Dream of: 06 February 2009 "Sentenced"

Dressed in a suit, I was with Michelle on her criminal case in an Indiana courtroom. Although her lawyer, Andrew Antrim (a stocky fellow with curly black hair), was with her, I was also representing her. We only intended to make a plea, and we didn't expect the judge to pass sentence. However, after Michelle and I stood up in front of the judge (who was sitting on the bench and who somewhat resembled the judge played by Fred Gwynne in the movie My Cousin Vinney), the judge said that he was finding Michelle guilty, that he was fining her $9, that he was sentencing her to one year in jail, and that he was putting her on probation for 10 years.

I was shocked. I was happy that Michelle had only received a one year jail sentence, but unhappy that she would be on probation for 10 years. Since I knew the maximum sentence which Michelle could receive for her offense was three years, I hadn't thought she could receive probation for more than three years. When I told the judge what I thought, he paid no attention to me. Instead, he stood up and walked out of the courtroom.

Antrim and I walked back to the judge's chambers, where the judge had already sat down. After Antrim shook the judge's hand, I stepped up to the judge to shake his hand. I wanted to make sure I gave him a firm shake, and I was surprised when I felt his hand to be completely limp. When I asked him how long the probation would be, he said it would last one year. I was extremely relived. Apparently the judge had simply made a mistake when he had spoken on the bench.

I told the judge I was glad we had taken this route instead of going to a trial by jury. Since the judge didn't seem to have much to say and didn't seem to want to spend more time on the matter, I turned around and walked out. I was happy as I headed back toward Michelle. I thought even if she failed her probation, she would only be in jail for six months (since in Indiana she received two days credit for every day served in jail). As we walked out, I told Antrim the sentence had turned out better than we had hoped. He agreed.

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