I'd like your opinion.

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Heather LouAnna, Jul 14, 2006.

  1. Heather LouAnna

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    The following post will probably cause many people here to view me very differently, but I don't give a shit.

    Alright. Let me get this disclaimer over with. I understand that the following may sound immature, irresponsible, or just plain stupid. OR...It may sound like a very plausible idea to you. Just please read this in it's entirety and try to keep either of those feelings (good idea, bad idea) at bay. Let's just consider the facts here.

    I live in Austin, Texas, am 23 years old, and was arrested July 17th of 2005 for a DWI and blew a .2223 on the breathalizer, which I didn't know I could refuse, btw.
    I've already paid $2500 to my lawyer, $200 to get my car out of impound, spent 20 hours in jail and paid $20 for my personal bond.

    This is what I'm looking at now:
    14 Alcohol Anonymous classes
    1 four hour Mother Against Drunk Driving class
    1 DWI Intervention class (the three aforementioned add up to about $300)
    60 hours of community service
    $300 court cost
    Two to three weekends in jail.
    1 breathalizer unit placed within my car for no longer than a year. I'm to pay for the machine and it's installation.
    I cannot work in the career field that I have been in for the past five years passion about (working with disabled children) because this DWI is on my record. It is the law.
    The good news is that I get to keep my driver's license as long as I have insurance on my car. Insurance will be around $300-$500 a month because of my DWI.
    Probation for two years ($1000 per year)
    If I violate my probation, I'm to receive 120 days in jail.

    And all of that is the plea bargain. If I went before a judge or jury, I'd probably receive much more simply because my BAC was three times the legal limit.

    I'm seriously thinking about moving out of state and I'd like some opinions. I've spoken with several people about this whole leaving Texas thing and it's received mixed feelings. First, I'd like to say why I'm considering this and I'd like to reiterate that I did not say I am moving, I said I'm considering it.

    1. I am running from my problems. (Let's just get that out in the open.)
    2. The amount of money I'm going to have to pay for this probation shit is something I don't want to have to deal with and it'd be cheaper for me to move.
    3. There is a chance that once moved, this DWI shit will not follow me and I can attend classes I want and actually go through with a degree in social work/recreational therapy with disabled children without the hassle I've received in the last year.

    I've heard several stories about people running from the law by simply leaving state and I'll share mine with you now.

    While working at the State Hospital (Let me make this clear: my checks had the state seal on them. I worked for the state of Texas. I didn't get a raise unless a legislation was passed. I was paid with tax dollars.) I knew an individual who did a lot of drugs; prescription and illegal for recreational use (many of the staff did). This individual worked with children ages four to seventeen. He mentioned oneday that he couldn't go back to a particular state and a coworker became suspicious, thinking that he had run from the law. She went online and typed his name into a "wanted" search engine and found that he was wanted for fraud. He had been pretending to be a nurse and called up several pharmacies to place prescriptions for various downers. He'd then come get the prescriptions by posing as the patients. He went to jail for this briefly and was able to get out briefly and ran to Texas where he obtained a job working with children. This is an individual that I knew personally and I am 100 percent certain this is a real story. In this case, the law of one state did not effect his lifestyle in another.

    If I choose to go through with this decision, I am considering Boulder, Colorado. I've been there on several occasions and it's a beautiful town, a thirty minute drive from Denver. It's full of friendly fun people and is very similar to Austin in many ways. The gas prices are shit, but the apartments there don't cost much more than here. Also, I doubt the long arm of the Texas law has the energy to extend so far as to bring me back (kicking and screaming, I may add) over a DWI.

    If I were to do this, I would not come back to Texas.

    NOW...I'd like everyone's opinions on the following, kinda like a survey:

    1. Without telling me that I'm stupid, irresponsible, or immature for considering this, what is your opinion on this entire topic?
    2. Do you think this shit would follow me if I go to Colorado to the point where it'd interfere with me, pretty much, starting over like it never happened?
    3. I wont need to get a new one right away, but do you think this will effect my trying to get a driver's license in Colorado when the time comes?
    4. Anything you'd like to add, please do so.
     
  2. cooliorox

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    gosh, i honestly would say, research it if you really wanna leave. Felonies are searchable through any federal database....but most states usually do statewide background checks. I would personally stay, but i can see how bad it would suck. thats a lot of money! sorry for your predicament :frown1:
     
  3. Heather LouAnna

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    Thanks for your response, sweetheart. I'll take all the opinions I can get.
     
  4. chicagosam

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    You got yourself into this. No one did this to you. It was an avoidable situation. Face up to your mistakes. You are going to compound this by running. Do the right thing, get it over with, and then get on with your life. This will be a good learning lesson for you. Good luck!
     
