Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Your Turn: “My Boyfriend Has Become a Felon”

In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:

My boyfriend and I are in our mid-20s and have been together for over a year. We love each other more than anything and have been discussing spending the rest of our lives together. We do everything together whether our friends are along or not and rarely drink. However, one night about three months ago when I had to work the next day, he went out and drank with one of his friends. They knew the bartender where they were and he gave them many free shots. My boyfriend called me belligerent and even puking. He had never seen or been to the house he was staying at until that night (after he was already very drunk). He left the house to call me. Once we got off the phone, he tried to get back into the house and couldn’t so he started to kick the door until it finally gave in … only to find it wasn’t the correct house. He then went to the next house and did the same thing. He didn’t touch anything and left right when he saw it wasn’t the right home.

Anyway, he blew a .16 on a breathalyzer test when the police found him walking down the street and took him in. He didn’t remember doing any of it. However, he now has felony charges against him and the lawyer said he will most likely receive trespassing with no jail time but a Class D felony because of the damages being so large. I love him more than anything and he hasn’t had a drop to drink since (and says he never will). He is a good kid, treats me great, and has a good record, great family, etc. We always have so much fun together but I just don’t know if I could be with a felon. I know that having a felony on his record is terrible for job aspects; however, he does his own construction so it wouldn’t affect his business much as he is well respected around the area. Help! This is hurting me more than ever and I’m not sure how to handle it. — Felony Love

249 comments… add one
  • avatar

    oldie June 1, 2011, 3:07 pm

    Since this is a first-time incident, as far as you know, and he isn’t normally much of a drinker, I suggest you forgive and forget, with the caveat that he continue to refrain from binge drinking. You might want to encourage him not to go out drinking with these particular buds, when you aren’t present.

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      LTC039 June 1, 2011, 3:43 pm

      Yeah, I thought that too. Where were his friends? Why did they let him gallivant around a strange neighborhood, while belligerently drunk? Def. tell him to be more cautious around those people…Or to drop them completely!

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        Amber June 1, 2011, 4:25 pm

        I think the LW has already made up her mind that she will stay with her boyfriend, she’s just looking for reassurance from Dear Wendy that it is an acceptable decision.

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        LTC039 June 1, 2011, 4:28 pm

        I don’t believe I made any comment about whether she was going to stay with him or not…I am just wondering about the group of people he was with. I was adding to oldie’s comment. Not sure what you read…

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        Amber June 1, 2011, 5:27 pm

        oh, i meant to comment on oldie’s comment.

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        LTC039 June 2, 2011, 8:18 am

        Haha, I REALLY wish people would actually come forward with explanations on these purple thumbs… So ridiculous…

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        LHog June 3, 2011, 9:52 am

        LTC039 – Ok I’ll take you up on that. I’m a 62 y/o man. I have a married daughter and married son, 7 grandkids. I’ve seen way too many bad marriages and relationship based on some young ladies devotion to a young man of questionable judgement and vice versa. This guy has shown very questionable judgement. At some point he will display it again. Her reaction will either be resentment or anger. It will escalate from there. Both people could form better relationships with other people but this unfortunate incident will forever be an obstacle in their shared lives. Move on and find another. Forgive and Forget is a nice thought, but rarely happens.

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      PJ June 3, 2011, 10:48 am

      I would also recommend that he volunteer to make restitution, even if his attorney doesn’t bring it up. An honorable man would do that, and you want an honorable man to go through life with.

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    AKchic June 1, 2011, 3:09 pm

    A felony WILL hurt his business because he has to have liability insurance on the company and HIMSELF.

    While I hope the attorney can get things down to a misdemeanor with rehab, I doubt it. It’s up to you whether you stay with him or not, but I think some sort of rehab would help him just to see how he can avoid such a mistake again, relapse prevention, etc.

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      Beckaleigh June 1, 2011, 3:40 pm

      A lot of states have online search databases where anybody can look up anyone to find out if they have criminal convictions, divorces, money judgments, etc. Being a felon will be something he will have to deal with so its not something that will be forgotten. It will effect his future employment and may even hurt your chances to get an apartment together.

      There are major concerns with being a felon. You shouldn’t MOA just because of that, but you should prepare yourself for some hard times in the future if it ever comes back to haunt you.

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      anna728 June 1, 2011, 11:04 pm

      Rehab? Rehab is for addictions. Why would you go to rehab if you got too drunk one time? What are you talking about “relapse”- he was never an alcoholic to begin with.

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        AKchic June 1, 2011, 11:47 pm

        Getting an assessment and (if recommended in the assessment) getting involved in outpatient rehab services looks good in court if it is done PRIOR to the court assigning something like that. Alcohol was involved, so I’m sure that the court will recommend an assessment in the first place and possibly even treatment as a part of his sentencing requirements.

        The LW stated that the BF “said” he’d never drink again, but, depending on what kind of a person he is, that may not be realistic. He may not drink much, but have a problem with alcohol when he does drink, which is a problem in itself. Any “treatment” he receives will help him with his impulse control (obviously he didn’t have any when it came to free shots and “peer pressure”) and help him recognize those facts. It will help him from ever overdoing it again should he choose to drink with friends in public (or private).

        Rehab is for addictions, but it is also for those who ABUSE substances but don’t necessarily have an addiction yet. It can also be used as a preventative measure to ensure a problem doesn’t come up. Rehabilitation services is a tool, one that can be used effectively if used right. It might just help with his sentencing and plea agreements (if any are made).

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        anna728 June 2, 2011, 12:32 am

        I just think this is such overkill. If it will help with the courts, then by all means he should do it, but let’s not act like he actually has a drinking problem. For instance, use of the word “relapse” is not relevant. Drinking in the future if you are not an alcoholic does not constitute a relapse.

        “He may not drink much, but have a problem with alcohol when he does drink, which is a problem in itself.”
        If he was drinking once every few months and getting this messed up most of those times, I would agree with you. But the LW said they do drink, but rarely. And it was only this one time that it was a problem. ONE time. No one is immune from doing stupid things when they are wasted (and that doesn’t mean the whole world is alcoholics), and it’s not unusual to accidentally get too drunk from time to time. In fact, the fact that he has only gotten stupidly drunk once puts him at a better success rate than most people. I just don’t see how one mistake is “abuse”. Going out with some friends one night is extremely normal, it’s not abuse. He wasn’t getting drunk to self-medicate or something. He hardly ever drinks, he only made a mistake once, and the substance we’re talking about is alcohol. It’s not like he just did meth once. There is nothing to be rehabilitated from.

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        GingerLaine June 2, 2011, 10:38 am

        Funny. All the times that I’ve gotten stupid drunk, I’ve never broken into anyone’s home. I think it takes more than just being stupid drunk to think that the solution to being lost is to kick in every door until you find the right one.

        We’re not talking about banging up some mailboxes or something. We’re talking about major damage caused during a blackout event. What if one of those homeowners had come out & shot him, thinking he was burglarizing their house? Then he might be DEAD because of ONE TIME.

        The extent of the fallout during his “one time” tells me that he needs to be treated so that it doesn’t turn into “one more.” LW, get thee man to a treatment facility.

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        anna728 June 2, 2011, 9:52 pm

        He didn’t decide to go along trying every house, he thought he was at the right house the first time. And you make it sound like he did this to a dozen places, it was two houses. This wasn’t his first time drinking either- the LW said they drink rarely, but not never. This was an exception. He was a young guy who did once stupid thing. It just absolutely is not alcoholism. I don’t see why the fact that this was a one-time mistake is so unpersuasive. It’s not like he beat his girlfriend or something. It’s not like he’s going to break in doors every time he has a beer.

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        J June 2, 2011, 7:28 pm

        Rehab is also for people who want a felony reduced to a misdemeanor. If going to rehab will get the charge reduced, he’d be crazy not to do it. Also, I’m not sure where you live, but in many states (I’m assuming you live in the US) a homeowner can legally kill someone doing what he did without warning or attempt to retreat. If he’s done something this stupid after drinking, even just once, he should never touch alcohol again. Ever.

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        anna728 June 2, 2011, 9:59 pm

        See if he’s doing it to lessen his punishment, I am all for it, and I DID say that. I totally agree on that. What I don’t agree with is the idea that he actually IS an alcoholic, which some people are saying.

        I am aware homeowners in some states can legally kill someone for that. However, I disagree with the laws that allow that! Whether that is allowed in his state, though, seems totally unrelated to how bad what he did is.

        Honestly, has no one here ever gotten drunk and hooked up with someone they shouldn’t have? Gotten in a stupid fight (verbal or otherwise)? Stolen something? Broken something? Puked allover? If you remember that he broke the doors down because he was stupid and confused, as opposed to trying to rob them or something, it’s not that farfetched that an otherise good guy could mess up once, without it being alcoholism or an inclination to violence.

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        GingerLaine June 3, 2011, 11:08 am

        I guess I just believe that you don’t have the experience or qualifications to say that he is DEFINITELY NOT an alcoholic. And that’s why you’re getting all the thumbs down. Either way, I don’t see how treatment HURTS him, so why are you so adamant that he should only do it if it helps his case? You’re almost defensive in your insistence that he doesn’t need to go to rehab, AA, etc.

