first of all, i want to make it clear that i know what i did was WRONG and DESERVES punishment. but i'm just asking what i should be expecting. i want to get punished, i feel as though it will help me stop doing what i am doing to my community and to myself.
(i'm twenty years old) my first shoplifting attempt/ticket was in jcpenny where i stole a pair of socks ($14). i was not arrested, but i was put on probation for a year (non-reporting after my community service was over) and ten days community service. i also had to pay jcpenny ten times the amount in which i stole. i am still on probation, and was caught stealing a couple things from a rite-aid. the total of things stolen was around thirty dollars. i was arrested and posted a $500 bond. i have a court date set for july the 2nd, and am wondering what i should expect.
i am not a bad person! i make stupid decisions and i have a couple mental disorders that i really don't want to go too much, but i feel directly relate to my crimes. i've never been in trouble before these two incidents, i make minimum wage and am barely affording my apartment. all while being on the dean's list in college. my illnesses really dibilitate me from enjoying and experiencing everyday life. i have been desperately looking for help for many years, but coming from a poor family (no electricity, heat, car, etc. POOR) it is hard to make that work. do you think that the judge will order me to get help as part of my sentence? i'm hoping to god that he will, not for a lesser sentence necessarily, but just for closure to this point in my life.
what do you think will happen to me? i didn't even walk out of the rite aid, i just was in between the two doors when i was caught. the officer said that didn't matter, and i don't really want to contest it at all. i just WANT HELP! i want to be my normal self again.
last time i was arraigned i had the choice of community service, $500, or 90 days in jail. will i be set up with the same ultimatum this time? because i really can't (but in reality, who says that they CAN) afford to pay any more fines than absolutely necessary. i work at a minimum wage job and have had my hours cut to about 20 a week, and need to be reassured that i won't end up homeless because of this. i did mess up, and i will have to pay for it. but i hope i don't have to lose everything that i have over this petty crime.
if you have any idea what i'm looking at, or if you have been in this situation before, can you PLEASE guide me in the direction of what i should be doing, what i should say to the judge, etc.
Have you thought about bringing records of your mental health issues to court with you and maybe having your mental health professional testify on your behalf that you need help etc?? It may help... I'm wondering what you're doing to ensure this doesn't happen again and I'm sure the judge will want to know as well.... Maybe a change in treatment?
I hate to say this but having a mental health issue doesn't prevent you from knowing the difference between right and wrong. There are many, many people in prison who have mental health issues and it doesn't take away from your responsibility to do the right things, especially since you know what they are.
I agree with Deb that you should be able to brign up how you think your mental health has impacted on the decision that you made to do something that you knew was wrong. It will be a tough battle on that one. You definitely need to be looking at how to change your life so that you don't get into these types of situatins again.
Many of us are barely getting by and have a hard time getting help. That doesn't mean that we are out committing crimes we know we shouldn't. You need to be sure that you take responsibility for what you did but also for what you need to do and start to lay out a plan for yourself.
There is a good chance that you may end up homeless because of having to pay for your crime. That is the reality of the choice that you made. There are services out there to help but you have to qualify for them. Good Luck and I hope you gt yourself straight or you will be doing some hard time!!
Seems to me like you've already taken the first step in your rehabilitation .. in that you're admitting what you did was wrong.
OK, now you have to accept what happens to you, when you get sentenced. I certainly don't know enough about MI laws and stuff to tell you anything about that, although maybe someone else here can offer up a likely scenario for you ... although I'm guessing that's all it will be, because every case is different..
BUT, from here, what do you do next? What can you change? Can you find another part-time job to make up the hours you have lost? Or are you going to sit there whining that your hours have been cut?
If you're already realising you need to " have closure on this part of your life" what are you going to do, that will affect that, other than leaving it in the hands of others to decide your fate?
I'm not being harsh here, but, online people can only offer advice ... in the real world, you have to do something constructive about the advice you read online, decide if it's good, or junk it if it's not ..