  5. AlteredEgo

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    I would personally find a solution that involved staying. You need to do your research. Find out what sort of things get checked out for all of your wants and needs. My next door neighbor does full state anf federal background checks on perspective tennants (the new tennant hopeful must pay for it) because her last tennant turned out to be such a freako. Do some digging.
     
  6. D_alex8

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    I don't think running to another state is the solution. Not because I disapprove of people heading somewhere new to start over in life (in fact, that can sometimes prove a pretty successful tactic)... but rather because I simply don't think that, in this age of computers and the internet, moving state will stop your past from being checked out and counting against you in the same ways as it already does in Texas. So imho it's probably best to face the problems you have there, and then move on with your life... without having had the hassle and expense (both monetary and emotional) of an interstate move as well.
     
  7. Heather LouAnna

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    Thankyou all for your replies thus far.
     
  8. findfirefox

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    Running to another state is not going to solve these problems, like Alex said most records are kept on computers now so your past is likely to follow the only way I see this working is if you moved to Mexico.
     
  9. Heather LouAnna

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    Mexico IS closer than Colorado. I speak pretty good Spanish too. lol It's much cheaper to live too.
     
  10. Jeffin90620

    Jeffin90620 New Member

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    It is possible that you could move to another state and continue working with children, but your employer would have to be very lazy or incompetent to not do a minimal background check ($5 at the California DMV, $30-75 at a variety of online sites).

    Even if you moved quickly and got a driver's license in another state before all this stuff goes on your record, the next time you got pulled over, you'd be busted and it would be a felony bust, most likely. Also, I read a story about a new type of high-speed scanner which will go in Highway Patrol vehicles, check up to 2000 license plates per hour and flag all cars and drivers with warrants, so careful driving wouldn't help in a very short time because you wouldn't even have to give an officer a reason to enter your license plate in the computer.

    So, if you moved to another state, you would have to give up driving. It's feasible to live without a car in New York City and a few other places, but it is very expensive and there is no guarantee you could get a job in your chosen field because of the background checks.

    You could leave the country, but it would get even more difficult. The US has extradition treaties with most civilized nations (for most crimes with the primary exception being death penalty cases), so you would have to find one of the (very few?) countries which does not have an extradition treaty, is even remotely livable and would give you a work permit (I don't know of any).

    I think your best bet is to get the sharpest lawyer you can find and fight it. A good attorney might be able to find a procedural error that would get the case tossed, leaving you free to drive and work in your career.
     
  11. Love-it

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    Gee, drinking sure is fun.

    You have exposed yourself here and I bet that your need to talk about it will more important than your need to keep silent.

    Run silent, run deep, but hiding who you are is not fun.

    Grow up, admit your mistakes and be pro-active about changing your life and future. Being honest and being able to be who you are is more important than anything else you will ever be and will open more doors in the long run.

    Starting over sounds harder to do than it really is because it gives you the opportunity to grow and change. (And I don't mean starting over in Mexico. the wages are low and they won't hire Americans.)

    Honesty is the best policy.

    There are opportunities for those who are in rehabilitation programs to work in many fields, your chosen field is harder than others because of problems that sick people have created, go to your supervisors if you still have a job or if you are looking at a job talk to the people in charge and see if there is a way for you to work in your field. Give them an opportunity to help you and they may surprise you.

    You have been presented with a chance to change something about who you are, perhaps before it became a more serious problem, so you may consider yourself lucky.

    Learn from your mistakes and grow.
     
  12. Lordpendragon

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    Take a deep breath - say shit and fuck a few times - then put your hands up.

    I agree with the advice about the attorney.

    And from a UK perspective that is a whole load of shit that they are going to throw at you - not that that will make it any easier for you.

    Incidentally don't drive three times over the limit again. Not that I understand what the limit is - its about four bottles of Bud type beer in the UK.

    Good luck anyway.
     
  13. Ummagumma

    Ummagumma New Member

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    OK, here goes...

    My brother got a dooey (DUI) bout ten years back. He was 18 at the time and they caught him passed out at the wheel (literally within eyeshot of our house too - he almost made it). It made his life a living hell for the next 2 years. Not only did his trail of destruction on the sides of the roads leave his car basically totalled (he never stared it again), his insurance was through the roof for years afterward, he went to countless meetings, had to do a buttload of community service, and he lost his liscence for at least a year (don't remember how long for sure).

    So keep in mind heather that you aren't the first person to have this happen to you, and as long as people like beer and wine and shots and mixed drinks, you certainly won't be the last. And I'd bet many of them dealt with what you're going through and most of them didn't run. And running from a DUI just seems like a waste of a good 'on the lam', but I don't know for sure, I haven't gone on the lam yet. And yeah, maybe you'll learn a lesson from this, maybe you won't ... although my bro certainly doesn't drink and drive anymore.

