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Some days you just can't win.
I have a friend who's presently in jail.
My friend had a child custody fight with his ex wife.
His ex was not happy with their settlement. She had replaced her husband with a wealthy new boy friend and had money to hire an attorney.
The new attorney told my friend "Unless you agree to all of my terms, I can make things very nasty."
My friend refused.
The attorney showed him "nasty." He was accused of child abuse, worse yet child molestation.
My friend was horrified.
He took his daughter to the Amini Center, an organization with trained medical professionals that specialize in child abuse assessments.
Their findings showed no sign of any child abuse or proof of any molestation.
My friend felt vindicated; because of this he wasn't worried when summoned to a court hearing. After all, he had proof that he wasn't guilty.
You need to understand that my friend has very little money. He could not afford a lawyer. His wife's attorney made sure that he couldn't get a local attorney. At his insistence, he was finally assigned a court appointed lawyer from another county some 70 miles distant.
On the day of the hearing he didn't bother to clear his table or wash his dishes. He wasn't worried because he was innocent.
He parked his car on a side street and made his way to the courthouse.
His court appointed lawyer had little time to review his case, so his only action was to say, "My client pleads 'not guilty' to all charges."
The next thing my friend experienced was being cuffed and marched off to County Jail.
He had no opportunity to show his proof of innocence.
Bail was set at $30,000; a figure that my poor friend knew was far beyond his means. He was told that with the backlog of court cases that he may be in jail for 6 months or more before he could be tried.
When you go to jail, all your belongings and money are taken from you and stored until you are again released.
Without money, you can only make collect calls. You can spend money from a Commissary account, but someone on the outside has to deposit the money into the account for you.
From this account you are required to pay for any prescription medicines that you require; as well as pencils, writing payer, shaving utensils and other personal hygiene items. Guilty or innocent, while in jail, you can run up some fairly hefty bills. In the meantime you, have no way to make mortgage, car, or credit card payments.
My friend did manage to get me a notarized Power of Attorney so I could pay some of his bills.
Even that was frustrating for us both. In dealing with his bank I presented his power of attorney. I told them, that all I wanted to do was set up bill pay for his car and a couple of credit card accounts. They looked at my power of attorney paper, and told me that they would have to check with headquarters.
I waited for over two and a half hours. Finally the local bank manager asked me "We need to know, why is he in Jail?
I really didn't want to tell her, because I really didn't think it was anyone's business, but she insisted that they had to know.
I finally cringed and said "Child molestation."
She smiled and said "Oh good. If it were for bank or credit fraud, we would have had to freeze his account. That's the good news; the bad news is that we can't help you. Headquarters has informed me that you will need 'third party verification'. "
"What do you mean third party?" I asked, "My 'Power of Attorney' has been notarized."
"That really doesn't matter, you will still need to have a lawyer with you…"
As I said before, some days, you just can't win.