Nov
08

THE CONSEQUENCES

The following story is something very personal that has changed my life completely (in a positive way) & I’d like to share with everyone. I want to show people that we all make mistakes but it’s what we do after that proves who we are. This will be broken up into four parts: THE MISTAKE, 17.5HRS IN JAIL, THE CONSEQUENCES & THE NEW ME.

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After 17.5hrs in jail I was finally free and as soon as I stepped out I had to start paying the consequences for my mistake. I had to pay my sister for the cost of the bond ($500) and then I had to pay to get my car from the impound ($200). I got out in time to make it to the Britney Spears concert but that was the last thing on my mind so I had to call my friend and told him I couldn’t make it ($100). I knew my mistake was going to cost me a lot of $$$, I just didn’t realize how much. I told myself as soon as I got out that I would not get a loan or use any credit card to pay for any of this. It was my mistake and I will have to cut back where needed to make sure I pay cash for everything.

My 1st court date was a week from when I got out. I had no clue what to do; I had never been in trouble with the law. All I knew is that this was going to be a crazy ride and it will change my life forever. I started looking for an attorney, the prices were outrages they ranged from $5000 to $750 to represent me throughout the entire case. I finally picked an attorney I went on the cheap side $750 (that’s all I could afford).

It was time to go to court and get the ball rolling. I still remember walking into the court for the 1st time and looking around. I had a million thoughts running through my mind. I looked around and knew I didn’t belong here. I kept thinking these people look crazy and like criminals gosh I am a criminal now. My attorney came and let me know he was just going to reset the case for a later date so he could gather all the evidence and paper work to see what they have against me. I thought well that was easy, but now I have to come back again. Turns out when you get a DWI you have two cases: 1 against the county for the DWI charge and 1 against the state to retain your Driver’s License.

Long story short my case was reset 8 times over the course of 7 months before I got my punishment. During this time my attorney was able to handle the case against the state for my driver’s license. Thankfully we won that case and I was able to retain my driver’s license. I had to pay a $125 fee to have my driver’s license reinstated. On the other hand things didn’t go to well for my DWI charges. My attorney let me know all my options. It seemed like no matter what we did I was going to be found guilty and it would be on my record except for one option. Harris County had just rolled out a new program for 1st time DWI offenders. It is called the DIVERT program. This program allows people to plead guilty however after completing all requirements throughout the course of year probation successfully the DWI is dismissed. I didn’t like that idea at all but I had no choice at least doing this I have the benefit of getting the DWI dismissed and it would be up to me to get everything done.

In order to get into the DIVERT program you have to pay a fee ($200) so you can be evaluated and find out if you qualify for it. I was accepted into the program and on October 23, 2009 we finally reached a verdict/punishment for my DWI charge. I didn’t want to sign the agreement. It was 8 pages worth of things I had to complete during my year of probation. I remember calling my dad in tears because I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it. I finally signed the damn 8 page agreement and began my year of probation. Here are a few things listed in the agreement:

  • Monthly Supervision fee of $60
  • One time District Attorney’s Office fee of $160
  • Monthly cost of leasing an ignition interlock monitoring device (breathalyzer) fee of $65
  • Keep the ignition interlock on my vehicle for 12 months

Breathalyzer - I had to blow in this every time I had to start my car & while I was driving as well at random times.

  • Monthly Urinalysis (drug test) fee of $25
  • One time Identification Card fee of $12.50

Had to have this on me at all times!

  • One time DIVERT Education Course fee of $160
  • Attend DIVERT Intensive Outpatient Treatment – 3 times a week for 8 weeks
  • Attend DIVERT Supportive Outpatient Treatment – 2 times a week for 10 weeks
  • Attend one Alcoholics Anonymous meeting

Brochures from all the meetings I had to attend.

  • Perform 16 hours of community service
  • Limited travel – must remain within the state of Texas & must request permission to leave
  • No Alcohol Premises (no bars or clubs)
  • No Alcohol or Drugs for the duration of the probation
  • Must stay employed throughout the entire course of the probation

Those are just a few of the things listed on the 8 page agreement. If I failed to meet any of the requirements listed in the agreement I would be subject to a $750 fine plus a 30 day stay in jail. So you better believe me when I say I followed the entire agreement to the T. I didn’t mess with it at all.

At first I kept a spread sheet of every single expense that came because of this. However when I saw that number pass $3000, I got outraged and deleted it; I told myself I didn’t want to know what the full price of this was going to be. Till this day I don’t know how much it fully cost me my guess would be somewhere around $6000. So far I have listed just about all the monetary consequences that came with my mistake. What I haven’t talked about is the emotional and life perspective consequences that came along with having to go through this entire ordeal for 19 months. I will explain that on my next post “The New Me”.