    Now chances are, in this day and age, this incident would eventually catch up to you in colorado (if not directly follow you there). And if that happens, what good would running do? You'd probably be in an even bigger shitload of trouble. And what happens if something does wrong there, would you run again? Can't keep running from your problems... so you might as well just face em head on now. Besides, don't you have any people in Texas you'd want to see again?

    The advice about getting a good attorney sounds well and good, I don't know much on the subject, but it sounds expensive too... and it sounds like you've dealt with enough expensive already!

    Wish I could've added something of true value here... but the fact remains, I am an idiot.
     
  14. davidjh7

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    Since 9/11, especially since there was federal money to implement some of the programs, the different states criminal databases are better connected than they once were. And as I recall, you can;t legally move without violating parole, and violating it that way would likely result in much harsher penalties than you are facing now. You already plea bargained, which means offcially you plead guilty, so you can;t really appeal---so another attorney likely won;t be able to do anything but take more money, but it might be worth an hours consult time to find out. About your only way out would be to flee the country, and that involves a whole NEW set of legal and lifestyle problems. It's a hard, big decision, and running away from a mistake always has a certain appeal to it. But in this case, I suspect, as bad and expensive as it will be, it will ultimately cost you less in time, money, and grief to deal with the consequences now. Almost anything is bearable as long as it isn;t forever, and it is sad that one moment of bad judgement can totally fuck up your life like this. THen again, having had several close friends killed by drunk drivers, I have, personally, a hard time feeling much sympathy for those that get caught and have to suffer the consequences. That sounds harsh, I know, but that comes from personal loss, not a comment on your character in general. Good luck, and think hard on this decision--it is one that WILL strongly influence the rest of your life!
     
  15. Riven650

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    You're feeling angry at Texas. I can understand that. But you should really be feeling angry at you for getting yourself into this. Once you've finished being angry I think you have to learn from the experience and work with what you've got. I completely agree with other posters when they say it would be stupid to run away. You'd always be looking over your shoulder, and it would catch up with you very quickly anyway. And then, what would your history of runaway behaviour say to ANY future employer?
     
  16. MASSIVEPKGO_CHUCK

    MASSIVEPKGO_CHUCK Well-Known Member

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    Heather, bluntly you stepped in it, now you have to clean it off. Running makes you look even more guilty without the trial. Best suggestion? Talk to the prosecutor honestly & implicitly. Take the classes they offer. Bottom line, it isn't worth it to cut out & run when you know that just returning back there could mean being arrested for skipping bail.
     
  17. pichulon

    pichulon New Member

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    I work in the legal field here in CA. I am not an attorney, but I am familiar with cases in CA. TX might be different, so I will tell you my opinion from a CA point of view.

    First, I will follow your questions, then, I will give you my views.
    To question 1:
    Well, you are asking for my opinion right away...:rolleyes:
    oK.
    I do not know at what stage of the proceeding you are right now, but, if this is your first DUI ( driving under the influence in CA, DWI in TX??:confused: )
    you could had refused to take the test. Only after the first time, and for the next 9 years in CA...
    ( that is how long it stays in your record, the DUI conviction, used to be 7, it was changed to 9 years about 10 y/ago).
    ...as a condition of probation for your DUI, you agree to submit to any peace officer's request for a field sobriety test, walk in the line test, any test as ordered by a police officer.
    The first time has no priors, so you could had refused.
    So, what I see, you can allege that you did not consent to such test, therefore, it was obtained under duress, duress which would turn the test, its performance, and the results of same, illegal under the bill of rights and state law.
    If you are within the time frame , you can go to court and chalenge the validity of the test itself. By consecuence, the test results become irrelevant.
    I got off the hook in the 90's in that way. I had an attorney that explained all of this stuff I am telling you, and he got me off the hook, off course, he got $2300 bucks, but it was worth it.
    If you are past the window of opportunity, then, I would tell you, you got to stay in TX and go through the program, much to your regret. If you just bail out, that record will be there waiting for you. You can get extradited from any state, if it comes out. Those cases some out. If you are arrested for any situation, and the police dept where you are taken, with jurisdiction over that area requests a comprehensive ground check, you will get busted.
    I do not recommend you running away. You can make arrangements with the court, for a payment plan.
    If this is your first DUI, I do not think you would get a device for your car, that happens to 3rd time offenders.
    In any event, I recommend talking to an attorney, and, fighting the the legallity of the sobriety test. You can not dispute the results, seem really high, you ought to fight the validity, the way it was obtained.
    By doing this, your attorney, even if not succeding in his quest, will make a plea bargain with the prosecutor, and, your fines and program will be a lesser one.

