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Messing Up My Life - Arrested and Going to Court

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I was arrested last weekend. I was in a Club and had been drinking all night so I don’t remember much of what I did but I saw some of it on CCTV later and it was bad.

I can’t believe what I did but I ended up taking 2 I phones. I went outside and a guy came after me and I decked him. The bouncers got me and I struggled with them and they put me on the ground until the police came and then I hit out at a copper when he was handcuffing me.

Just saying that makes me sound bad but I am not a scumbag and wish none of this ever happened.

So I got charged with 2 counts of theft, ABH (on the guy I hit), assault on the bouncer, assault on the police, resisting arrest and criminal damage.

That whole day was the worst day of my life - I was kept in overnight and questioned the next day.

I am 22 and in my last year at university and was hoping to work in a job that needs a clean criminal record so I know I have probably screwed up my life and wasted the last few years.

I hear people giving out about people in court getting off easy but whatever happens I don't think it is like that.

I spoke to the solicitor and am seeing him again but I just can't stop thinking with what is going to happen.

What I am wondering is -

I’ve never been in court before but I do have 2 cautions – one last year when I got into a fight and one from when I was 17 for theft. Does that mean I don't have a criminal record? Will the cautions be brought up in court?

Does the fact that I'm at university make a difference? Will they take into account the fact that I could lose a career over that?

I know it's pretty serious with all the charges - what type of sentence could I get? I am really hoping that I don't get prison - don't know if I could cope with that - but I know there is a chance of that. When I looked up some of the sentences that people from the riots got for just theft I got much more worried

I am willing to pay back some money for teh damage done and to compensate for the injuries. I would have to save it up but would this help me? (Solicitor suggested it)

Sorry for all the questions. I am not a bad person but really screwed up my life that night. I haven't had the guts to tell my parents yet and am dreading that so any advice would be really good

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't have any legal advice for you but, whatever happens - you haven't screwed up your whole life. You might now have to take a different, perhaps harder and longer path to reach your goals but your whole future won't be ruined because of one night. The rest of your life depends on how you deal with this.

    Even if you don't get to do the career you were aiming for, because of whatever criminal record you will have after sentencing - you can still have a career you enjoy. Sometimes these things take a little thinking outside of the box. Try to picture what the goals for the job role were, and think of another job that could fulfill those goals without being so strict on the criminal record.

    Good luck. Learn from this. don't steal. Don't assault people. Grow and be a better person - don't get taken down, climb up.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    katralla wrote: »
    I don't have any legal advice for you but, whatever happens - you haven't screwed up your whole life. You might now have to take a different, perhaps harder and longer path to reach your goals but your whole future won't be ruined because of one night. The rest of your life depends on how you deal with this.

    Even if you don't get to do the career you were aiming for, because of whatever criminal record you will have after sentencing - you can still have a career you enjoy. Sometimes these things take a little thinking outside of the box. Try to picture what the goals for the job role were, and think of another job that could fulfill those goals without being so strict on the criminal record.

    Good luck. Learn from this. don't steal. Don't assault people. Grow and be a better person - don't get taken down, climb up.

    :thumb: Slarti likes this
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey there,

    Welcome to the boards and thanks for posting.

    It seems like a night of drunken events led to you being arrested. The period after any arrest is a worrying time, as it is uncertain what will happen and how it will affect your future.

    It is great that you have a solicitor on your case, as they will be able to provide you with the expert legal advice that you need right now. Unfortunately, it will be hard for anyone on the boards to give you legal advice as it's just difficult to do so without seeing all the evidence and actually knowing what the law says in detail. Therefore, it might be best to put some of your questions to your solicitor.

    As for the cautions that you have been given before; they can be brought up in subsequent hearings. You might to read this page on theSite's website;http://www.thesite.org/homelawandmoney/law/introuble/precourtpenalties
    It is about 'Pre-court penalties' and has more information about this.

    Further, Katralla has provided some great advice here. It is important to look at the bigger picture. Whilst this may be consuming all your thoughts at the moment, you do have the rest of your life ahead of you and can achieve your goals if you put your mind to it.

    It may also be a good time to reflect on how to avoid such events in the future. For example, if you are going to drink, maybe alternate your drinks with a soft drink to avoid getting too drunk. Or take turns with a friend to remain sober on nights out, so you can look out for each other and defuse situations before they get worse.
    If you would like to talk about this some more to an independent person, you can call the Samaritans who provide confidential emotional support. http://www.samaritans.org/talk_to_someone/phone_calls.aspx
    Their number is 08457 90 90 90.

    Lastly, you mention that you're at University; it should have a student support service and they may also be able to provide you with support and advice.

    Hope this helps and please post again should you have any further questions.

    :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for the advice. Was really wound up when I posted that - don't feel as bad about things now but know I am in serious shit with court coming up.

    I have spoken to the solicitor and got advice from uni and they are going to give me a good reference so that's something. I still have to tell my parents about all this before going to court and that will be bad.

    I never thought that I could get into so much trouble for just getting drunk but nothing I can do about that now. I have barely been drinking since.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey Mark22,

    Great to hear from you.

    I'm glad you were able to use the forums to just rant about things. Sometimes getting things off your chest helps loads.

    Good luck with talking to your parents about this. Let us know if you have any further issues you'd like to discuss.

    :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Live and Learn

    You are hardly the first person who has put himself in this position. My brother, a social worker, gave up drinking just before it was about to ruin his life. You probably should do the same.

    In Canada, you would likely have to jump through a few hoops and then be granted an unconditional discharge which means no record. In the US, you might do time in jail which could go a long way to ruining your life since employers can check and convicted felons can't vote, at least in some states. As well, it never pays to be non-white (sorry, but it's true).

