The link above is a clip of what I hoped I would encounter in my first ever court appearance. I was the plaintiff, the cops the defendant, and Judge Trudy would understand it was an honest mistake… I guess we cant always have it our way.
Sorry I’ve kept you waiting. Again, and again. I’ve contemplated continuing this journey on my own. Should I continue free writing? Is anyone still reading? Does anyone even care?
This whole blog shit, it’s tough! Here I am, almost 4 months into this DUI case, and the last lap of a long mile is upon me. My time to face the judge had come.
If you recall, from my previous blogs, my court day was set to be in mid May (it’s now mid July). I’ve had 2 other court visits trying to fight the system for a better offer… but alas, the endgame is here.
Let’s talk about the first court day for this blog because the outcome was muckier than expected.
Waiting in the courtroom to be called was so nerve wrecking. Goosebumps filled my body, and it wasn’t a righteous feeling. If you also recollect from an old posts, I wrote about not coming into this with a lawyer. I wanted to fight it alone (with a public defender). I did this solely for the fact of protecting my finances. I asked for suggestions from Redditors with similar cases, and surprisingly many of them crucified me after saying ‘a lawyer is a waste of money.’
You can literally find Reddit page for anything.
I don’t regret saying it, but I get it now: we all have different cases. Comparing any two DUI cases is like comparing apples to oranges. Blood alcohol level, injuries, the way you treat the officers, and many more factors play a role in the decision a District Attorney will make.
Up to this day, I had been going through the emotions holding on to the facade of my face. Feeling optimistic, but having an atrocious feeling. Regardless, I was eager to put it behind me: I was eager to pay the fines and just move forward in life. Its crazy how God sometimes has other plans. Not to get too spiritual here, but I am a believer of ‘God does everything with a purpose.’ Why he chose me? I don’t yet know, but here I am.
You arrive to court early, and are usually there for 2-3 hours. I waited and waited, getting more and more anxious as time went by. Eventually the public defender got to me. She took me outside, sat me down, and the first proposal began.
She introduced herself and then the shocking words spewed from her mouth…
“Unfortunately, because you were driving so fast and under the influence, this is the best offer the DA was able to offer: 90 days in jail, 9 months DUI school, MADD class, Hospital and Morgue, and some court fines.”
My heart sank (probably literally for a second or so). JAIL? WAIT WHAT!? Those are the only words that echoed in my head the whole time she was speaking.
“I’m sorry, JAIL time? 90 days? (I almost shed a tear as my voice cracked.)”
Look, I have never personally known anyone whose gone to jail for drinking. 90 days seemed so unfair. If you’re like me, the only jail cells I’ve seen are the ones in movies or TV shows. They don’t look so promising; in fact, very dangerous and ruthless.
She continued by asking me about what I was doing in life: If I had any other encounters with the law. What were some of my plans were for the future, and if this was a reoccurring thing I did, drank and drove. After lots of small talk, she told me she understood this was a one time mistake and really thought she could help me fight it. We would ask for a 30 day extension, gather some character reference letters, bring my diploma, my enrollment in DUI school, and other things that sold me on being a good person. I felt a sense of relief because I figured these items would for sure show the DA it was an honest mistake.
We came forward to the judge, and she rescheduled it for another 30 days. The defender told me to turn in the papers two weeks before the court day so she would have time to present it to the DA and get another offer by the time my court day arrived. You bet I got home and hopped on everything she needed, but I wanted to wait the two weeks out to give her time to do her research (maybe that was a mistake I made here).
I cant explain the weird feelings I felt after this day. For weeks, I spoke those words in my head. “I’m going to jail?” It just didn’t suit me. Even saying it to my family and close friends it felt so strange.
What would happen if I was actually forced to face some jail time? The phrase, “If you cant do the time, don’t do the crime,” echoed in my head everyday. What would happen to my job? Would a skinny ass person like me be able to survive?
I wasn’t ready to go to jail. Not now, or ever! I had to win this case, and there was no other option. I wanted my mommy and daddy: I wanted it to all be over. I wanted the dancing lobsters to lead me out of that court room!
(Obviously my final offer has been given to me, and I will be posting it the next couple days. Stay tuned because this earthquake was only beginning. I needed all the luck and prayers I could get.)