        A friend of mine recently enrolled in AA. She’s not a slobbering drunk, she doesn’t feel the NEED to drink, she’s gainfully employed, has two children, and lives a pretty normal life. But she says that when she does drink, she drinks to excess, so she’s decided to go sober altogether with the help of AA.

        Nobody is saying you have to be an effing drunk to seek help. Nobody but you, that is.

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        anna728 June 3, 2011, 7:29 pm

        Well in the LW’s comment below, she clarifies that he had a specialist evaluated him and did not think he was an alcoholic, but just had a bad night.

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        J June 3, 2011, 12:33 pm

        Based on the description, I’d agree he’s not an alcohollic as defined clinically. But look at what the writer says:

        “My boyfriend called me belligerent and even puking”

        If someone becomes belligerent when they’re drunk, they have a drinking problem, just not the one you’e focusing on. If consuming alcohol, even extremely infrequently, causes you to engage in life threatening criminal behavior, you need to take steps to make certain you don’t ever consume alcohol (or anything else that has similar effects).

        “I disagree with the laws that allow that!”

        Disagreement won’t stop a bullet. Castle doctrine laws are not going away.

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    melikeycheesecake June 1, 2011, 3:11 pm

    “he hasn’t had a drop to drink since (and says he never will). He is a good kid, treats me great, and has a good record, great family, etc. We always have so much fun together but I just don’t know if I could be with a felon.”

    First off I doubt that was his last drink ever.. and that’s OK if I’m wrong… a few drinks every now and then is Ok.

    Second, I realize I would be upset if my boyfriend had done this but it sounds like it was completely out of character for him and seems like a stupid mistake. Many of us can recall getting too drunk and doing something stupid… maybe not the level that your boyfriend took it to but still… I say give him a break… I did not feel and instant MOA when I read this.

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    Sarah June 1, 2011, 3:12 pm

    Okay, I’m biased since I work with criminal defendants. But I would encourage you to take a look at the substance of the crime–and NOT the fact that it’s a crime itself–when deciding whether this is behavior that you can live with. It’s my opinion that society criminalizes all sorts of things that I…don’t really have a problem with personally. Let’s say, hypothetically, that I don’t think that marijuana use should be criminalized. And the person I’m with uses marijuana. I probably don’t have a problem with that, right? Should my not-having-a-problem-with-that change all of a sudden if he happens to get caught by the po with the marijuana? My answer is probably not–if my not-having-a-problem-with-it was a principled stand before he got caught, then it behooves me to stick by principles (i.e. using mj is okay) and therefore not to let his getting caught with mj be a dealbreaker when his using it (without getting caught) wasn’t.

    I do understand that others may disagree–for some people, “breaking the law” as such is always a big deal. But I’ve seen too many BS laws for me to take that view, so for me, looking to the substance of the behavior is the most important thing. If you decide that you’re down with the substance of the behavior, but the label of “felony” is tripping you up, try thinking of it as a “youthful indiscretion”–that’s what politicians do.

    (None of which is to say, of course, that binge drinkings and getting violent and belligerent and destroying property are necessarily things you should put up with. Again, that’s the substantive behavior, though, that I think you should be assessing when you decide whether this episode is a dealbreaker–NOT that he “broke the law” or will suffer legal consequences.)

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      Sarah June 1, 2011, 3:14 pm

      “Binge drinkings.” Sigh. Long day of bar study and miles to go before I sleep.

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      HmC June 1, 2011, 3:41 pm

      I’m in the same field, and have many of the same views.

      Just to play devil’s advocate for the LW, are you *entirely* sure that what your boyfriend described to you is absolutely the extent of what actually went down? You weren’t there, you didn’t mention any witnesses other than your boyfriend, and how accurate can his portrayal of events be if he can’t remember them? Is there any slight possibility that he actually was breaking into people’s houses? Of course, then the question arises as to how much responsibility you would put on someone who is blacked out drunk, and I’ve noticed that that type of judgment tends to vary a lot from person to person.

      If the story you described is truly and surely accurate, I’d probably view the incident as Sarah characterizes it above- against the law, but not necessarily in violation of my personal values, and thus acceptable so long as he was active about avoiding another incident. Just because the government categorizes someone as a “felon”, does not mean that person is necessarily ruined for life or would make a bad partner. Eyes open yes, immediate dumping, maybe not.

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        oldie June 1, 2011, 4:01 pm

        Umm, drunk or sober, guys going around my neighborhood at night randomly kicking in doors definitely goes against my values and would scare the crap out of me if somebody did it to my door. I would certainly want them prosecuted. He did this to more than one random door? He’s lucky he didn’t get a face full of buckshot. In many states it would be perfectly legal to shoot him dead. Still think LW should give him a second chance, but let’s not minimize what he did.

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        HmC June 1, 2011, 4:20 pm

        Yes, you don’t have to minimize what he did in order to give him another chance.

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        Britannia June 1, 2011, 6:55 pm

        I agree, I was going to say something similar to the extent that this guy is damn lucky he didn’t get his face blown off. I live in Arizona and it’s fully legal to shoot at someone actively trespassing on your property and to detain them, with reasonable force (like handcuffs) until the police arrive. We have a big illegal immigrant problem down here and the Republicans don’t have much of a problem shooting first and calling the police second. If someone kicked at my door, I’d have my shotgun aimed right for his chest and would fire the second he managed to knock my door down. It’s my right as a property owner, and I’m glad that the victims of LW’s boyfriend’s drunken escapades are getting justice.

        Even if this guy had the best of intentions, he committed unlawful acts and property damage. It’s up to the LW to determine whether she thinks that intention validates or criminalizes an action or not, in this specific case. I don’t know that I would, but that’s because I don’t trust any man who’s willing to get that drunk.

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        AKchic June 1, 2011, 11:49 pm

        Alaska has similar laws. I’d certainly be shooting. Granted, someone would be on the phone with the cops, or calling the cops quickly afterwards.

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        Britannia June 1, 2011, 11:51 pm

        Of course. Arizona has had problems with people NOT calling the cops right away, and then discrepancy is created, so sometimes the trespassers aren’t prosecuted properly. It’s absolutely necessary to call them immediately once the situation has been contained!! 🙂

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        anna728 June 1, 2011, 11:11 pm

        But his intentions matter. He wasn’t trying to break in so he could rob them or kidnap their children, he was just drunkenly confused and thought he was getting into the right house. It’s stupid and reckless, yes, but not that bad from a moral standpoint.

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        Margaret June 2, 2011, 5:15 pm

        Intentions don’t matter if a homeowner shoots the guy (legally), he traumatizes a family by breaking down their door, etc. Anyway, the guy was blackout drunk; he had completely lost control of himself. There were no intentions involved.

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        anna728 June 2, 2011, 10:04 pm

        Well, to be honest, I don’t think it should be legal to go around shooting people anyway. But given that it is in some places, well great, he wasn’t shot. But the whole point of this is about the LW being worried about dating a felon. His intentions are certainly relevant to whether he is a good guy she should stay with.

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        argo June 3, 2011, 9:01 am

        Though thinking it should be illegal to “go around shooting people” is very much a thoughtful and incisive of a critique of the legal policy behind castle doctrine, I’m afraid it doesn’t really apply to use of lethal force in defense of habitation, because we are in fact talking about a single solitary point on planet Earth: your own residence. Hardly much “going” at all, yes? If you insist to “sticking to your guns,” so to speak, that’s your prerogative, but it should be mentioned that literally every legislature of every state disagrees with you, along with a substantial majority of foreign governments.

        In any case the guy’s a scumbag. Pretty much he’s been taught that “alcohol makes you do stupid things” (largely the government’s fault) so when he gets drunk he acts like he has a license to go do stupid things. In other countries, people generally do not spaz out when they drink, such as on-duty police officers in France having a beer with lunch or teenagers in Poland having two fingers of vodka in the afternoon before running errands for their grandmothers. So let’s just start holding people accountable for their actions regardless of what or how much they drank. If you aren’t the sort of person that can behave in a respectable way when drinking, you shouldn’t drink, period.

        But whatever, the felon’s a “bad boy” now so it doesn’t really matter what he does, the LW will be stuck on him pretty much forever I’m sure. Stay with him honey! You can save him!

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        SpaceySteph June 3, 2011, 3:03 pm

        I totally love your breakdown of the phrase “go around shooting people.”

        Castle doctrine is the very opposite of going around and shooting people. You brought the fight to me, I didn’t GO anywhere looking for trouble. My grandmother always used to say to us “you know what happens when you look for trouble… trouble finds you.” And if you come here looking for trouble, my 9mm Glock will find you.

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        anna728 June 3, 2011, 7:52 pm

        I didn’t realize so much would be made of my wording, ok that’s my mistake, but I don’t think it’s silly that I hesitate to condone killing someone. I don’t think that should be taken lightly.

