and told him what I should have told him weeks ago.  SHUT UP!  He has the right to remain silent.  Anything he says can and WILL be used against him in a court of law.  This includes what he says to cell mates, including his cousin and friends of bio family.  It's probably way too late, but better late than never.

Basically everyone has told me Bear and I need to give all this information to Bear's lawyer... who he doesn't have!

I called the jail administrator today to find out what the heck is going on.  He connected me to the county court house and I found out Bear had been assigned a lawyer last Friday.  I got his name and number and left a message.

I consulted with our free Pre-Paid Legal lawyer and he advised me to let the public defender know that Bear has concerned parents firmly in his corner.  That sometimes knowing a defendant has people who care about him, might raise the lawyer's estimation of our son.  I fully intend to do so.

I gave Hubby a heads up that we might need to be there for Bear's trial.  He was not thrilled.


During our 15 minute phone call, Bear asked how Kitty took the news of him being in jail.  I tried to sugarcoat it a little (she basically said she wasn't surprised and he deserved it after selling drugs to Freshman - a rumor she'd heard).  I told him she wasn't surprised and wasn't really happy with him because of the rumors she'd heard.  He denied the rumors of course - which I ignored.  I also told him that their relationship would improve as they got older and more mature.  I gave as an example my little sister and I.  We didn't get along at all in high school, but were much better friends as we got older and worked on it.

Kitty walked through the room as I was talking to Bear and overheard part of the conversation.  She asked me what we'd talked about and I told her.  She accused me of tattling to Bear.  I assured her that I'd downplayed it a lot.

Pretty funny that they both seem to care so much about what the other thinks of them, and yet really care nothing about each other.


Anonymous said...

That's great advice for Kitty and Bear. What is happening in prison is an outrage! I can't believe that Bear would be eligible for the death penalty. It's probably just a threat to coerce him into taking a plea instead of a trial, which will be inconvenient and costly for the state. The thing about the meds and fines is a complete fabrication. Could Bear get a tape recorder? If the comments from the jail personnel are documented and verified, they can and should lose them to their job, as well be form the basis of a law suit.

marythemom said...

This is a first degree felony. The sentence can range from 5 years to the death penalty. I don't think Bear would really get the death penalty, but that is what he's being threatened with...

The jail nurse is the one that told me about the cost of meds being added to his fines and jail time. This might not apply in prison.

Not sure how that would work anyway. Do you get a certain amount of credit toward fines and amounts owed by your time in jail? $50/week paid toward your debt or something? That makes no sense. Especially if it's something you're accruing while you're in jail (cost of meds for example). At $1500/2000 a month, he'd never get out. I can't wait until his lawyer calls me. I have soooo many questions!

Miz Kizzle said...

Public defenders are burdened with a heavy caseload but the majority of them are very competent. Bear will probably meet with his lawyer soon. In the meantime, he should NOT accept any plea agreement.
The part about Bear having to pay for his psych meds is a new one on me and I've been a criminal defense attorney for awhile. Be sure to tell his lawyer that Bear is indigent.
Having him attempt to tape record conversations with the assistant prosecutor (or anyone else) is a bad idea. He shouldn't be talking to them without his lawyer present. Even if the commissary stocks tape recorders, Bear isn't James Bond. I doubt it would be possible, given the usual jail protocol like body searches. Don't even go there.

Jessica Lynn said...

I'm so sorry honey! I don't have any legal advice, and none of that makes sense to me, so I am hoping that whoever is wrong. Hugs!

Anonymous said...

When my eldest was in jail on a felony (false charges), I paid for a lawyer because we were told it would be easily 6 weeks before he was able to meet w/ a public attorney. And then it was months before it would have come to trial.