Have you pressed charges?

Old 09-26-2008, 08:15 PM
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Have you pressed charges?

I have put up with so much from my AS that I am sure that I should win an award as the "Enabler of the Year." I wrote a while back warning SR members to watch their possessions if an addict is in the house. My son had stolen all of my better jewelry and pawned it.

I would like to thank each of you who responded to my post. I went into depression following the incident and didn't take time to reply. I told my counselor that I would set a date for my AS to get out of the house, but he is still here.

I recently found some of the jewelry, 4 bracelets and 2 necklace slides, in a pawn shop. In order to get my jewelry, I can pay $1,018, or I can press charges against my son for theft of my property.

Up to now, my son does not have a criminal record. My husband worries that he will never be able to hold a decent job if he spends time in jail. I know that my husband and I should Let Him Fall.

Have you pressed charges against your own child? Was it the right decision for you?

Thank you in advance for your response. I will read it and take it to heart.
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:22 PM
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I never pressed charges, because at the time...I had the same feelings as your huband.

It really didn't matter because my son ended up in prison of his own accord. Looking back, I wish I would have pressed charges.

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Old 09-26-2008, 08:30 PM
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I;m not quite sure if I would press charges but I sure would tell my son that he has X amount of time to get out of the house, get a job and start paying me back for the jewelry. If he's not in agreement with that then maybe I would sit him down and explain that I have no other recourse then to press charges. I went to an NA meeting months ago and a young lady there told me that her parents did press charges against her and that was when she woke up. Jail time did her justise and she is now 3 years clean. So, you do have some thinking to do. I'm so sorry you got majorlly depressed but I sure can understand how that would happen...Good luck, Bonnie
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:40 PM
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I never stole from my family, so didn't have charges pressed against me, but, like Moose's son, I ended up in jail on my own actions. I do know that when I relapsed, my dad was about to call my probation officer and I would have gone to prison....that helped me make the decision to get into recovery and I now have over 18 months clean.

I honestly believe we A's need to face our consequences in order to hit bottom. I had no criminal record (except for a DUI 14 years ago) and was placed on a first offender long as I complete my probation requirements, I will have no felony.

Sorry you are still going through this, but if I were in your shoes, I would press charges and get him out of the house. The longer we "get away" with doing stuff, the worse we will get.

Hugs and prayers!

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Old 09-26-2008, 08:41 PM
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I understand how you feel...I understand your husband's position as well. Unfortunately the sad truth is that when we continue to cushion the fall, we are helping the addiction to progress. I worried first about my daughter getting bad grades; then not finishing the semester, then of the potential consequences of an arrest...on and on. As the reality of her addiction set in and I realized it was a battle for her very life, the idea of arrest didn't seem so bad. The idea of anything that kept her alive seemed a good thing.

I know for me I could only do what I was ready to do. If you aren't ready to have him arrested, perhaps it is time to set that date that he must leave your home and stick to it. If we stop cushioning the fall, often it helps...him and you. I hope you can find some Naranon or Alanon meetings for you too. Hope you feel better soon.
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:42 PM
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Yes I would press charges. I gave my brother ten minutes to have our truck back or he was going to jail. It was back.
My mother did not press charges on my brother for stealing her jewelry which I think was foolish on her part. However I studied the pawn shop laws and they had to sell it back to her at the price gold was going for a no more.
I personally called and spoke with a deputy and he let me get her jewelry back for what my brother sold it for as long as I don't speak of it to anyone. (till now)
My ah stole my prescription meds and I pressed charges. He never took them again.

He will always take from you until you stop him. I personally think you should hold him accountable.

I hated hurting my brother, my ah but I could not let them get away with it. Let them do that crap to a stranger, not me.
To this day.......they do not take from me. My brother is not allowed in my home.
My ah is never near my purse. They know I don't play games.
Good luck.
Ask the pawn shop if there was anyway you could buy it back for what he pawned it for. I understand they have to press charges and that may be the only way you can get it back that way.
Look up the pawn shop rules for your town.
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:53 PM
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My son never stole anything from me but at one point he did pawn a ring my dad had left me that I had given to him. Lucily, he told his X-wife who told me and I got it back. For the price of the cash the guy gave it can happen. I went in and explained my son was on cocaine and told him the story about the ring.....! Guess who'se going to have that ring....forever!!
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Old 09-26-2008, 09:07 PM
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Would you accept this behavior from anyone else who wasn't related to you? I sure wouldn't.
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Old 09-27-2008, 06:30 AM
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I definitely would press charges and I have told my daughter that. I look at it as-which is better, her being clean in jail or killing herself on the outside. Makes the decision so much easier for me to make. What if the money he had gotten from your jewelry would have ended up in his death from an OD. Hugs, Marle
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Old 09-27-2008, 06:35 AM
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I have pressed charges against my son and his exgf. Nothing happened to them, but I did file a civil suit against them to try to get some of my money back. I feel that by doing that I am not enabling them and trying to make them stand up and do the right thing now. Would I do it again, yes!!!!!! It was the right thing for me, yes it was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I did not want to ruin my sons life, but he was doing that on his own anyhow.
My heart goes out to you since I do know how had this is. Sending you prayers
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:36 AM
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Taking legal action against a family member is such a difficult and painful thing to do. But sometimes it's necessary... In my family, we were so reluctant to make calls (in our case we were afraid to call Social Services because we didn't want my sister to have a record of child neglect) and in the end that made things worse. The situation got worse, AND the agencies, when we finally HAD to involve them, couldn't understand why no one had done something sooner if we were telling the truth.