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        SpaceySteph June 4, 2011, 5:20 pm

        Well its more than just semantics, the idea of going around shooting people is very loaded language that implies something completely different from self defense.

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        anna728 June 3, 2011, 7:49 pm

        You’re making way too much of a phrase. While obviously if someone in those houses had shot him, that would have been worse for him, I don’t think whether or not it is legal to do so changes how immoral what he did is. Let’s just judge him on exactly what he did: break the doors in.

        Yeah I’ve drank with people in other countries too and I can promise you people other than Americans can do stupid things when drunk, too. You can go to both local and expat bars anywhere and see some people doing dumb stuff because they’re way too drunk. Of course you should be careful, but sometimes you just drink too much. It happens.

        Now, I am not arguing that he shouldn’t be held responsible. He should be legally, and he should pay the damages. What I AM saying is that the crime is not a bad enough crime to make him a “scumbag”. It’s not that uncommon to have a criminal record, but for most people it’s something minor. I just don’t think what he did is that bad compared to other things that happen all the time, especially in light of it being a one-time thing, and him having thought it was the right house at the time. If you read the LW’s comments further down, you’ll see more details of the situation, too.

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        Vivster June 2, 2011, 6:12 pm

        But THEY didn’t know that. Breaking and entering is still breaking and entering. Forget all the “he could have been shot” issues. It’s hard to say something is “not that bad” unless it doesn’t actually harm others. Breaking into someone’s house, especially breaking down their door, can cause a great deal of harm. He could have given someone a heart attack or sent them into some sort of shock. He could have traumatized little kids. And really…if he’s kicking in doors, he’s not a harmless confused drunk person, he’s a drunk person who, as far as anyone else can tell, could be extremely violent.

        It doesn’t make him the worst person ever…but it does mean he needs to seriously evaluate his actions. And really, it doesn’t mean the LW needs to condemn him to a loveless life. It just means she has to think about whether she’s okay with it or whether it’s something they can deal with or something she can’t handle. I personally wouldn’t be comfortable with it…but then, I think I wouldn’t be comfortable with someone who could get so drunk that kicking in his own door seemed like a smart idea. (Really, why didn’t he just call her back? Or whoever he was staying with? Not like he didn’t have his phone…) It’d be something to work through, I guess. Regardless, it’s not like what he did wasn’t illegal or even morally wrong, and it’s not like he doesn’t deserve legal consequences.

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        anna728 June 2, 2011, 10:12 pm

        I think worrying about someone getting a heart attack is kind of ridiculous. That’s not only far fetched, but such a weird circumstance with so many factors can not be considered to be just a direct result of what he did. It’s not like he drove drunk and risked killing someone- he attempted to break into what he thought was his friend’s house. Just charge him with trespassing or breaking and entering (if he did enter), and make him accountable for the damages. But I really don’t think this is the crime of the century. I think I knew worse criminals than this guy when I was in junior high.

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        princesspetticoat June 5, 2011, 11:25 pm

        Actually, I really like Vivster’s point that breaking the door could cause serious trauma to certain people.

        I have some anxiety issues and about a year ago, a guy that I worked with was the victim of a random attack (he survived but only just barely) and that event, even though it wasn’t to me, even though I wasn’t there and even though I didn’t even know him that well, really heightened my anxiety and I was having panic attacks for several months. It put a strain on my work, and my relationships and, even today, I have a hard time going out very late because I’m scared to be away from home after dark.

        If someone were to break down my door, even if they didn’t harm me and had no intention of harming me, I’m sure I would really struggle because I would suddenly have no place that felt safe. It would really mess me up for awhile I’m sure.

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        silver_dragon_girl June 6, 2011, 9:38 am

        Seriously? I’d like to see what you’d do if he kicked in YOUR door in the middle of the night. Sit down with him and ask him what his intentions are, or call the freaking cops and lock yourself in the bathroom, praying he doesn’t find you and kill you? I understand that it makes a difference that he was just confused, but put yourself in the victim’s position for a minute– and yes, there WAS a victim. The person who is now dealing with the sense of violation that comes from having their home broken into and damaged? Victim.

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      SpaceySteph June 1, 2011, 3:56 pm

      Or another example… speeding. I speed, thats for sure. My boyfriend doesn’t mind because speeding going 70 in a 65 zone isn’t something he finds morally repulsive. So then if I got a speeding ticket, should he dump me just because I’m now a law breaker? I was always a law breaker, I’m just a *caught* law breaker now.

      So, yeah, I agree. If you love him even though he drinks and can drink to excess, then stay. If this episode makes you concerned for your safety or is against your morals, then go. Whether he got arrested or not, its the crime that matters, not the punishment.

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        Britannia June 1, 2011, 6:56 pm

        I would not date someone who speeds because it is a reckless thing to do that endangers OTHER PEOPLE’S lives just as much, if not more, than your own. But, to each his own.

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        Britannia June 1, 2011, 10:18 pm

        I’ve had to ask this before… but seriously Purple/Red thumbs, EXPLAIN YOURSELVES. Why the hell is it not okay to not condone the endangerment of everyone around you?

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        Sarah June 1, 2011, 10:59 pm

        I mean, I didn’t thumbs-down you, but really? You don’t speed? At all? Ever? That’s sort of insane. Speed of traffic is often 10 mph faster than the speed limit. I’m pretty sure that people are saying that your standards are, uh, a little demanding, since speeding, qua speeding, does not necessarily mean actually reckless behavior under a given set of circumstances.

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        Britannia June 1, 2011, 11:20 pm

        It’s insane? To follow the law? Okay.

        No, I never speed. Why? Because my spine was broken, and some of my vertebrae were completely pulverized, because of reckless speeding. My mother works as a nurse and sees countless horrible tragedies — little childrens’ bodies mangled and dead because of drunk, sleepy, or just plain blasé drivers, or children orphaned from their mommy and daddy because of the same reckless stupidity. I don’t drive dangerously, I follow the laws of the road and hope that everyone else does so that we can get to our destinations safely without ruining or taking away any lives.

        Speeding is always reckless, because it is a speed above the set law limit, most often because the physics of the whole situation lend themselves to essentially destroy you and your car if there is any sort of discrepancy in the environmental factors that affect your vehicles ability to hurtle forward through wind, against the ground. I really shouldn’t have to be explaining to anyone why speeding is dangerous!!!

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        SpaceySteph June 2, 2011, 10:46 am

        Speeding is not always reckless. Thats why there is a difference between speeding and reckless driving. Ask a cop.

        In any case, many speeding laws in this country are set for a variety of reasons not related to safe passage from point A to point B. Such as- at one point (during the last gas crisis) there was a federal mandate that withheld money from states who set their limit above 55 because 55 was determined to be more fuel efficient than higher speeds. Nothing to do with safety, everything to do with economy.

        And I find it ridiculous that you think a person who goes 5 mph over the speed limit is the same as driving drunk or sleepy. Thats just stupid.

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        anna728 June 1, 2011, 11:17 pm

        …because your attitude towards speeding bothers me much more than speeding does? I don’t like reckless drivers, but EVERYONE speeds sometimes, even if it’s not by a lot. You’re taking way to far, to an unreasonable degree. I’d rather date someone who speeds than someone who is so weirdly against it.

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        Britannia June 1, 2011, 11:22 pm

        So you condone the reckless endangerment of everyone else around your SO on the road? Hypothetically, I hope you’re proud enough of that fact to be able to state it to the face of someone who your SO hurts or kills because of reckless driving.

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        anna728 June 2, 2011, 12:37 am

        You’re just not being realistic. It sounds naive. At any given time on the freeway, most people are easily going over by 10mph. I would never speed to a crazy extent, but sure, I go 5-10mph over all the time. I really don’t think that slight difference is putting people in imminent risk. Drunk driving is something I have a huge problem with, but speeding is just normal.

        But I really only said something because in your one comment you asked people to explain their thumbs down, so I was just saying why I disagreed.

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        Britannia June 2, 2011, 12:55 am

        It’s not realistic to hope that everyone follows the law? To want to live in a society that follows its own rules? Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. It’s optimistic but not naive. You’re basically saying that I’m being naive because I hold people to a moral standard that is, apparently, higher than the average — the average being that breaking the law is okay as long as you don’t get caught or get into trouble.

        If 10 mph higher than the speed limit was considered safe by physicists and schematic experts, then the city would have posted the speed limit 10 mph higher.

        Thank you for explaining yourself. I appreciate your opinion, despite the fact that it has dampened my hopes for our society to law-abiding, logical folk.

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        anna728 June 2, 2011, 1:07 am

        For many laws, of course following the law is very important. It’s not like I’m saying it’s ok to kill people. We’re talking about speeding, and only a little bit. I don’t think I’m unusual in my opinion. It’s kind of the norm. Everyone speeds sometimes (many do always).

        “breaking the law is okay as long as you don’t get caught or get into trouble.” Not what I mean- I wouldn’t think it was a crisis to get a speeding ticket either. I just think that in the case of very minor issues, the law and morals are not really the same thing. I have also jaywalked, for instance. It’s illegal but it’s not immoral. (Somewhere else in this thread I pointed out things that are immoral but are legal. They’re just not identical things). And doing the little minor things like speeding and not thinking it’s a big deal is perfectly “logical”.

