The End Game

Some folks may be wondering about the result of my court appearance. The attorney I hired had an excellent reputation, and a price tag of $3,500.00 which I paid up front. While awaiting trial, he had a stroke and I was afraid that he might not be able to work. Fortunately he recovered fully. On the day of the trial, I was frightened and sweating bullets waiting for him to arrive. He had already earned my concern as he was very difficult to contact by calling his office. I had even resorted to faxing him on two occasions in order to check on his progress. I don't feel it is micromanagement for the defendant to be informed on the case. At any rate, trial day came bright and sunny, and my name was called before the court. Guess what? No damned attorney. I explained the problem to the judge and he gave me time to attempt to find the lawyer. My wife called his office from home, and after raising hell she was told he was "en route" and "held up by traffic". He finally arrived a prepaid hour later, and made the rounds of the courtroom, glad-handing everyone from the court clerk to the judge. He then spoke privately with the judge, and called me out for a conference. He said the best deal he could broker was that I would face 18 months probation, no jail time, no fine except court costs, adjudication as a felon withheld, all costs of probation withheld. Despite my earlier proclamation that I would have a jury trial, I went for the deal. It was that or face the possibility of five years for each count. The policy here is that my probation will be dropped after it is half completed, which is next month. I will be glad to have my life back, with no probation officer knocking at my door wearing a badge around her neck and carrying a six cell flashlight. I am sure my neighbors have noticed, and I deeply regret the embarrassment to my wife. (She is very affected by this whole experience as well.) Total costs of this experience are: $4,800 and part of my life. We have a for-sale sign in our front yard now. I want out of the neighborhood where we have lived for fifteen years, and out of Florida, the state of my birth.
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Don't move to Arizona

I don't know what your charges were, but the best my $5,000 lawyer would do for me was a promise of no prison time for pleading to 2 felonies I didn't commit. With a $50,000 bond, the only other option was rotting in jail for years waiting for trial and selling my home to pay an attorney.

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