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Looking back at everything I still have no clue how I managed to survive this whole ordeal. I had to complete all that and more through out the course of my year probation, I also had to get that all done while working full time & going to school full time. I do get upset at myself for what this cost me $$$ wise, but I get even more pissed off when I think about how much of my precious time was spent dealing with this over the course of 19 months. Its time I will never get back and its time that was literally wasted because this could have been prevented. Oh well I see things so differently now and I have learned to admire the quote “We live & We learn” because that is the truth.

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Comments

  1. Jaime, I’m shocked at how much it cost you – both in time and money – to sort through your entire ordeal (while still working and going to school full time? That is a lot of pressure)! You’re still alive, and no one was harmed, which is the best case scenario – and maybe this was supposed to happen in your life, to prevent something worse in the future from happening. I look forward to your next “The New Me” post.

    • I am so thankful NO ONE was harmed in anyway I know it could have been MUCH worse. I am glad this happened because it really brought me back to reality and put my life back pn track to where it needed to be.

  2. I cannot imagine having to go through all that. I got pissed at the couple of speeding tickets I got years ago because it feels like such wasted money. I understand they make you jump through all these hoops to teach you a lesson so you won’t do it again, but I know that doesn’t make it any easier for you to do. I’m soooo glad you’re finally done with it all and you can move on now. And I’m glad you ditched the cost spreadsheet, you know it was a lot, no need to torture yourself further with the exact dollar amount.

    Also, the breathalizer thing, you had to randomly do that WHILE driving sometimes? Seems kind of dangerous. Or am I misunderstanding that part?
    Ali recently posted..Being a Tourist at Home in Atlanta

    • jaja a speeding ticket is nothing compared to this. I have had plenty of those too & always feel the same way they are a waste of money. I had to toss the spreadsheet it was killing me to see how much I was wasting.

    • i will tell ya what, i am a little more stubborn than this. i was dumb enough to collect a 2nd DWI and let me tell ya, it is a lot worse than the first. i acquired my first in 2007 and my second in 2010. from my experience, drinking and driving is just not worth it. my fines for #1 were $1100 and i had to take a defensive driving course and m.a.d.d course. not too bad, still expensive, but not too bad. the second one on the other hand was a totally different story. i felt like the judge beat me into a coma with “the book”. total cost was around $12,000 – $15,000, 9 month probation, counseling, AA 3 times a week, breathalyzer submissions, a revoked driver’s license among other things. but like Jaime had said, the emotional toll this whole process takes on an individual is horrendous. while working full time and going to school full time, having to wake up every morning to call a number to see if your group is called to see if you have to wake up your wife hours before she has to in order for her to take you to where you need to go. losing my license has probably been my biggest hardship. i hate having to ask people for rides when i need to go places. i feel like i have lost my independence.

      it has now been almost 4 years since my conviction and i will say, “the system” does have a really f****d up way of getting one to follow the law and change their ways. i now have been sober for over a year and attend regular AA meetings. i have to jump through many hoops and hurdle many obstacles in order to regain my license still, but i will say one thing is for sure, i will not be drinking and driving EVER again.

      #lessonlearned

  3. Wow, that is a lot to go through. Having your court date reset so many times had to be torture.

    I’m sure a big percentage of the people that go though that program don’t make it. That is a huge accomplishment in itself, even though it sucks.

    We can’t change the past, all we can do is shape our future and it looks like you’re doing an awesome job of that.
    Nick Laborde recently posted..Don’t Be A Hooker Unless You’re Into That Sort Of Thing

    • Yes every time it got reset it was torture cus it was like fuck here we go again. Each time I had to go I had no clue what to expect.

      Oh & yes it seems like a lot of people dont make it cus I remember visiting my Probation Officer and she would have a stack of files of people who weren’t following the probation terms.

  4. I agree… The cost alone is enough to scare anyone away. Your detailed description is really interesting because I’ve always wondered exactly what the costs look like for something like this.

    We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again…. Look how much this has changed your life.
    The NVR Guys recently posted..No Vacation Required – The Lowdown

  5. Aye probresito!!! That was my first thought. Well you know we’ve talked about this before but it was a message in disguise! Be thankful things turned out the way they did, just another experience in your life. That’s what we are made out of anyhow isn’t it? Experiences.