If you have hours to spare, now you are part-time, why not volunteer at a charity, even just a few hours a week. It may help you get new skills, it may lead to a better paid job, it may be something that you can use to justify why you should be kept out of jail... and... it'll be good for your community ... you may even start to have that closure you want.
(in edit .. what about a homeless charity? If everything does go wrong and you can't make your rent, you've not only done a good thing, but you'll have inside knowledge of how to help yourself)
i'm sure this isn't what you were implying, but i want to make it clear that whatever mental issues i have did not interfere with my knowledge of what is right and what is wrong. i know stealing is not right. i've just had so many f****d up things happen in my life and it has lead me to be a compulsive person with horrible panic attacks, anxiety, and depression. when i am experiencing a panic attack i scratch myself until i either bruise or bleed, i take off all of my clothes and cut my skin because just the thought of my own skin on my bones grosses me out, i've even gone so far as to wipe blood all over my apartment walls in a f*****g crazy suicidal frenzy.
all through high school i'd take tylenol pm and xanax just so that i wouldn't eat and so i wouldn't be awake all day. my dad who i was incredibly close to died after a ten year battle with multiple sclerosis and asked me to kill myself as soon as he died so that he wouldn't have to be alone. he was so scared of dying all alone. he was drifting in and out of conciousness when he said this, but it still added fuel to the already inflamed fire that is my depression.
GOD. just on a daily basis i feel so completely worthless. so ugly, and not even ugly but more deformed than anything. it has nothing to do with my hair or my clothes, just me completely, inside and out. and when i get real down on myself i just think "if i only had this, this, and this i would be that much closer to catching up with everyone else!" so i steal. (and again, it's not about the material things that i am stealing. it's just so damned hard to explain.) and for about ten minutes i feel just like everyone else, then i plummit into the most disgusting guilt trip that you could ever imagine. i just hate how much of an effect this has on my entire life. i'm not asking for pity, i'm just assuring you that this mental illness is a real thing, and is relevant to my crimes. i feel as though as someone who has no idea who i am, this could just look like a cop out. i wish it was.
Last edited by Lions Heart; 06-26-2008 at 09:26 AM..
Reason: profane language
I am a social worker and I work for a community mental health agency so I am fully aware that issues such as what you are describing are real and do occur. The agency I work for is involved in the MRPI program and I can tell you from experience that having a mental health issue that has a direct impact on why you committed a crime will have little merit on what happens. The bottom line is if you understand the difference between right and wrong (which you clearly do/did) then you are still responsible for your actions under the law. When/if you a e sent to prison you will just receive your mental health services there.
It sounds like you are in desparate need of a really good therapist along with some good psychotropic medication interventions, probably not in the benzo family though. I wish you luck! You have a tough road to travel and not just in regard to the legal issues. I hope you get the help you need and put forth as much effort into yourself as you need to turn your life around. Only you can do that, no therapist or psychiatrist can do that for you until you are ready to do it for yourself. Good Luck!
If you were still on probation from the first incident jc pennys and you got caught a second time at rite-aid that is a violation of your probation. The judge could give you up to 90 days for the probation violation. Plus now you are being charged with a second shop-lifting charge. And this charge has a 90 day max. I am not saying you will get 180 days. But I would expect you are going to do some time in jail. I know up here in the U.P. if you are caught more then once they will make you go to some kind of shop-lifters class along with your probation. Hopefully you have learned your lesson bacause if you get caught a 3rd. time they can charge you with habitual offender. And trust me you don't want to go there. Good luck to you.
Redeye 2 U.P. Mich.
Speaking from experience- and about 20 years ago lol so I dont know how the law changed since or if it has. I recieved 10 days in county jail for my first time caught along with probation and community service and got 3 days by the judge for the second offense. the thing is I had never did the 8 days or got sentenced before I was caught the second time and I avoided it and ran with warrants out for about 2 years before I turned myself in the first judge gave me the 10 days and in another county the judge went easy on me because I begged him to and pleaded that I had learned my lesson after the 10 days in the other county.I think he went fairly easy on me only getting 3 days in jail that was a damn expensive pack of smokes. Good luck!