    The matter of the previous cautions is interesting. As far as I know, we don't have that system in Canada. I had a friend who, as a young man, wrote a bad cheque (by mistake; he had the money in a different account). He explained this to the judge who said something like, "Get out of my court room. You are an idiot". Many years later, my friend needed a criminal record check and found out he had been convicted of fraud! He had no idea.

    For goodness sake, listen to your soliciter (and your parents). This has got to stop or you really will ruin your life. You clearly have a problem of some sort and the time has come to outgrow it. Best of luck!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The fact you already have two cautions ("admission of guilt" = police conviction for you without even taking you to court) for similar offences is what's going to make your life difficult, I think. They come up on enhanced CRB checks, anyway. I think you're either gonna get a massive fine, a few months of community service or both, I highly highly doubt you'll get a custodial sentence, despite your conviction and previous record, since you're in university and willing to compensate for your crimes and sending someone to prison is extremely expensive.

    I hope it all goes well for you, but don't give up with university and stuff. Just be willing to make up for your mistakes and show you can move on, right now you're probably vulnerable to giving up and ending up in a life of crime. What job is it you're wanting to do and how well are you doing at uni? Have you considered doing post-graduate study? To make up for your criminal record, you'll have to make yourself even more better as a potential employee because you'll be competing against people who don't have criminal records. Also, another important thing to know is when your conviction will be considered "spent" (should be roughly 2-10 years) - which means you don't have to declare it for any job that doesn't ask for an enhanced CRB disclosure, which is really jobs in the NHS, the police, working with vulnerable people and in some cases animals.

    Btw, this is more out of curiousity, but how are you getting charged with "resisting arrest" when no such offence exists in the UK? There is "assault with intent to resist arrest" but there is no actual offence called "resisting arrest". That's an American thing.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey Mark22,

    Are you from the States or the UK? I just assumed you were from the UK when I gave my advice earlier, but it won't be of much help if you are in the States.
    Therefore, confirm all legal advice with your solicitor.

    However, We all make mistakes and kgram's advice about living and learning is great.

    :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I am here in the UK - I just said resisting arrest because that is what I remembered from teh charge but you're right about what it actually is.

    I've been to magistrates court and pleaded guilty. I got to do a pre-sentence report as they said they were considering all options as my behaviour was disgraceful etc. etc. I hope it will be OK as I don't think I could handle prison but hopefully it won't come to that. I have good references but because i've been in trouble before I don't know.

    With all this hanging over me I have missed some of my course over the past few weeks - just hard to concentrate on anything else. I got good grades last year. I wanted to be a teacher but I know that mightn't be possible now. To be honest I'm not too sure if there is any point going on with university because of what happened
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What course are you studying at university? What year are you in?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Do the university know what happened? At the university I work for, a criminal conviction for violent disorder or stealing would see you in front of the Discipline Committee and they would expel you. You may well want to get advice from your students' union as well as the criminal law advice.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Who's Responsible?

    I think I detect a victim stance. The key here is: who is responsible for this mess? Of course, you will say, "I am" but does some part of you feel a bit sorry for your poor self, persecuted by an uncaring world?

    You might also ask, "Is some part of me is trying to screw up my life?" If so, you had better listen to it because it has a message.

    These questions are vital. Soon you will have fully developed frontal lobes and will wonder, "What can I have been thinking?" Unfortunately, by that time you may also have a criminal record and a bad reputation.

    As others have said, we all make mistakes. Yours seem to be nearing the extreme end of the spectrum and I hope you will take the time consider what you are doing and why.

    It is useful to remember that the unconsious rules if its messages are not listened to. Also, we do what we do for good reasons. Example: maybe part of you doesn't want to be a teacher. If so, hear it out. You should be able to negotiate a solution.

    Again, I wish you the best.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    we all make mistakes and do things we regret... come on it's not like you killed anybody :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey,

    I dont think I need to say that youve obviously made more than a big mistake here...

    From what others replies say, they are right - you would probably end up with a combined fine/community service. I dont think you would get prison. Young offenders institution is worse case scenario...?

    I do not think you come across as a bad person the way you write about what happened and the aftermath - you are doing the absolute right thing in seeking advice on how to go about making amends - and I feel sure that the justice system will recognise that you have shown remorse for what youve done - you said you are prepare to pay back the cost of the damages. This will probably go some way inreducing any punishment you are given. Written and/or personal apologies to those you hit/stole the Iphones from would probably do too.

    Have you told your parents yet? If so how did it go? If not, I know it is an awful feeling as I too dread telling my parents bad news, but if you dont/havent told them they may get the info from somewhere else ie the media and end up being more angry than they would have been had you told them. They will no doubt be very angry and upset and it may take time to regain their trust as you will have disappointed them alot. But they say disappointment is worse than anger if you see what I mean.

    I would deffo chase up the SU/uni support service info as that will go some way in helping yourself.

    Let us kow how you get on
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm in 3rd year - don't want to say where.

    I am back in court on Monday and know I can't do anymore yet. I have done letters of apology which I've given to my solicitor and dropped in at the police station but don't know if they will do any good.

    I know it's all my own fault. At the start I did feel hard done by that I got caught and all that but I have had alot of time to think about it.

    Telling the parents was really bad. I am away from home so they had no idea of what happened. They were mad at me and at first started ranting and raving about wasting my life and being a thug. It didn't help either them or me but after afew days I spoke with them again and it was a bit better.

    I have some money saved to pay compensation so I hope it helps but I don't expect to get off lightly.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey Mark22,

    As you say you can't do anything else until you go to court tomorrow.

    I'm glad you were able to tell your parents, and even though things were difficult at first, it's getting better now.

    Good luck for tomorrow and keep in touch when you can.

    :)
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