        I am actually curious, do you personally drive?

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        anna728 June 2, 2011, 1:38 am

        I do understand why we have these laws- and I agree that we should. I just think that given that the consequences of speeding or jaywalking are almost always nothing, it doesn’t really cross over into being immoral. I have nothing against giving people tickets for speeding, I just wouldn’t cast judgement on someone’s character for it.

        Definitely agree with you on driving while drunk or texting though. I have never caused an accident or been pulled over either. I do speed sometimes, but I have never been called a reckless driver. I hate when people don’t use their turn signals, when they cut you off, etc. I always used to yell at my dad who sped way too much and wove in and out of traffic. I just distinguish between light speeding and more dangerous reckless driving.

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        Britannia June 2, 2011, 1:23 am

        What I’m saying is that it should NOT be “the norm” to break the law, even if it’s only by “a little bit”. If that makes me too much of an optimist to hope that such a “utopia” may exist through the due cooperation of our society, I have no problem with being an optimist.

        Jaywalking is illegal to protect people from getting run over by someone who didn’t see them walking into the street. That’s why crosswalks were invented. Speed limits are also there… to protect people. To set reasonable boundaries on behavior so that everyone can get along and have a level playing field. When cars were first created, there were no laws — so when two cars came rushing toward eachother at an intersection, they both just blared their horns and hoped that the other would move the fuck out of the way. A system needed to be put in place, and we have a pretty good system now. It’s in everyone’s best interest to respect the damn system.

        The fact that you have to justify breaking the law as being in a “minor, little way” tells me that your idea of logical is not the same as my idea of logical. I don’t imagine that we’ll end up agreeing, in that case.

        I do drive, and I am fastidious to the point of paranoia. I have never caused an accident or harmed anyone, nor have I ever been pulled over by the police or given a ticket for any reason. Part of the reason I am so anal about driving safety is because I was in a car accident that almost killed me, and it has made me acutely aware of how LIGHTLY everyone seems to take vehicle operation. Most people don’t seem to grasp the concept that they are operating machinery that contributes to the killing of SO many people every year. They need to take driving very seriously! Those people who choose to drive drunk, or text while driving, or do anything other than pay attention to the road and their surroundings and follow the traffic laws just absolutely make me mad, because they don’t appreciate the consequences of their actions.

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        anna728 June 2, 2011, 1:20 am

        “It’s not realistic to hope that everyone follows the law?”
        That’s why we have police and prisons. Lots of people don’t follow the law, including much worse ones than speeding or trespassing.

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        anna728 June 2, 2011, 1:40 am

        I don’t think I have a lax opinion on the important things. Or even a particularly lax opinion on speeding. I get annoyed by people who drive too fast.

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        Britannia June 2, 2011, 1:24 am

        Maybe if people didn’t have such a lax attitude about it like you do, there would be more law-abiding citizens.

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        SpaceySteph June 2, 2011, 11:00 am

        Furthermore, I think its naive to think physicists have very much to do with speed limits. I have taken traffic engineering courses, by the way, so I am not talking out of my ass here. Mostly this is about politics.

        These speed limits, in cases where they actually DO have a bearing on safety, are set for terrible road conditions. Dark, rainy, maybe even snowy times. If you are going the speed limit at noon on a nice sunny day, then you are going far slower than the maximum safe speed on a road. If you are going over the speed limit in the pouring rain at 2am, then yes I agree that you are endangering your life and others.

        Consider also other data. Car and Driver survey recently found that people go a speed they are comfortable driving, regardless of the speed limit (barring duress or alcohol). So your assumption that all speeders are reckless seems false. In addition, years of research have shown that on the Autobahn system in Germany where there is no speed limit for passenger cars, there is not statistically significant different between accident rates or traffic fatalities on that road with comparison to other roads in the region. So, then, your assumption that speed limits are the thin line keeping us safe from dying horrifically on the roads also seems false.

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        Jay June 2, 2011, 5:44 pm

        It should be the norm to obey the law! Which is why it’s sad and pathetic that they’ve made so many laws they can’t reasonably be obeyed.

        There have been traffic engineers who testified that a speed limit was set too low, presumably to generate more revenue. The physics you’re hoping for weren’t involved, just as science is rarely involved in political decision making. Your naivete seems to extend well beyond the mechanics of driving.

        Speaking of which, it isn’t ever speed that hurts someone. It’s deceleration caused by two objects of differing speeds coming into contact.

        If the flow of traffic is 10 over the limit, and you’re studiously driving the limit, causing a bottle neck, and requiring people to pass you, YOU are the dangerous one. And cops can (but rarely do) give tickets for that sort of thing.

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        Tom Perkins June 2, 2011, 9:59 pm

        “It’s not realistic to hope that everyone follows the law?”

        Yes, it is drastically unrealistic and even neurotic to think most people will follow such a silly laws. Depending on road conditions and geography, the fixed speed limits in the US are 10 or even 100 mph below what the actual safe speed is.

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        Tom Perkins June 2, 2011, 10:04 pm

        “It’s not realistic to hope that everyone follows the law?”

        Yes, it is drastically unrealistic and even neurotic to think most people will follow such silly laws. Depending on road conditions and geography, the fixed speed limits in the US are 10 or even 100 mph below what the actual safe speed is.

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        AKchic June 1, 2011, 11:51 pm

        I don’t speed myself. *shrug* I know too many EMTs, and we see too many bad accidents here in AK. Plus, an older suburban just doesn’t get good gas mileage speeding 🙂

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        Britannia June 1, 2011, 11:52 pm

        I can’t believe there are people on here who think that being diligently lawful and expecting other people to do so as well is a bad thing, “insane” or “unreasonable”. It blows my mind, honestly.

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        anna728 June 2, 2011, 12:39 am

        Hmm wait maybe you think I mean speeding by more than I do? I would never dream of going 100mph, which obviously would be extremely dangerous. But I’ll drive like 63 in a 55, sure. I don’t think that’s going to kill people any more than 55 is, though.

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        Britannia June 2, 2011, 12:58 am

        63 doesn’t seem much different than 55 in basic terms, but it does change the factors drastically once you plug those numbers into mathematical equations that predict the likelihood of an accident. I think it’s far worse of someone to be going 90 or 100, though, because it puts the win:lose ratio over the point of logical justification.

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        anna728 June 2, 2011, 1:10 am

        I would never drive 90 or 100. I think things like alcohol and texting are much bigger causes of accidents than slight speeding, and wouldn’t do those either. I think there’s some stat about alcohol being involved in nearly half of fatal crashes or something? I could definitely be completely wrong about that though.

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        anna728 June 2, 2011, 1:25 am

        I mean it’s never a BETTER idea to speed, I just think it’s an excusable offense is all.

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        Britannia June 2, 2011, 1:15 am

        Sometimes it’s just random factors like wind, rain, a slick in the road, a rogue animal running across the highway — so many uncontrollable factors can lead to an accident, why worsen their effect by going faster than the posted limit??

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      AKchic June 1, 2011, 6:05 pm

      I hear ya there. Worked in the Corrections field for a while and I’m in the rehab arena now (where I’m hoping to stay).

      His actions are what should be the most important to HER. Yes, him being a felon will be difficult with a business that requires people to trust him with their HOMES, but, he can get bonded as a felon (I’ve known people to do that here in AK all the time).

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      Sarah June 1, 2011, 11:05 pm

      PS: all my em-dashes get turned into hyphens and it is CRAMPING MY STYLE, OHMAHGAD HELP.

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      Andy June 2, 2011, 5:33 pm

      According to at least one author, the average American commits 3 felonies a day. http://www.threefeloniesaday.com/Youtoo/tabid/86/Default.aspx

      In many instances, whether one becomes a convicted felon all comes down to how lucky/unlucky you are.

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        anna728 June 2, 2011, 10:17 pm

        interesting!

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    cmarie June 1, 2011, 3:15 pm

    If your relationship with him is truly happy, fulfilling, loving, supportive, and if this is truly the first, if going for the gold, transgression I would say that there’s enough there to move on and stay with him. That being said, it worries me that you refer to him as a “good kid”. You’re both in your mid-20s, neither of you are kids anymore. If you see him as still a kid, that might be something to think about. Is he usually immature? You say this is his first time doing something like that, but are you sure? Do you see yourself as an adult? Just a few questions.

    We all make stupid mistakes, often when we’re drunk, and while most of us don’t get arrested for kicking in doors (I hope), as long as it’s not a pattern of behavior it’s worth moving past to see if the relationship can work.

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      WatersEdge June 1, 2011, 3:30 pm

      That “good kid” thing is slang. I hate it and I wish it would go away. Nobody should ever call their SO a kid. Yuck.

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        Amber June 1, 2011, 3:36 pm

        you can thank jersey shore for that.

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        Maracuya June 1, 2011, 3:39 pm

        What WatersEdge said.

