For several weeks, we have been holding our collective breath over December 3oth and the potential outcome. Tom has been positive he was returning to jail without warm clothing, appropriate medical attention, appropriate diet for his gastric needs. Sue and I have held onto the hope that he would be coming home with us, with some sort of probation deal.
Before leaving for court, Tom removed all of his jewelry so it would not be taken at jail. He had his hair and nails trimmed because he didn't expect to have these things done for him in the jail.
When we arrived at court, we met with our lawyer who told us that there was a visiting judge and a substitute prosecutor in court and that he had a good feeling about things. He felt the one charge was going to be dropped and that the inciting panic charge could be plead down to probation. We all took a breath. Tom was smiling, Tom was chatting as if things were going to improve.
Sue and I were required to sit on the opposite side of the courtroom from Tom and his lawyer. We held hands and breath as Tom was called before the judge. The prosecutor asked to approach the Judge and Tom's lawyer joined them. The deal was made. The deal was then explained to Tom and Tom agreed. Sue and I exhaled in tandem. The deal I HEARD included 84 days in jail with a $250 fine, the jail time was dropped pending 6 months non-monitoring probation. We were told that non-monitoring was just that.....non-monitoring. When we exited the court, we thanked the lawyer and he left us to complete documents and pay the fine and court costs. Tom signed the document presented to him by the bailiff. Then saw it said nothing about non-monitoring probation. It spoke of monitoring probation. Tom immediately called the lawyer's cell and was told not to worry about that, it was stated in court non-monitoring, so all was fine. But when we were paying our $250 plus court costs, we were told the cost also included monitoring probation. We were stunned. We were told to wait to speak with a probation officer and so we did. Tom spent about 30 minutes with his new probation officer. Learning what he would need to do for the next 6 months. We left there to have the ankle monitor removed and base unit returned to the other probation location. On the drive, Tom tried to call the lawyer again, and got voicemail, leaving a message of his concerns. Sue and I waited in the car as Tom had the monitor removed and documents signed.
Tom seemed relieved during the drive to have the monitor removed. He was happy to not be going to jail. He exited the probation without the monitor or monitoring device and was smiling. As we drove home, I suggested we try one of the Indian restaurants he and Sue had previously spoken of. He suddenly was depressed and said he didn't care what we did. I thought a celebration was in order. He was home with us and not chained to the monitor. He could power walk outside without the device going off every time he passed the front door. He could have meals with us that were healthy for him and have his medications appropriately. He could sleep in his own bed. He could have interactions with his son, and not have to be embarrassed by having to explain the situation. He had previously spoke of a conversation with his therapist about not drinking for a year, so the probation would be over before that time-frame. And most of all, we would have him home with us.,,,,,safe.
But he told me that he was hoping for a real celebration of a nice dinner and a glass of wine. But that was all ruined because everyone lied.
We ended up going out for Indian food. I drove and turned in the restaurant of Tom's choice. It was an odd little place. Food on paper plates and Styrofoam, served with plastic ware. The food was tasty and everyone seemed to enjoy it.
I went to bed early. It had been an exhausting day and I spent too much time sitting in bad chairs with no way to elevate my leg occasionally. We still had not heard back from the lawyer and it seems, we might not hear from him.
I am still trying to hold my family together. This was a better outcome that Tom expected but not everything we were told to expect by the lawyer, prosecutor and judge. So we have 6 months of sporadic drug/alcohol testing. And if we can believe what was said, could call on 12/30/11 and start the paperwork to get this expunged from his record.
But Tom is home with us. He is free to do just about anything he wants (except drink). He is not required to attend AA meetings. He does not have to continue therapy (although, I hope he will because the therapist has been good with him and he respects her). He can go out of state. He can see his physicians and not have to fulfill paperwork for the probation department. He will be here when I have situations with Mom and need his support.
I was thrilled there was a visiting judge and prosecutor, because I honestly do not feel we would have had as good of an outcome with the usual pair. They have a history of being less than willing to work with defendants, even ones without any record of any kind.
I love you, Tom. I am glad you are home and if I could change anything I would. I would be happy to fax a letter to the lawyer from you, along with a copy of the documents we received from the court. Maybe he will respond and if there is something he can do to rectify, what we feel is an error, he will.