Saturday, 2 May 2015

Finishing the Starter

So some of you might be wondering how I was able to get a job when I had the pending issue of the starter pistol incident I mentioned awhile back. Well I'm going to break it on down. Grasshopper was no more, unless we are counting the new bastardized version of it. Derek and I no longer spoke, but we still had to attend court for the whole starter pistol fiasco. We were both being charged with "weapons dangerous" and it ended up being quite a lengthy procedure.

During our first visit to court, Derek already had council and was ready to be over and done with this. I on the other hand, did not have a girlfriend who's mother knew the best lawyers in Brampton. In fact I didn't have any lawyer or legal council, so the judge decided to give me time to seek council and set us a new court date scheduled for a few months later.

A few months passed and since I was unemployed I clearly could not afford a lawyer, so I finally found my way to seek free legal aid in Mississauga. Once I finally managed to get there they had neglected to inform me that I needed to bring certain things with me, ie: paperwork, birth certificate, etc. So I ended up making the trip for nothing and had my second court appearance pending the following week. The only problem was the date legal aid gave me to come back was weeks later.

So we were in court for our second time, Derek again with his lawyer, dreadlocks tied back, trying to appear somewhat respectable, and then there was me with no council. I explained the situation to the judge and he set up a third court date as I needed to have proper legal aid. I ended up going back to legal aid services with all the proper requirements in order, but this was simply just an application process. I still had to be approved, and they informed me it would take some time.

Back to court for visit number three. Once again we could not proceed as I was still in the waiting process for my legal aid. I explained the situation once again to the judge, and once again he set another court date for us. By now it had been almost a year since these charges had been laid against us. I could tell Derek was getting very frustrated, as he had never dealt with the judicial system before. I had dealt with it on numerous occasions, so I was completely used to the drawn out process. Deep down inside I was getting a sense of extreme satisfaction at his distraught.

I eventually got approved for legal aid. The crazy part about this whole thing was my parents had no idea what was going on. I thought my courtroom days were in the past, and those days were very disappointing for my parents, so I didn't want them catching wind of this. It was a bullshit charge to begin with, but I was an adult now and I wanted to deal with my own grown man business and beat this myself. That meant having to get the mail EVERYDAY so my folks didn't discover and documents that would expose the situation. Needless to say I was thrilled that I finally had council. I was ready for court date number four.

When the day arrived I was nervous, but I felt they wouldn't make too much of an example out of us. Anytime I was in court I'd always pay close attention to the judge just to get an idea of what they were like when dealing with other cases. I'd either feel some relief or get even more nervous. On this particular day we had a male judge who was quite up there in age. He was very loud, outspoken, and boisterous, he constantly had a miserable scowl on his face, and he may have even been suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's. I thought for sure that he'd throw the book at us.

When our case finally got called, the crown attorney started reading off the information about the charge. As soon as the crown said the words "starter pistol" the Judge cut her off and stopped her dead in her tracks, blurting out: "A starter's pistol? And you're charging them with weapons dangerous? How can it be a dangerous weapon when it doesn't actually discharge? $5000 peace bond for one year, case dismissed!" That was it! After all the waiting, legal council, and lord knows how much cash for Derek's lawyer, the case was over before it even started. All we had was the peace bond, meaning if we were caught with ANY form of weapon within the next 365 days we'd be charged with a $5000 fine. I was totally stoked, especially at the fact that I had dealt with this all by myself and proven my innocence. It felt amazing. 

I'll have you know that I upheld the bargain of the peace bond for one year, and was completely cleared, now with a clean criminal record that could never come back to haunt me. Or so I thought...

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