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    TECH June 1, 2011, 3:28 pm

    I get the feeling that you’re more worried about what other people will think if they find out your boyfriend has a felony on his record. If he’s self-employed and it doesn’t affect his job prospects, I wouldn’t worry too much. Try not to worry about what others think, and think more about what makes you happy.
    Just make sure that this is not an overall pattern. If he’s a respectful individual in all other areas of his life, this is something you can get over. Some day this will all be a distant memory.

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    LTC039 June 1, 2011, 3:29 pm

    I don’t think your boyfriend is a criminal. I do think he can’t handle his liqour! Maybe it’s because you guys “barely every drink?” However, from your letter it seems as though this was a really bad slip up & not something that’s part of your bf’s character.
    Think about it. Do you want to stay devoted to this relationship, with any consequences of your boyfriend’s felony charge, for the rest of your life? If you answer yes, & are genuinely ok with it, then go for it. If you’re really having a difficult time seeing a future with him, because of this incident, then that’s OK. Don’t feel guilty or bad. Do what’s right for YOU. If your love for him is deeper, then you can probably get past this. But if you can’t, then like I said, that’s ok too.

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    Amber June 1, 2011, 3:34 pm

    If it happened as you say, and only the one time, it’s kind of harsh to categorize your boyfriend as “a felon”. One mistake does not define who we are.

    It sounds like you are more worried about what other people will think of you dating “a felon”.

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      AKchic June 1, 2011, 6:08 pm

      Harsh to categorize someone as a “felon” when that is what they are? How about all of the times people shun sex offenders and treat them like social pariahs, only to later learn that they were charged when they were 18 for getting their 16 year old girlfriend (now wife of 10 years) pregnant?

      Black is black, white is white, a tea kettle is a tea kettle and a felon is a felon, regardless of the sub-class of felony.

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        Amber June 1, 2011, 7:39 pm

        “How about all of the times people shun sex offenders and treat them like social pariahs, only to later learn that they were charged when they were 18 for getting their 16 year old girlfriend (now wife of 10 years) pregnant? ”

        What does that have to do with anything?

        She goes on and on about how wonderful he is, but then basically sums him up as “a felon” rather than a man who committed a felony. There is an implied difference there. It’s like calling someone stupid just because they do something stupid. Or calling someone a bitch because they say something bitchy.

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        AKchic June 1, 2011, 8:56 pm

        Once he has been convicted of a felony he WILL BE a felon. Plain and simple. Yes, she is jumping the gun a bit by calling him one now, but he did commit felony acts against other people/property and was charged accordingly.

        I pointed out a sub-class of felonious sex offenders because all sex offenders are treated like the plague, irregardless of the actual act that got them convicted (I have a friend who sold an old computer of his without deleting all of the files, forgetting that he had pictures from 7 years earlier of his then-16 year old girlfriend. He’s now a registered sex offender for having “child pornography” on his computer and SELLING it with the computer). Sex offenders get a bad reputation (and most are warranted – trust me, I’ve worked with them for years), just as felons do.
        Under the law, it doesn’t matter if you committed a white-collar crime (think Bernie Madoff) or if you killed a man because he molested a dozen 10 year old girls. If convicted, it’s still a “felon” label. While I hope that he is able to plead down to a lesser charge (even though I am against the idea of plea deals in general), if he can’t, then she does need to decide if the “felon” label is one she wants to carry with her as well. Being tethered to a “felon” isn’t exactly easy for the non-felonious half of the relationship.

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        Amber June 1, 2011, 9:31 pm

        What I mean is that, while technically he may be convicted and become a felon in the true sense of the word, she’s talking about her boyfriend. Normally people don’t refer to their loved ones, or people they know very well, in such absolute terms. Say a friend of mine were convicted of drunk driving. I would not then in the future refer to my friend as ” the convicted drunk driver”, they are my friend who was convicted of drunk driving.

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        Britannia June 1, 2011, 6:57 pm

        Beautifully put, AKChic 🙂 I wish I could thumb this up a thousand times!

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        anna728 June 1, 2011, 11:25 pm

        “Black is black, white is white, a tea kettle is a tea kettle and a felon is a felon, regardless of the sub-class of felony.”

        There is NO gray area in types of felonies?!??!?!?! How can you act like what he did wasn’t less serious than other crimes? Drunkenly breaking in a door is as bad as rape or assault?!

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        AKchic June 2, 2011, 12:00 am

        I’m not saying it was as bad or worse. I’m saying from an employer’s standpoint – it really won’t matter. Many companies can’t get insurance for felons. I worked for a slope company and I had to do the background checks and we had a strict no-felons policy because our insurance rider wouldn’t cover them at all. Didn’t matter if it was fraud, sex offenses, assault, whatever – felony was a felony.

        By calling someone a “felon”, we aren’t sugarcoating it. Saying “but he isn’t a violent felon, he just broke down doors while drunk because he was lost” or “he’s not violent, he just stole some guns from the neighbor, but he didn’t USE the guns” is glossing it over, trying to minimize the issue itself.
        To bring back the sex offender issue, it’s like saying “yes, my brother is a convicted child molester, but the 13 year old told him she was 17, and she LOOKED 17 even to me”, or when sex offenders themselves try to gloss it over by saying “I was seduced” or “she didn’t look her age” or “we were in love” only to find out they are talking about a 9 year old.

        In this specific instance, I’m sure he scared the shit out of the residents of the homes he broke into. I would be terrified to have a drunken male beating my door down in the middle of the night. I wouldn’t be surprised if in the list of charges is something about “terrorizing” and “4th degree assault” (in most states, that means making a person feel that they are in danger, even if they aren’t even touched, they just have to be afraid of being injured).

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        anna728 June 2, 2011, 12:47 am

        Employers do ask for the details though. I’m sure they’d rather hire a trespasser than a serial rapist. I am not suggesting it won’t affect his job prospects at all, but he is not doomed. I knew a felon who got a job at a hospital.

        As far a the sex offender thing goes… I still think there’s gray area. But the hypothetical quotes are just dishonest or excuses, whereas there are true facts that make one crime worse than another. Raping your daughter for years would make you a sex offender. But getting caught peeing outside can make you one too. (A friend’s boss is technically a sex offender because she got caught having sex with another adult in a public restroom).

        It sounded from the letter that what he was being charged with was trespassing. I wasn’t sure if the people in the houses ever saw him? I mean of course I agree it is scary to find that your door has been broken down. But I would take his motives and the situation into account more than that.

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  • Budj

    Budjer June 1, 2011, 3:38 pm

    Stupid mistake…take it easy on him…jeez. It’s not like he killed someone or smuggled drugs up his anus across international lines…

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    Turtledove June 1, 2011, 3:42 pm

    This must have come as quite a shock to you, and as such you’re probably processing everything on full-scale red alert. Before you make any decisions, I’d let the idea have some time to settle in and become less of a looming menace so you can think about it more rationally. If this is truly an isolated, out of character incident then I don’t see that it will affect your current relationship much more than needing to offer support.

    But once the immediate panic recedes, it would be smart to take this as an opportunity to reassess your relationship. Situations like this will tell you a lot about how he deals with stress, so if you really pay attention to how he behaves you’re going to get a snapshot into how he’ll act in other emergencies down the line. However he deals with this now is likely how he’ll act in all the emergencies and set-backs that married life will throw at him.

    Also, hold off on making any deeper commitments until you can see how he deals with the issues that led to this. Does he get alcohol counseling and possibly some counseling for the violence of the act (sorry, but most people faced with being locked out ring the doorbell a thousand times and make a nuisance of themselves, they don’t kick the door down)? Time will also let you see how the felony charge also affects his business and job prospects. These are also going to be very important things to analyze as far as his potential as a permanent mate. I would wait at least a year before moving for a deeper commitment.

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    Maracuya June 1, 2011, 3:42 pm

    I would say he seems generally sorry for it. If he pays restitutions, then it shouldn’t be a problem. He clearly realized it was wrong, and changed his behavior. I’d say if you guys don’t have any other problems, it’s not worth breaking up over. Embarrassing as hell, bad for his employment prospects if he ever decides NOT to be self-employed. But I think it’s not the end of the world.

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 June 1, 2011, 3:43 pm

    It seems to me like you are more caught up with the fact that he is going to be labled as a felon, and what people will think of that more than anything else. I mean you have talked about how great he is, how great he treats you, and your family, and it seems like you have forgiven him for the actual act, and maybe were not even mad him for it with some of the excuses used. I’d say just let it go, it’s not like he is going to be wearing a shirt around that is giong to say “I’m a Felon” on it.

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    PFG-SCR June 1, 2011, 3:43 pm

    “…but I just don’t know if I could be with a felon.”

    While I realize he’s facing felony charges, you’ve opted to overlook all the wonderful things about him and quite simply label him a felon? That seems a bit unfair. He obviously got way too intoxicated and made some choices that have gotten him in trouble, but I don’t see how he’s a different person than who he was before that night.

