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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Money, money, money

Dave was in jail from Friday morning until Monday evening. On top of the extra stress, this cost us extra money to run back & forth from the city. Dave also lost three days of work at a time when we desperately need all the money we can get our hands on! The end result of Friday's debacle in Plea Court was a date was set to begin jury selection for Dave's trial. A date to modify the court order for child support case was also set prior to his release from jail.

We are quickly running out of time. The judge holding Plea Court pointedly told Dave "these are serious charges, young man, you need to get yourself an attorney." Well, Dave & I both know that. The question is how can we possibly manage this? Dave & I discussed the situation. "What do you want to do?" I asked him. His response was "what can we do, Mom? I know I need a lawyer. I'm pretty sure I'm going to end up going to jail for a long time without one, but we don't have the money! Even if we can borrow money or make payments you are going to be the one stuck with the responsibility of a huge debt if I do end up going to jail. I can't ask you do to that."

That settled it for me. My son might be going to prison for the rest of my life for something he didn't do and he was worried about saddling me with debt! How could I live with myself if I didn't do everything I could possibly do to help my son? I called an attorney that my ex-fiance & I had used last year when my fiance had been falsely accused of a crime. (What is it about people close to me being falsely accused??) I liked the attorney and I trusted him and the charges had ultimately been dropped against my ex.

Good thing I was sitting down when I spoke to the attorney... He said he would take the case for $6,000 to $8,000 plus costs. That amount of money is half a years wages for Dave & I! It took some convincing for him to give me a figure for a down payment. He finally agreed to $3,000 up front and a payment arrangement. Now, all I had to do was figure out where in the world we were going to get $3,000! When I shared the results of our conversation with Dave he said "We have to come up with $3,000 up front? Well, guess I'm going to jail!" I said "don't give up yet, honey. Give me some time to work on this."

Dave's sister is in the best financial position in our immediate family. She has the best job & makes more money than Dave & I put together. I will take some of the credit for the state of her finances because I managed her money & advised her every step of the way to get her where she is. I just helped her make the climb, really. She deserves most of the credit for maintaining her spot on the uphill side. She is an incredibly hard worker and very diligent about paying her bills. However, like a lot of people, the more money there is to work with, the bigger the debt there is.

She indicated a willingness to help but didn't have a few thousand lying around not in use. We talked & we checked & we ran figures. With my help she managed to free up the money for the down payment with the agreement Dave & I would pay it back. I made a consultation appointment with the attorney and Dave, his sister, her boyfriend and I went to see him to discuss the case. She wanted her boyfriend's approval of the attorney before a payment was made. Her boyfriend is going to school to get a law degree and she trusted his judgement.

After an hour long consultation we all agreed to go ahead with hiring the attorney. Sis made the down payment. Dave & I agreed to make $500 payments monthly with an addendum I would continue making the payments myself if Dave went to jail before the debt was paid. The attorney stated the available facts indicated the case was winnable. We all left the office feeling a little better. Just procuring decent legal representation made us feel like we could see a little light at the end of tunnel.

Now... how in the world are we going to pull off paying out all this money? Agreeing is one thing. Accomplishing is another! Hence, the birth of a blog. Surely, there are people out there who care enough about justice to help us. How many people around the world know someone who was falsely imprisoned?

Even if this doesn't generate any financial help, (which all indications are so far it's not doing much) at least I can get this story out to the world. This story is about the incredible manipulations used by unscrupulous people; the ineptness of the court-appointed attorney and the ridiculous legal system that is all about money, and not about justice. This story is about false accusations, guilty until proven innocent and the high cost of justice.

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