let it be said that any asshole who spends his or her time disparaging attorneys has obviously never required the services of one. because if and when you fuck up (or if someone's trying to fuck you, or both), they're pretty fucking god damn sweet!
back in '03, i required such assistance.
after a particularly ridiculous night of drinking during my rookie semester at the univ. of maryland (maybe i'll tell you the backstory if you ask nicely), i, along with young Timmy Sniffles and young Dollar Bill, proceed home to "north campus." about a 30 minute walk from where we are.
it's around sunrise, and somehow, we end up carrying a CO2 tank from a keg-o-rator back with us. we were to fill it up for a "friend."
we're wasted, as young kids tend to be after pounding boxed wine and gun-cleaner vodka, and we're slamming this empty metal bottle on the pavement as we stumble around under lofty fluorescent lamps. in our inibriated state, the resonant ring of metal on concrete is absolutely hilarious to us. it's all very, therapeutic.
about two minutes into our journey, an imposingly large black cop black cop stops us. figures, since the university police station is directly behind the house we'd just left.
"hey. hey!" he shouts "is that yours?"
takes us a moment to realize what the eff he's talking about.
repeats the question.
somehow, one of us manages to answer coherently.
"you sure it's not stolen?" his primary concern.
most likely the same person answers that question as well.
"alright. get home."
get home indeed. missed opportunity.
satisfied with our daring escape from the inquisitive copper, we stumble across a grassy, quad like area where the dirty hippies often play "ultimate" frisbee. we still have the CO2 tank.
this next part is a bit blurry, but i'll do my best.
crossing the field, we approach the Maryland roundabout, for all intents and purposes the main entrance/exit for the university. across Campus Drive sits a bus stop shelter. without even a word, we head toward it. to this day i don't remember who commenced the action, but one of us hurls this CO2 tank straight at the side of this shelter. the tempered glass drops in an instant and we cheer raucously, our chants echoing off the walls of the surrounding science buildings.
for the next five minutes or so, we kick this bus stop shelter's ass, until all the glass is gone and portions of the metal frame is dented. from there, apparently we went up to a campus parking sign and smashed it with the bottle. i don't remember that though, but when i revisited the scene of the crime, it sure as hell was destroyed.
exhausted from our vandalism, we proceed in quiet satisfaction toward our dorm, still some 10 or 15 minutes away.
little did we know that that morning, a student was doing a ride-along with campus police and spotted us smashing the bus stop shelter, and of course, pointed us out. mind you, this was just before the "Stop Snitching" phenomenon took hold.
walking abreast of one another in the quiet autumn night, we hear footsteps other than our own. hard-soled, shuffling. surely we imagined it, all three of us, simultaneously.
pretend that didn't happen, keep walking. DON'T turn around.
the casual, i-didn't-do-nothin walk is now a just shy of a run. quickly then, a hand on my shoulder.
oh shit son!
a female officer. gives us the once over. yeah. we still have the CO2 tank with us, all dented and bruised.
but it's bizarre, damn near surreal. she doesn't cuff us. just kinda asks those stupid, mindfucking cop questions. wants to see ID. stupidly, Timmy Sniffles and Dollar Bill give her their fakes, which she confiscates. after a tense few minutes of interrogation, she tells us to go home, and that there will be a warrant out for our arrests in the morning.
wtf?!!? take it and bounce kid. gas, brake, dip!
so of course, the next few days are hell, as we don't know what the fuck she meant. we kinda even feel like we'll get away with it, given the vague circumstances.
the next day, we go on a trip with a large group of "friends" to a large and prestigious nearby state university. no biggie. to get our minds off the legal dilemma, we go to some party at a massive frat house there and start stealing (paintings, jackets, credit cards, knives) and end up starting an enormous fight. inexplicably, 20 on 60, we "won" the fight, and i'm pretty sure i killed a kid (or at least gave him permanent brain damage) when i kicked him in the head (the temple to be specific), even though he was clearly already knocked out. we weren't even that fucked up.
but anyway, back in maryland (and still a little juiced from our assault), we're served our warrants, told to come to the station to be fingerprinted and photographed and given our court dates. Felony Malicious Destruction of Property (because it's over $1,000 in damage). Possible Jail Time.
my momma gwon kill me. "FUUUCCCCKK!" was on a permanent loop in my head and i waited till the last minute to tell my parents, just to avoid unnecessary problems.
but then, deliverance. Dollar Bill tells me that his old man knows a guy. former PG County prosecutor. he'll fix it, quick!
it took some balls, but i got up the nerve to beg my rents for the retainer money.
and that's when the magic starts. it took me a while, but the point is made. with his bold assurances ("this shouldn't even be in court; it's a waste of everyone's time; the judge will take one look at this and laugh out loud") and "legalese," this guy had us all breathing a sigh of relief. it was like a mother's lullaby, soothing the swaddling derelict as he faced his detractors.
sure, he couldn't do much to alleviate our judiciary problems at school. there was talk of suspension. it seemed devastating at the time, but i kinda wish i had been suspended. maybe then i could've finished college in less than seven years. haha.
but nonetheless, the lawyer mellowed us out on that tip as well. we were buying everything this guy was selling, and rightfully so. i've literally never seen someone so confident.
so after some legwork on his end, we show up to Hyattsville District Courthouse, suited up and with distraught parents in tow. he goes into the courtroom before us. it's bustling with various drunk drivers, car thieves, hookers and such. extremely crowded. he waves us in, tells us to take our seats, and approaches the bench. he and the judge chat casually for no more than a few minutes. he returns to us, urging us outside the courtroom.
just like that. teenage troubles vanished in the span of 10 minutes. smiling at our parents reassuringly, he says that the damage has been repaired, and in the way of remuneration, the school is asking that the three of us pay $33.33 each. to cover 1,100 bucks worth of damage. add that to the fact that none of us were suspended (had to take an online alcohol class, and community service that we never did) and i'd say we skated pretty cleanly. thanks to a certain lawyer.
of course, there will be some who'll say that the $3,000 retainer total means we ultimately ended up paying for it. but i'm guessing that those would be the same ones trashing lawyers. shut the fuck up! bitch ass goody-two shoes.
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