    Question 2:
    It will interfere with you wherever you go. This is not 1960's , there are nationwide computers nowadays.
    The story you mentioned about a guy that obtained a job in another state despite the fact, might work, only untill, and, in the event you do not get checked in a nation wide system.
    Nowadays, because of the pedophile cases, any person requesting to work in enviroments where children are present , should get scrutinized in great detail. If you were to pass, with a lucky strike minuscule ground check, this situation would not be favorable, and it will keep you in a constant state of anxiety, because, at any moment, your records could be checked out, and you would be sent to TX in shame.
    I would hate to see you having to go through such humilliating experience.

    Question 3

    Because of the incidence of illegal aliens getting drivers licenses in states that allow it, today, all DMV's work interconnected to prevent that kind of fraud.
    If you go to the Colorado DMV, you are exposing yourself to be turned in to the CO police.
    I have seen that done here at the CA DMV's.
    Iam not trying to scare you, I want you to realize, it is better to face a year of missery, that a life of hidding, and eventuall humilliation and more.

    Question 4:
    If you can not fight the validity of the charges, to the point, the validity of the test itself, then, try to get a plea bargain and get a lesser sentence, you do not have to accept the first offer you are given. That is what people w/o counsel do.
    Be smart.
    If you can not get of the hook, follow the terms of the conviction, and, in a years time, you will be ready to leave TX, and then, yes, you will have a clean page in CO.

    Good luck.
     
  18. hypolimnas

    hypolimnas Well-Known Member

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    Let's just consider the facts here.

    Hi, here are some brief thoughts.

    I agree you need the best legal advice you can find but consider broader elements too.


    1. You have a life that is precious, and how you handle this now, maybe the biggest test. It has the potential to ruin your whole life, and make you meaner, or to make you stronger, and equip you to go on to help many people, and become a truly great person. I am sorry that the the test is so tough, but as others have said, you are not alone.

    2. Don't let the punishment distract you from your life journey. Stay with your plan, or develop one, that is about what you want from life, and how your search for happiness will enrich the lives of those around you. If you have a problem with drinking/extreme risk taking then think about why this is, and strategies you develop to deal with it.

    3. Don't panic. Your true spirit is strong enough to see this through. I admire people who do the work you do, and I hope you can find a way to use your talents and energy, through all of this crap, to still contribute to the lives of others. This will be your salvation.

    4. The offences are serious. You could have killed yourself, or other people, and that would have fucked things up even more. You have a life, you are a thoughtful person who has a caring heart, how you handle this will determine the course of your life. You know right from wrong, and what you need to do to regain your self respect.

    5. Btw I recently worked with an incredible man, gentle, wise, beautiful beautiful family. Eventually he told me about once being in prison, for similar offences to yours, in his twenties. I didn't think less of him. He overcame many obstacles in his life, and didn't run away, and I have the deepest respect for him. Those charges did not belittle him in his own eyes, and he didn't lose sight of the fact that he is a great person with many talents, friends, and loving family. He made mistakes, but his life was not a mistake. He stopped it from being that way.

    6. You are not just the person described in the charges brought before the court. They are part of your past, and do not reflect all that you are. You are more than your legal infringements, and can prove it. This is your challenge. You know that the strength to rise above all this will come to you. I have no doubt your life will be very successful. Good luck.:wink:
     
  19. Ethyl

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    Well yes, on the surface that's what one would assume but you're clearly worried about the possibility this incident will limit your choices in your given field. Based on that, I understand why you'd consider a change in geography.



    Yes. Unfortunately, the long arm of the law reaches through the Net. That's why background checks are so commonplace today. They're easily attainable and fairly accurate.



    As I understand it, a DWI stays on your record but I don't think you'll have a problem obtaining a license as long as you've completed your obligations. However, if the DWI can't be expunged from your record, i'm not sure there's any point in moving to another state. Your insurance will skyrocket. Bank on that.



    I'll forego the "deal with it" and "chalk it up to experience" litanies but I will ask you this: Clearly, you highly value your career and wish to advance. What if you remain in Texas, complete your obligations to the state, and dedicate yourself to advancement despite the possibility of a few hurdles along the way? Would you appreciate your burgeoning career more in the long run if you chose this route? Just food for thought.
     
  20. invisibleman

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    Don't be getting behind the wheel after drinking. (Know that people have had their lives lost due to impaired drivers. I wish that there were laws against people who talk on cell phones while operating a motor vehicle. People can use their voicemail. If it is important--they'll leave a message.) Learn to have a designated driver. Go through your programs and pay your fines as much as you can. Consult your attorney about other legal issues and possible remedies.

    You will have to get another job or a series of legal jobs working somewhere that can help you get more money to pay for your fines. Quit drinking.

    You aren't stupid. You made a mistake. You're human--you'll be making more of them. (Just think that your situation could be a lot worse.)
     
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