    People make mistakes, and fortunately, no one was hurt (or worse) from his out-of-character drunk rampage. I’m sure if the charges aren’t dropped or reduced, it will cause some hardships at some point. Instead of worrying about “being associated with a felon”, I’d be supportive of him trying to get the charges dropped or reduced.

    If he can’t, then I guess you need to decide how much of a deal-breaker this is to you. Honestly, I was expecting something a lot worse as I was reading your letter, but everyone has to decide where they draw the line.

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    crazyayeaye June 1, 2011, 3:48 pm

    I think what worries me is this guys’ tendency toward belligerence toward you when he’s drunk, has he shown any aggressiveness when sober? If not, fantastic, I wish you guys all the best and think, despite this one time of drunken stupidity, sounds like you guys have a pretty great relationship.

    However, if he’s a bit quick to anger when he’s sober (even if it’s not with you), I’d just keep a wary eye. Especially since you guys do “everything together”, it could be a tricky situation as your relationship progresses if he turns out to have a bit of a dark side to extract yourself from the relationship….I think drinking can sometimes foreshadow this but certainly not always. And, just since I’m inherently a little wary about couples doing everything together, just make sure spending that much time is a mark of affection, not possessiveness (which I think can come with the territory of anger) on his part. This is most likely not the case, I just put it out there in the extreme event that there is a more serious problem going on.

    Otherwise, as I said, I agree with previous commenters that if you guys love each other and if your relationship is fantastic otherwise, I’d forgive and forget this one indiscretion. Best of luck!

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  • Budj

    Budjer June 1, 2011, 3:48 pm

    Why doesn’t he offer to fix the doors for dropped charges. Since he is a contractor?!?

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      PFG-SCR June 1, 2011, 3:53 pm

      It’s a criminal charge, not a civil case, so the people who own the homes don’t have the authority to drop the charges.

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      • Budj

        Budjer June 1, 2011, 4:30 pm

        Got ya…obviously I didn’t go to law school….that seems silly though from a logical stand point.

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      • Budj

        Budjer June 1, 2011, 4:32 pm

        Unless we don’t have the full story and he did a little more than knock it down and run away.

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        SpaceySteph June 1, 2011, 5:10 pm

        By the way I’m not a lawyer either, but I did some googling just now and it seems like generally (it varies by state and I don’t know where the LW is from) a Class D felony involves propery damage between $1,000 and $10,000. For two front doors, assuming some door frame and lock damage as well as needing a replacement door, $1000 doesn’t sound unreasonable. So it could be that simple.
        Of course to get to $8 or 9,000 you’d have to do a heck of alot more than knock down a door or two and run away, and either case is encompassed by that same felony level.

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      • Budj

        Budjer June 3, 2011, 11:36 am

        Ok now that makes sense….I don’t think this guy will argue his way out of this one…

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        SpaceySteph June 1, 2011, 4:37 pm

        Civil charges are where things like damages come in. The people who’s doors he kicked down won’t benefit from the outcome of the criminal case in any monetary way (just the satisfaction of knowing that their door’s attacker has been brought to justice, whatever thats worth). They could choose to take him to civil court regardless of the outcome of the criminal trial for money- either to fix the door or to offset the psychological trauma of such viscious boy on door violence.
        Honestly the fact that they are prosecuting this does seem like a waste of governemnt money. Isn’t there a rapist who could be brough to justice instead?

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      • Budj

        Budjer June 1, 2011, 4:43 pm

        Gotta get them door smashers!

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        Britannia June 1, 2011, 7:01 pm

        Who the hell is going to pay for their new doors, if not him? Do you think it’s fair to force the victims to repair their houses out of their own pockets?? “Oh, tough luck!” What if they don’t have that kind of spare cash laying around?

        Yeah… no. They deserve to have him pay for all the damages.

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        Morgan June 2, 2011, 12:09 am

        I think that was actually the point…a civil case to have him pay for the cost of the doors and damages makes a lot of sense. Criminal case for felony drunken damage to said doors…not so much. The criminal case has nothing to do with paying for the damages, as stated. (Hell, a couple of people in my dorm my freshman year of college could probably have been charged with felonies if $1000 of damage is a felony. But they were just charged with the costs.)

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        Morgan June 2, 2011, 12:23 am

        Which isn’t to diminish the seriousness of the event…someone kicking in your door in the middle of the night is scary (Well, in college its mostly “Again, John? Your door is the next one over, go to bed.”). But when you live in the real world, its serious.

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        SpaceySteph June 2, 2011, 11:13 am

        Thank you, yes thats the point. I would fully support the people who’s doors were knocked down suing him for damages. Although I would expect the homeowners insurance would actually have paid for the door repair (my door was knocked down once- although unlucky me I also had several expensive things stolen- and the insurance did pick up repair and replacement once I met my deductible).
        What I don’t necessarily support is the District Attorney’s office wasting their time and taxpayer dollars prosecuting this case at the criminal level because it doesn’t seem that will benefit anyone.

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      • Budj

        Budjer June 2, 2011, 5:20 pm

        Yea. I wasn’t suggesting they shouldn’t have their damages repaired…that would just be silly…

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    Kara June 1, 2011, 3:51 pm

    People make mistakes. LW, Are you sure you want to be with a person for the rest of your life? Cuz robots are so much more reliable and easy to train.

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    napoleon1066 June 1, 2011, 3:55 pm

    Is this a first offense? This seems like the sort of thing that he could have expunged from his record after a while (for good behavior).

    If this really was a one time thing, breaking it off seems a bit harsh. I will say it had better be the last time he drinks… anyone who breaks doors down on houses when wasted is not somebody you want to be around after he’s had a couple… who knows what else he could be capable of? I know plenty of people who’ve gotten utterly trashed, and none of whom have gone on a door-battering spree.

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      SpaceySteph June 1, 2011, 4:20 pm

      Thank you, I was coming here to post something along those lines.

      Getting drunk and causing major property damage, on more than one house, is a bit scary. I wouldn’t blame you if you were a bit afraid of being around him, although it doesn’t seem like you are.
      I would think very hard about whether it was possible that he might do this again and instead of kicking down a door, beat down his girlfriend. Or one day his wife or kids. Have you thought about this, LW, or are you busy focused on the label “felon?” I would worry alot more about the possibly violent drunk I was dating than what his rap sheet shows. And I would definitely set down the ground rule that there would be no more drinking, for his sake but also for my own safety.

      I dated a bad drunk once. He yelled, we fought, he punched walls… he never did take a swing at me, but I did always have in the back of my mind when the screaming started “what if this time it goes too far?” I lived in fear for months. You shouldn’t do the same. Be stronger than I was.

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    AnitaBath June 1, 2011, 3:59 pm

    You don’t want to be with a felon? I find it sad you put the label of “felon” above all of the other qualities of your boyfriend. He made one very stupid mistake when he was under the influence, and his very stupid mistake doesn’t even sound like a very big one.

    Did his mistake change the person he is and (taking away the label of “felon”), did this one instance of bad behavior of his change the way you see him? If you had found out about his behavior but he had never gotten caught, would that change your perception of him? I’d focus more on the person and the behavior rather than the label.

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    Kat June 1, 2011, 4:02 pm

    This is going to be an unpopular opinion, but this guy didn’t just jimmy the lock to the wrong door, he KNOCKED DOWN two doors. Saying he what he didn’t was really that bad is really easy when your door was broken down and your house wasn’t entered. To get a felony conviction for it clearly shows something very very wrong happened, and frankly if I were looking for contract work, I’d probably stay away from the guy who broke into two homes without waiting to hear the ‘he’s to drunk to remember!’ excuse. LW, being with a felon is a huge commitment – I’m only living with one right now and I can tell you that much. Your house is open to being searched, there’s parole terms involved if he’s on that sort of thing, and any sort of entanglement with the law from here on out is a much trickier deal – even if it ends up being just a misdemeanor next time. There is nothing wrong with saying that you can’t handle this – staying with him because he got a felony conviction just to prove your ‘love’ isn’t something grand and wonderful, it’s naive and childish. You should stay with him if you want to and you can come to terms with his felony. If I were you, I’d ask for all of the documents regarding his arrest and subsequent conviction and then decide. You shouldn’t make this decision based solely on emotion or without the full facts. Plus this would help you discuss what happened with your nearest and dearest who can probably counsel you better than anyone else.

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      Calliopedork June 1, 2011, 5:46 pm

      I would be more afraid of the wasted person who can successfully jimmy a lock than the drunk person who gets over zealous trying to get in to pee.

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        Britannia June 1, 2011, 7:02 pm

        I’d be afraid of both of them equally – one has intelligence but no sense of morals, and the other has brutish strength with no intelligence to direct it.

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      Brooklyn June 2, 2011, 12:00 am

      I agree with this comment. While I understand the individuals who are saying this is a one-time offense and breaking up is an over-reaction, I think it is important to respect if she is not comfortable with his criminal record. I think there were some other things happening if they went to felony charges. Generally they downgrade to misdemeanors for people who don’t have records.