For me to be able to proceed I really had to stop and look at the situation dispassionately and ask myself about my own intentions. When I could look at myself and know that it was "doing the right thing" that was my guide, and not anger, revenge or anything else ugly, I was ready to go ahead and involve the legal system.

Sending good wishes to you and your family for a good outcome. And to you for lots of inner strength.
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:16 AM
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I have pressed charges.. The judge kept saying come back, come back, because the attorney requested time the tenth time (I mean it 10 times). I had to stop going, I used all my sick days and vacation days. The charges were dropped because I stopped going to court, and nothing happened.... I have such a strong developing hate towards our judicial system.
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Old 09-28-2008, 10:28 AM
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I would press charges. We keep using because it works for us,

My husband worries that he will never be able to hold a decent job if he spends time in jail.
He is never going to be able to hold down a job while he is using and stealing either.
If he breaks into someone else's house, place, or business the consequences could be deadly.
What he did was wrong, illegal, and he is showing you how bad his addiction is if he can steal from you.
Oh yes, I would do whatever it took to stop him, for him and for myself.

Hug to you, and good luck with whatever you decide, I can only imagine how painful
this much be. I am sorry you have to make this decision.
Love and Light.
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Old 09-28-2008, 11:30 PM
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Yes, I pressed charges against my AD for robbing us, though I have to say in our case it did little good, or bad, for that matter. Because she disappeared into the third world country of Newark, NJ, where no sane minded cop will venture to serve a warrant, the charges are just hanging in space, going on over 2 years now, even though the prosecutor and sherriff's dept in our county know her address!! This, even though they are felony charges.

As far as having criminal charges follow my daughter, that should be the least of her problems. she is fighting for her life and survival through recovery from the disease of addiction is all I really want for her. If she never works a day in her life, never votes, never marries, never goes to college, so be it. I pray for life - one which might include meetings, friends in recovery, and a higher power. At this point, also, I would greatly welcome her being put in jail. For in jail, I know she would survive, have great difficulty obtaining crack, recieve her HIV meds from a nurse, and be in a place where I could visit her and know where she was at all times. Like I said, this seems unlikely at present, but I do wish for it.

It would be good if you and your husband were on the same page, but truly, if it was your jewelry, it is your charges to press and you would be the complainant, not both of you.
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Old 09-29-2008, 08:47 AM
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Hello Guinevier,

I pressed charges against my son for Criminal Mischief, in a fit of anger, he took his arm across my dresser and wiped off everything, breaking my lamp and a jewelry box, no not much, but I wasn't going to put up with it any longer. The thing is often a judge can judge an adjournment for dismissal, probation, treatment and restitution to you. Adjournment for dismissal means he wouldn't be charged, and it wouldn't be on his record, if he stays out of trouble for a year. So in a way he would still get a chance w/ no record, and get treatment to.
You can recommend this to the DA at court. This is what happened w/ my AS, he didn't complete treatment, didn't abide by probation orders, so he was violated.
After he violated probation, I don't know if the charge is on his record now because I wasn't in court Aug 20, but the court called me and asked me at that time if I wanted an order of protection...I said yes.

And yes .... AS became a thief as well. I hated having to sleep with my purse under my blankets, having to lock my bedroom door, sleep with all phones under my blankets. He stole much money out of my purse. He dialed 1-900 #'s resulting in a 1485.00 bill. Thankfully that got settled, and taken off because the phone belongs to me, and I didn't authorize him or friends to make sick calls like that. Make sure you get a block on all 900 #'s while he is there, parental blocks on TV movies(my son ordered a few movies that were unauthorized as well) , internet blocks, etc.... I had to guard everything!!!
My son stole a gift card that I got for my b-day. I thought I lost it, and he said he found it one day. So I called to see the amount balance on it, supposed to be 70.00, it was down to 48.00. I went to the store to get print out of what was purchased, he had purchased tee-shirts with it and then returned it to me. Through all of this I still let him stay home.

The kicker was last month little son and I returned home, he sat on a cell phone on the couch. I thought "who's is this?" None of us have a cell phone. I had a track phone.
Then I thought well maybe it's one of AS friends. I ended up turning it on to see. it only had a few #'s on it, so it didn't look like a teens phone. I called one of the #'s on it, a woman answered the phone I told her I had found a cell phone in my home and gave her the description of it. She said "you found my husbands cell phone!!... it was stolen out of our car in the driveway the other night, it was in the glovebox!" She was just so happy it was found and she also told me she was thankful the car wasn't stolen because the keys were in the ignition. Oh my Lord!! They didn't want to press charges, they felt bad for AS, as they haven't had children before, and are elderly.
So the husband came the next morning to pick up the phone and he asked if I had found a charger w/ it. I told him "no, but I would look in AS's bedroom." I went to his bedroom I found many chargers in a shoe box, and I lifted up his mattress, and what do I find.... another cell phone....thats when I called the police...and turned all phones over (he had broken old track phones too, I saw them there before, but never thought anything of them) I just turned everything over to the police. No more!! I kicked him out, but he kept trying to get back in. Then he went to court for probation violation, and I got the order of protection, I haven't seen or heard from him since then August 20th.

I feel for's aweful to live with an addict in the house, let alone a thief. I hope you make the right decision...I know it's hard.. its your son. But you need peace. You need to feel safe in your own home.

Hoping the best for you....Be safe!!

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