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  1. #1

    Default What to Expect With a DUI Charge

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Mass

    My 23 y o son was stopped and arrested for DUI. He has little memory of the incident, but remembers spending time in jail and posted his own bond of 500 dollars.

    He has to appear in court in 2 days. He has a fairly clean record, although was involved in an auto accident 3 yrs ago and was cited for driving to endanger, but charges were dropped since he went into the military.

    I think he has a problem with stupid decision making, especially when under the influence, but not a real problem with alcohol. But he is a problem child, and I see jail coming his way if he doesn't change his lifestyle. He does not hold down a job, has no education, and makes some money playing in poker tournaments, but overall, he is scraping by. I kicked him out a year ago, because I hated his lifestlye.

    So, what should he expect? Loss of license for how long? How much will fines be? ball park of 1000 or 5000? Will he have to go to a court ordered program? Should he get himself to AA to show remorse and a change in attitude and behavior. I think AA will be good for him, and I am so upset and distressed over his horrible decisons, actions, lifestyle etc, I almost wish he would get jail time so he will see how serious this is.

    He has a learning disability, and I think his head is just not on straight, and when you contrast that with his poor choice in friends, alcohol or drugs, his life is out of control, and he will end up on the streets unless he changes, and that will definitely lead to jail time.

    I am torn between helping him as his mother, and just letting him dig out of his own hole. I know the judge will go easier on him if he shows remorse, shows initiative to change and has family support. But I am so mad at him for doing this to himself and his family, and how he has blown all opportunitites in the past. He really needs some help, and I cannot give him what he needs.

    Thanks for all advice of any kind. Just wondering what he should expect. It will be difficult for him to be without a car, and not having transportation to AA, work programs or counseling, let alone a job.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,753

    Default Re: Son with DUI

    He needs a lawyer. DUI isn't like some school detention he's facing. Mommy can't write a note and get him out of facing the music. The best you can do is make sure he has access to proper legal counsel.

    His psych issues have little bearing. If he's too challenged to know not to drink and drive, he's too challenged to be allowed to drive.

    He's got a good chance at a minimum suspension (30 days), alcohol education program, and a deferral. Jail is unlikely but it is a possibility.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Son with DUI

    I never expected to write him a note and get him off. My post shows that, and I know the seriousness of a DUI. I want him to plead guilty and get into an alcohol ed program. His impaired decison making is not his get out of jail free card. It is just his stupidity, and the only reason I posted that was for others to see how stupid and unwilling he is to change.

    He has some money from his poker playing, but it is not enough to cover lawyer costs, and personally, I don't see where a lawyer can do anymore for him. He is guilty, he has to pay the costs and fines and get help. Will he lose his license for more than a year?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,753

    Default Re: Son with DUI

    People facing criminal charges are entitled to a lawyer regardless of what mommy thinks would be good experiences for him.
    If you don't want to help him, don't help him. If he's indigent and can not afford a lawyer, then he should ask for a public defender.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
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    6,808

    Default Re: Son with DUI

    Have him plead not guilty and ask for a public defender (better yet, have him use his poker money to pay).

    This sounds mean...and I'm sorry...but it's time for him to learn from his mistakes. If you pay his lawyer, etc., you're just like Dina Lohan (Lindsay Lohan's mom) - an enabler.

    In one sentence, you say you don't think he has an alcohol problem, but in the next, you say AA or an alcohol program would be good for him. You also say he makes worse decisions while drinking. He has a problem, and it's not just a learning disability.

    Time to let him sink or swim. The only way he will grow up will be if HE has to face the music. I'm not saying turn your back on him. But make him financially responsible for his problems. Offer to attend AlAnon or counseling with him. But do not use your finances to get him out of this trouble. I've seen this happen with an acquaintance - Dad always lends him money to get his butt out of trouble....Dad never gets paid back...and the bad decision making is repeated....again and again.

    Aside from making him financially responsible and facing how much poor decisions cost...he's gonna need money. Which means a job....

  6. #6

    Default Re: Son with DUI

    Thank you for your response. I DO NOT plan to pay his lawyer, bail him out, or do anything more than give him basic advice. You are correct in that this will not make him change his behavior. I do not believe in bailing out your kids. He tries to tell me that I am not supportive, but I know this is manipulation to get me to help him. And I won't.

    Yes, he has several problems....don't all addicts. Isn't that why they turn to drugs and alcohol? He does not drink often, yet, the very fact that he drank to the point of getting drunk, shows you that he has problems he does not want to face. He needs counseling and more, I agree. But he is not dependant upon alcohol; he just uses it to escape and make him feel good. That is a problem in itself.

    He will have to face his own actions and consequences. And poker will not continually allow him to pay his expenses in life. I am sure that stash is dwindling quickly, because he is not financially ressponsible either.

    I figure he will get probation, 6-12 months of licesnse suspension, and be forced to go into a program. Yes, AA is good for people so they can see where they might be if they continue in self destruction. He needs more than AA, but that is free, and a start. Even if he doesn't have a serious alcohol problem now, he will in a few years if he keeps this up.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,753

    Default Re: Son with DUI

    Being "dependent' on alcohol isn't the definition of alcohol problem (though that would be one for sure). Any time his drinking gets in the way of his life, it's an alcohol problem. The fact that he does things like going out and driving drunk and getting thrown in the tank with the potential of a lifetime criminal record, that pretty much meets the prima facie indications of alcoholism. He needs help. Maybe AA will help him, but frankly I'm not a big fan of it. It has a track record that shows it's largely ineffectual.

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