I’m a nineteen year old former college student. As a freshman, I became friends with a couple girls in my dorm who were dealing Adderall and Ritalin to people using them as study aids. I allowed myself to get talked into helping them deal. Long story short, we eventually got caught, expelled, and are now facing criminal charges.
The prosecution is offering a plea deal. In exchange for a guilty plea, I’ll only have to do a year in jail. I plan to accept the deal. It’s definitely a lighter sentence than what I’ll be facing if I try and fight the charges and lose.
My parents don’t want me to plead out. They want me to fight the charges, despite knowing I’m guilty. But as I said, I don’t want to risk being in jail for years. Besides, I should take responsibility for my actions.
I know no one wants to see their only daughter in jail, but I really need for my parents to support my decision. Any advice on how I can help them to see my point of view? For the record, I plan to plead guilty whether they support it or not. But it’ll definitely make doing the time easier knowing they have my back, if that makes sense.
- It’s clear you have a tough discussion ahead of you, however; it takes a lot of courage to take ownership for your actions and to learn from your mistakes. Your honesty and frankness with the situation is commendable. Thank you for reaching out to the Teen Central community for support. It’s brave of you to share your story. We hope you know that you can always find support here.
- Issues and communication with family members can be very complicated. Even though you are having a tough time navigating this situation, it is good to openly communicate with your parents. The feelings associated with this can be upsetting and frustrating, but they are normal and you are not alone.
- It sounds as if you are uncertain about the conversation that you have to have with your parents. Is there anyone in your life that can help mediate the discussion? This could be a sibling, a family friend, or a positive peer. In addition, it is always helpful to talk these things through ahead of time with someone who can relate to you. You could also try writing out your thoughts and feelings on paper. Sometimes we have a lot of thoughts jumbled inside our heads during stressful situations and they don’t always come out the way we want them to when we are anxious or angry. Writing down the main points that you want to express will keep the conversation focused.
- We encourage you to check out some of our resources that can help you work through your feelings and communicate with others to find a solution. Under the LEARN tab, we have several resources that might help you better understand the emotions you are feeling and how to cope with them. We also have a TOOLS tab with many good resources you can use for a variety of different needs.
- Coping with all of these thoughts and feelings can be pretty stressful. Don’t forget to take care of yourself during this time. What are some things you can do that bring you happiness? Arts/crafts, being active, movies, music, etc. Make sure you find time to engage in these activities to help yourself. Also, as you prepare for serving your sentence, consider using the SUPPORT PLAN in the TOOLS section. Anytime we are faced with a stressful event, we increase our ability to cope, survive and come out ok on the other side when we plan ahead for how to make it through.
- It sounds like your parents may be holding out hope that you wouldn’t have to serve any jail time, which in and of itself is support – they want the best for you and are probably really struggling with the idea that their child will spend time in jail. Continue to keep the conversation open with them about the reasons you are making your decision, and be clear about what you need from them – both now and during the time that you are incarcerated. You will need their support more than ever as you face this challenging time.