    ;) Good post.
    Jorge recently posted..I’m Running Out of Titles

  6. My eyes bugged out as you kept listing the prices for everything. I don’t think I could afford something like that. And to do it all without incurring credit card debt or loans…wow!

  7. QueenBrain12 says:

    I wish I could have been with you all those times you went alone, but just that one time we went to that stinky building was enough for me. You have taught me a lot! I’m sorry you had to go throught this but thank you for sharing your experience because I think twice before making the decision to drink. I always have to have a plan first (who’s driving).

    This experience has been an emotional roller coaster but you are a must wiser Jaime now.

    I look forward to your next post.

    xoxo
    QueenB

    • I know you would have loved to have gone with me to deal with this but it was something that I got into by myself and wanted to take care of it by myself. You know how i can sometimes. I did appreciate when you came with me to give my last payment. I can’t believe okay wait I can believe I got tears walking out.
      xoxo
      Pinky

  8. The probation terms alone would have driven me mad. Just getting through the program is an accomplishment in itself… it makes me feel like a whiny kitten about my traffic ticket in comparison. Maybe I’ll just shut-up and pay now! Geez.

    Just think of it this way Jaime, that time was well spent building the life you have today. If you hadn’t of gone through it, you wouldn’t have an appreciation of the things you do today. Think about it, you win. You’re going to do amazing things now.

    High Five.
    Jenny recently posted..OMG… In 46 Days- I Won’t Have a Home

    • Girl it drove me CRAZY! Yeah that compared to this is nothing…lol!!! Oh & yup 100% had I not gone through this I would not be where I am today.

      High Five back at ya ;)

  9. it costs so much for a DWI and it takes that long to pay for the fine. a year is too long for the DIVERT program. I am really sorry for that

    • Yeah it cost that much & on the scale of DWI cost in Houston this one is a CHEAP cost. I got very lucky for being able to be in this program and be able to get it dismissed!

  10. I’ve never imagined that this could cost so much, both in terms of money and time. You should be very proud of yourself for making it through the entire program.

  11. Wow, even if I had no plans to leave the state, it would drive me crazy to know that I’m not allowed to. Did that restriction turn into motivation for your RTW trip?

  12. Wow, this was an intense post!!! I don’t even really have the words at the moment. I’m just glad that you’ve come out of it a better and wiser person. That’s really all we can do when something like this happen. HUGS!
    Andi recently posted..Cuba- Day 3 Part 1

  13. Wow, I had no idea everything would cost so much, money and time wise. Well done for turning the anger into a positive outlook in the end, not sure I could…

  14. I am a huge believer in personal responsibility – own up, pay up and learn from it. You tell a fabulous story of doing just that – you should be proud of yourself!

  15. OMG Jaime, that agreement looks like hell to me…
    But you know, it’s over! and I think this kind of things make you appreciate your freedom so much more afterwards!

  16. I’m with everyone — had no idea how much goes on behind the scenes and how much everything costs.

    Been looking forward to the emotional/life perspective post since you began the series. And I’ll say it again because it’s worth repeating – love that you’re open enough to share your experience :-)

  17. This series of posts has been a really interesting, eye opening read. I’m really surprised (like a lot of other commenters) how much this cost, in time and money. They say whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so I’m looking forward to seeing how this event changed you. Not everyone could look at something like this and turn it into good change.
    Alouise recently posted..Mexico

  18. Jaime, I’m a believer that the most powerful thing we have to offer is our story and I’m sure this one will change lives…starting with yours. I find it so brave of you to share this deeply personal story and look forward to reading more.
    Courtney Carver recently posted..Love More Deeply- mini-mission

    • Thanks Courtney for the comment! This has surely changed my life and I hope it changes others. It was such an emotional ride going through it all and actually write it but I felt it needed to be shared.

  19. I was researching the DIVERT program and came across your blog. Firstly, a million congrats to you for completing your probation. It takes a strong person to get through this rollercoaster ride from hell and I’m glad you’re able to live out your dreams now. I just had my 2nd court date today and am faced with the decision of 1-2 years of DIVERT program torture or just do the time and get it over with (although it would result in a conviction). All I can think about is where am I gonna come up with this money, how will this affect me getting a job, and RIP to my social life! I am soooo bummed out and feel my life is over. After reading about your experience I feel a little more motivated, so thanks so much for sharing Jaime. I wanted to ask you though, do you feel confident that your record will be expunged?

    • Hi Erica, I have sent you an email answering all your questions. I didn’t want to write a whole story on here!!! I am so glad you found my post and that this was able to help you.

  20. Wow, I had no idea that could be that expensive..
    Dina recently posted..How well traveled are you in your home country

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