Probation, Deferment, and my Grounding

Well, court happened today. It was not unlike walking into an alternate universe from the last time we were there. Originally, the lawyer was kind of cocky and the judge was less than pleasant. I guess that happens when you see a certain “type” of person all day, every day. It probably is truly hard to spot someone who doesn’t quite fit the mold of what you are expecting. So over the last month, I had to take Mel for a mental health assessment and two alcohol and drug assessments. The first assessment we went to at a local rehab, they wanted him to start the program immediately since he failed the drug test for THC, which I already knew was about to happen, because when he got in trouble , he told me that he had smoked that day. So, again, no big revelation there. However, the intensive outpatient program the first place wanted to put him in was solely for drug abusers and hardcore ones at that. I know some people say that marijuana is a gateway drug, but I’m not convinced of it and I am also not convinced that a heroine addict who has only been clean for less than three years and only been employed at that particular place for less than two months is the man I want “saving” my kid from himself. Also, due to his insurance, if he actually needed the program, they were going to have to discharge him from it at 21 days because funding would end and, of course, I can’t afford the private pay price. So I declined and told the “counselor” that I did not feel comfortable putting my kid in a room with kids who shoot up pills and smoke crack and use heroin. Call me crazy, but one bad habit is enough, I don’t need a room full of addicts talking about how the high is better than sex and arousing his interest. I know the likelihood of that is supposedly slim, but I’ve seen a room full of kids go from one bad habit to learning all of them in a room. So, yea, I’ll pass on that one.

Took him to the second assessment a week later where he passed the drug test and was completely negative, but still had to let him start the intensive outpatient program because the first place recommended it and I had to follow the recommendation, but the program at the second place is more all inclusive. It’s got group therapy and life skills and anger management plus a drug component…. and it’s way closer to the house. So he’s been doing that for about two weeks now and he doesn’t hate it. Also, took him to the mental health assessment and what do ya know? He’s not crazy nor does he need any additional mental health counseling.

So fast forward to today when we get to juvenile court….

I tell the lawyer all the stuff that he’s done and what he’s participating in and the fact that he has been fine on home confinement under my watchful eye every single minute of the day…. and the lawyer is actually nice this time… not a bit cocky. He even made a couple jokes that were not stupid. They were actually funny. And then he went into the courtroom, spoke to the judge and the D.A. and came back out to let us know what the deal was.

The deal was this…. Mel pled guilty to the gun charge. He had an intake by a DCS worker, who ironically was the husband of someone who is probably reading this (ps. your hubby is really good at his job), and was given his probation officer’s name and number, even though it will likely be transferred to our county. The judge gave him a judicial deferment. If he successfully completes his 6 month probation without any issues, then his case will be dismissed and in a year we can file for it to be expunged. Luckily, they did not try to make an example out of him. The lawyer said he was shocked we actually showed up. I didn’t know people would not show up. That actually seems like a really stupid move, but apparently it happens. A lot. The judge, obviously impressed by Mel’s progress thus far and the fact that he really hasn’t been in any trouble in the last month, was also super nice to him. It could have also been because she had her coffee today and maybe hadn’t had it last time. It’s anybody’s guess.

Basically, the end result was $400 in court fees payable over six months, six months probation, IOP program until completed (between 6 and 16 weeks) for three hours a day, four days a week.

Also, my kid doesn’t have a job, or a vehicle, and he can’t be left unsupervised until further notice, so basically the moral of the story is that my kid made a stupid fucking decision and I got fined, penalized, and grounded for it. I guess we both have learned our lesson, but seriously, I am thankful for how it turned out, because it could have been much worse or he could have been three weeks in the grave by now as I sat crying wishing he was just on probation.

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