      Finally, I haven’t seen anyone mention this yet, but the LW stated the boyfriend hadn’t been to the house he was trying to enter before that night. Who would break down the door of a home they are unfamiliar with? If they broke down their best friend’s door, I would consider that a red flag. To break down a random house’s door, and then realize it was the wrong house and continue this activity is concerning.

      LW, I think you will do what you feel is best and you are just looking for a consensus that what you want is acceptable to a larger peer group. I think your concerns are founded but only you will know what you can tolerate. However, you never know what the future will bring and this could be an issue later in life. If you live with/marry him, it could affect your ability to get certain jobs as well. Just be sure that your relationship is worth that risk.

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    BoomChakaLaka June 1, 2011, 4:03 pm

    I think you’re really making a mountain out of a molehill here. I’m still trying to figure out the problem here. Seriously, this “incident” does not change his character. He did something stupid (uh, I think we all have. Possible anonymous open thread here?) and that’s that. I’m even sure YOU’VE done something stupid too. If he’s not the type to learn from his mistakes, then, yes, I’d think twice about this whole situation. But, if he is as great of a guy as you described, then honestly, you should be using this as great comedic material already.

    e.g. When you see him, “Hey! Knock down any doors lately?”

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      oldie June 1, 2011, 5:28 pm

      I think you’d feel differently if some drunk guy kicked down your door at night. Kicking down his friend’s door would be bad enough, but kicking down the doors of two strangers? Really, you think that is nothing.

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        SpaceySteph June 1, 2011, 5:32 pm

        I agree. I would be scared to death (and sleepily wielding a handgun) if someone banged down my door in the middle of the night.

        Its not nothing. What if those people had little kids. Now they know the boogie man is real.

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        Calliopedork June 1, 2011, 5:51 pm

        That happened once, at my college house I guy broke in by knocking the door off the hinge.and then passed out on the couch. It was a college town so I let him sleep until morning and then made him fix the door. I guess he thought my house was the detatched garage of his friends house

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 1, 2011, 5:56 pm

        Wow, that is very forgiving of you…. I’d have flipped out a bit more, I think.

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      AKchic June 1, 2011, 9:00 pm

      Had someone kicked my door in during the middle of the night, there would be no charges for the would-be intruder because they would be dead. Alaska has some great “home protection” laws going for it. We are allowed to shoot to defend our homes/lives. A big drunken male breaking down my door in the middle of the night sure qualifies as a “threat to life” in my opinion.

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        Britannia June 1, 2011, 10:10 pm

        The people who have been thumbing you and I down for stating facts of the law and advocating self-protection obviously have never been on the receiving end of unlawful acts. I agree with you completely — this guy was way, way out of line, and he should be held to “blame” for it – he is now a felon.

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        anna728 June 1, 2011, 11:41 pm

        I am one of the people that disagrees with you and I have both had men try to break into my house and a strange man successfully open the door to my dorm room once in the middle of the night. So no, it not because I’ve “never been on the receiving end of unlawful acts”.

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        Britannia June 1, 2011, 11:43 pm

        Then why is it?

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        anna728 June 2, 2011, 12:50 am

        I can only speak for myself, but it’s because it truly didn’t strike me as a very horrifying offense. I’ve made mistakes before, and so have the people close to me. So while I sympathize with the people who had their houses broken into, I don’t think the LW’s boyfriend is a malicious person. It just sounds like a very stupid, one-time mistake to me. I don’t think there is any need to so harsh in that case.

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        Britannia June 2, 2011, 1:03 am

        To be a one-time mistake, it would have had to only happened one time. He attacked multiple homes, so he made multiple mistakes. If there were children or an elderly person in the home, this guy could have caused permanent damage – the children could be scarred for life, or the elderly person could have been so frightened that they had a heart attack. Regardless of whether or not anyone was in the home, those families had to discover that their homes had been brutally ripped open and their sense of safety has most assuredly been destroyed. There’s something to be said for the psychological consequences of someone’s actions, and I don’t think that they deserve to be overlooked – and in this case, I think they make the case far worse than if this guy was just kicking at the wall of a government building in broad daylight, or something.

        _He attacked peoples’ homes_.

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        anna728 June 2, 2011, 1:17 am

        It was one incident though. Like, he didn’t break into one house weeks after the other. He doesn’t just do this every once in a while. He wasn’t trying to break in and scare anyone, he was just confused, as he was not only drunk but going to a house he hadn’t been to before. If you want to account for psychological consequences (it didn’t sound like there were any lasting problems but damage to fix), then you also have to account for what he was trying to do. He didn’t decide to break into someone’s house just to f*** with them, he just acted stupidly when he got confused. I don’t think the far-fetched hypothetical of giving someone a heart attack is really something he can be held accountable for. And remember, when he realized it was the wrong house, he left immediately.

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        Britannia June 2, 2011, 1:28 am

        It doesn’t matter what his intentions were, in the opinions of those other people. All that matters to THEM, the VICTIMS, is that some drunk, crazed person beat down their doors in the middle of the night and caused significant damage to their houses. He should be held accountable for his actions, regardless of what his intentions were!

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        anna728 June 2, 2011, 1:45 am

        I would rather some dumb drunk break my door than that a murderer break into my house. That’s way scarier. I think intentions are very important. It also makes the difference in legal things- eg, premeditated murder is a lot worse than manslaughter. I don’t think he shouldn’t be charged with anything, to be clear. He should. I just don’t think the LW needs to worry much about it if he is an otherwise good person and good boyfriend.

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        Calliopedork June 2, 2011, 4:55 pm

        Yes by paying for the damages and alcohol abuse classes, a criminal trial does nothing for the victims or the community

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        AKchic June 2, 2011, 12:07 am

        I don’t care about the thumbs honestly. I don’t exactly sugarcoat the fact that I’m not a pacifist and that I am all for harsher punishments of certain kinds of criminals.

        Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I respect that. I may not agree with the opinion, but that is my right, and I am just fine in arguing my points or offering clarifications when needed.

        I wouldn’t worry about those that disagree with you. Whether they have had difficulties in life or not is moot. Personal opinions are just that, personal, individual, unique. If someone decides they don’t like me because of mine, well, that is their choice. I’ve been labeled plenty of names over the years, a few more won’t kill me.

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        jena June 2, 2011, 2:27 pm

        good to see you’d rather take a life than defend yourself via shooting someone in the leg. typical overreactive knee-jerk response. YAY AMERICA

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        SpaceySteph June 2, 2011, 2:43 pm

        Anyone who is a good, safe firearm user will tell you there are only a couple rules about using guns for home defense:
        1. Do not aim a gun at something you are not willing to shoot.
        2. Shoot to kill.

        You use a gun for self defense when you think that you or your loved ones are in serious danger. You do not aim for the leg or the foot or the arm because you are terrified for your life and you are not trying to save this person’s life. Also because it is a larger easier to hit target.
        If I am awoken from a dead sleep by a stranger kicking down my door, you better believe that I am afraid for my life and I have a right, in many states including the one I live in, to kill him before he has an opportunity to kill me.
        Now, granted, if he kicked down my door, realized he was in the wrong place, and left, its very unlikely I had a chance to wake up, find my gun, and go point it at him. But if he meant to steal from me or harm me, if he came into my house, I would point a gun at him fully intending to shoot him and kill him to protect myself, my family, and my property.

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        Jay June 2, 2011, 5:54 pm

        If you tell the cops you intentionally shot someone in the leg, you will go to jail. No ifs, ands or buts. That doesn’t stop an attacker, and if you weren’t scared enough to want to stop them, they weren’t worth using legal force (a gun!) against. So away you go.

        And hell, anybody nuts enough to keep coming after you warn them you’ve got a gun, needs real stopping.

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      BoomChakaLaka June 2, 2011, 9:32 am

      Exaggerating much all of you? Children scarred for life? Significant damage done? He _just_ broke down a door. Yes, it was stupid and I’ll go ahead and admit if I was on the receiving end, I totally wouldn’t be laughing that my door was broken.

      But, we aren’t talking about how the neighbors are going to view him. We’re talking about how his gf should view him. How the neighbors view him is incidental and really shouldn’t matter when we’re talking about how his gf views him. If the gf puts so much stock in what people think, then yeah, maybe she should take a walk because being with someone that might not have the best rep is going to take a toll on her.

      But if she doesn’t care what others think, what you all are essentially saying is if this guy steps on your foot hen you are going to label him a criminal and never talk to him again. In the grand scheme of things, that’s what he did. Seriously, everyone is safe. The children will not be scarred for life (I’m sorry, when was that a criminal offense?). And the damage, thankfully, was only done to the door and no bodily harm was actually inflicted.

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        SpaceySteph June 2, 2011, 2:47 pm

        No actually I don’t think we are exaggerating. Two years ago (I was not even a child anymore) my door was broken down in broad daylight while I was at work and some things were stolen. I spent months trying to convince myself I was safe and to sleep through the night. I still sometimes get nervous when I open my front door, remembering the time I put the key in the door and the lock didn’t turn and I KNEW my door was locked when I left that morning… remembering how it felt to open the door and see the doorframe shattered, and then seeing all the empty spaces where my stuff used to be.
        It was really scary. And I wasn’t home, wasn’t asleep. So I can only imagine how those people felt to be woken up by the loud crash of someone breaking into their home.

