Dream of:10 October 1989 (2) "Window Peeping"
I walked into judge Schwille's clerk's office one morning, and Francis (Schwille's clerk) handed me a file. The file had my name on it, and I had been charged with the misdemeanor offense of window peeping. I was surprised by the file. Unsure what to do, I walked into the courtroom and handed the file to the prosecutor, a female (about 30 years old). She looked at the file. Apparently I had also been charged once before with the same offense. And there was also another minor misdemeanor in my past.
The prosecutor offered me a plea bargain agreement of a $100 fine and court costs of about $200. Since I didn't want to fight the case and bother with it anymore, I decided to accept the offer. I walked up in front of the judge and pled guilty.
While I was standing next to a couple other criminals, judge Schwille looked right at me and began giving a little talk. He wanted to let me know I had been caught in what I had been doing. I was beginning to think I might have made a mistake by pleading guilty.
I began thinking back on what I had actually done. I had been in a house where there had been about four other people, including a woman whom I knew. I would have had an alibi for being there. We had been playing poker that evening.
I was in the back seat of a car which my mother (only about 20 years old) was driving. Finally she said she was too tired to drive any more and she pulled over. After telling her I would drive, I got up in the front seat and began driving, but I couldn't see well and I had a difficult time. I was afraid I was going to wreck.
I also began thinking about what I had done by having pled guilty to judge Schwille. I thought I needed to contact the judge. I might have made a terrible mistake. If I contacted him and told him I wasn't really guilty, he might let me take back the plea. I had only pled guilty because I hadn't wanted to pay a lawyer and fool with the case anymore.
It seemed as if I had once been picked up for driving while intoxicated on alcohol, and as if I had fought against the case and won. I thought I had also won another case which had been against me. I now thought I was silly for pleading guilty in this case.
I was looking at a newspaper and came to an article about people who had been convicted over the weekend. There was my name "Steven Collier" printed on two lines. I also saw near my name the names of the towns of Chillicothe, Ohio and Patriot, Ohio. The article said the crime was more serious than it had been reported to be. It said that I had been charged with molesting a young girl, and that I had tried to kill the girl. There was also a picture of a large doll which had been found at the scene of the crime.
I now realized just how serious the situation was. Both my mother and my father would probably see this article. I definitely needed to talk with judge Schwille. But today was Saturday, and I doubted it would be a good idea to call the judge at home. Maybe I should just go to his home and ask him to let me take back the guilty plea. I thought he might. I now saw just how important it was to not plead guilty to something I hadn't done. I thought if I was ever representing someone in a criminal case, I would make it clear to my client he shouldn't plead guilty if he wasn't guilty. I now saw how the police could arbitrarily arrest someone and ruin his life.
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