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        Vivster June 2, 2011, 9:11 pm

        What the “neighbors” think matters, in this case, because it’s something he did TO them. Something he got drunk enough to think it was okay to do. Hell, even if he had the right house, that’d upset me that he got drunk enough to do that, and that, even allowing that he’s drunk, it occurred to him to KICK IN the door instead of knocking or just passing out on the doorstep. Kicking in a door is fairly aggressive. To do that to a stranger, even if you didn’t mean anything malicious, will be perceived as malicious and isn’t harmless, either in terms of property or in terms of personal harm.

        And what if someone had a heart attack from the shock? His actions caused a death…would it be okay to call him a criminal then? He didn’t know who was behind those doors…he assumed they were the door of someone whose house he wasn’t even familiar with. Not even his own door.

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        anna728 June 2, 2011, 10:31 pm

        It definitely is exaggerating. Yeah I’d be pissed to find my door busted up, but honestly, things that bad or worse happen on a pretty regular basis. In their case I’d be relieved nothing was stolen and no one was hurt. And that they caught the guy- a lot of victims of crimes never get to have that.

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    sarolabelle June 1, 2011, 3:08 pm

    You relationship sounds a lot like mine. If this happened to my boyfriend I would stand by him, love him and get through this with him. Life and love isn’t all roses all the time. Sometimes bad things happen but it is our actions that determine what will happen next. Imagine if you got in trouble and you don’t remember any of it and then the next thing you know your boyfriend is breaking up with you because of it. That’s not love. Stick by him, love him and if he needs anyone to talk to, lean on or whine to, then listen, rub his back and say to him, “you may have to face this but you don’t have to face it alone”

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    Theresa June 1, 2011, 4:09 pm

    I am sorry that the letter writer found herself in such a difficult situation. She obviously loves her boyfriend and wants to do the right thing. But in her obvious desire to remain with him, she is minimizing the seriousness of this incident. He did not just commit a little felony like possessing a small amount of pot. He was so drunk he became violent and kicked down the doors of two houses, causing a lot of property damage and terrorizing the inhabitants of each house.

    Her boyfriend has shown a propensity towards violence and an inability to control his drinking that she cannot simply overlook by forgiving and forgetting. If she stays with him, she could even become his next target. Also he needs to face the consequences of how his behavior affects his relationships or he will have no incentive to change. Binge drinking with periods of sobriety is still a sign of alchol abuse.

    Because this is an isolated (if very serious) incident and the letter writer has enjoyed a loving relationship with her boyfriend, she does not have to MOA yet. As a condition for staying together she should insist on counseling for both of them. He also needs to attend AA and she should attend Alanon. If she holds firm now, her boyfriend can overcome his drinking problem before it becomes more severe and they can enjoy many happy years together. If he does not get help now, his drinking problem will only get worse.

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      slamy June 1, 2011, 5:15 pm

      Possessing a small amount of pot isn’t a felony. There are no “little felonies”.

      Those are misdemeanors.

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      Amber June 1, 2011, 5:30 pm

      his “next target”?

      AA?

      Alanon?

      Inability to control his drinking and a propensity for violence?

      Holy overreaction batman.

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        sarolabelle June 1, 2011, 6:58 pm

        haha! I wish I could like this more.

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        sarolabelle June 1, 2011, 6:58 pm

        meaning thumbs up x5

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      sarolabelle June 1, 2011, 5:06 pm

      getting drunk once does not call for AA.

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      anna728 June 1, 2011, 11:45 pm

      So extreme!

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    SGMcG June 1, 2011, 4:09 pm

    Perhaps the LW is not providing the whole story, and to be honest, three months is too soon from the incident to determine what can potentially happen next – the attorney who suggested a Class D Felony may have been providing the worst case scenario based on the facts provided. Most jurisdictions won’t immediately charge a Class D Felony unless there were illegal substances or a prior record involved. If this incident happened three months ago, there are other steps in the criminal procedure that you have to go through still, like the preliminary hearing, or even a pre-trial intervention. Surely your boyfriend could have what happened plea bargained down to a Class A Misdemeanor if he did restitution for the damaged property?

    If you love your boyfriend, and you truly believe that what happened was truly out of his character, then you should support this difficult time. What you are charged with as a criminal isn’t as damning as what you are sentenced with. If your boyfriend is making contracting his career – be sure he discloses his felony charge on any licenses he may apply for. He could still earn a good living with his contracting work, but he has to own up to his record now for the rest of his life. I know you’re hurting and the idea of the future you have with him seems bleak, but try and move beyond your pain and be supportive for him. Anyone can be more than their criminal record and your boyfriend now needs to step up to that. You can be that motivating factor that gives him the strength to do so. Don’t worry about the label immediately applied to him just yet – if he can show to the courts true reform and pay the fines to potentially have his now record expunged in the mere future, some jurisdictions will allow that. I hope your boyfriend has explored rehab – some courts look positively at any forms of reform against the charged criminal.

    I will add one caveat in my support though. If you find out that he’s charged with the Class D Felony because of prior incidents of domestic violence or worse – MOA. No questions asked, just MOA. It is one thing to accept youthful indiscretions, but it is another to threaten your existence with someone who has a history of violence.

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  • sobriquet

    sobriquet June 1, 2011, 4:15 pm

    I’d suggest that he find a different lawyer, but that is beside the point. You are stressing out about the future. It’s not like having this charge against him has already hurt his career. You’re freaking out over the assumption that it will.

    If you truly love him and believe that it won’t happen again, then why wouldn’t you stand by him while he goes through this terrible time? What if this was you? Most of us have done stupid/illegal stuff while drunk. Hell, I’ve done stupid/illegal stuff while SOBER.

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    LSS86 June 1, 2011, 5:10 pm

    I’m kind of surprised at all the people saying that this isn’t a big deal. Your boyfriend becoming so belligerent that he kicks down doors is pretty damn scary. Sure, it might be an isolated incident. And maybe he won’t ever touch a drink again. But what if he does? I would be pretty scared to be around someone who I knew could (and would) do that kind of damage.

    Everyone is also saying that the felony charge isn’t a big deal. I don’t know anything about what qualifies a felony/misdemeanor, but if he does get a felony charge, that’s a big f*cking deal. That affects your whole life. As a couple others have pointed out, renting an apartment might be difficult, if he tries to get a new job, a lot of doors will be closed, and even his business might suffer from a conviction – might lose customers, could affect his insurance policies, could possibly even result in his business license being revoked (you’d have to do research to see what the specific repercussions are in your state).

    That doesn’t necessarily mean you should leave him, but please do not take this situation lightly. It is a big deal.

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    Colleen June 1, 2011, 5:12 pm

    First, does your boyfriend have good representation? I have no idea if the charges match the crime or not, but if he’s a good guy with a clean record, it’s important that he do everything he can to keep a felony from affecting that for the next many, many years.

    Having a felony doesn’t necessarily make someone a “bad” person. I have worked (I am in social services) with people with felony records, and I personally know people with felony records, too. What I can tell you is that a felony, whether or not it was “deserved,” “just,” etc. will have a very strong impact on his future options… and therefore yours.

    Many apartments won’t rent to you, period. Doesn’t matter how good of a guy your bf is. Some will automatically reject anyone with a felony in the last 5, 10, or even 20 years. Your housing choices will be limited and you may end up paying more to find a place that will accept you as renters (and if you apply on your own but your bf is actually living there too… bad idea).

    Your boyfriend’s employment options will be limited if he stops working for himself for any reason. His earnings may be depressed, or he may not be able to get into a job he enjoys. With the economy the way it is, it’s not safe to count on anyone being able to do one, and only one, job for the next several years.

    During probation/parole, he might not be allowed to move out of a specific community or state. He might not be able to travel to certain countries (Canada sometimes doesn’t even allow vacationers with DUIs, for instance).

    That might all be a worst-case scenario. Does it mean that you should break up with him? Not necessarily–if his one night of poor judgement doesn’t affect your love for him and your faith that he’s a wonderful person, then it’s not wrong to stay. Not at all. But if you envision a life together, think seriously about each of these potential consequences and whether or not you’re willing to make those sacrifices to be together. The ramifications of his one drunken night could follow both of you for many decades. Life might be more expensive and may offer fewer choices. Is that worth it to be with your boyfriend? Only you can answer that.

    Also, know that there’s no rush to make this decision. You’ve got time to work through this together and see how the court process will shake out.

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      SpyGlassez June 1, 2011, 6:56 pm

      I second what you’ve said here. I work at a community college and there are a lot of students who are trying to get their lives back on track after being convicted of a felony. It is hard for them and they know they are facing an uphill battle as they face problems with employment and housing. Most of them are “good people” just like the LW’s boyfriend, and most of them did something that they admit was stupid when they were young, but that doesn’t change how society views them.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark June 1, 2011, 5:44 pm

    Okay, the problem I would have is he seems kind of…well…really f-ing stupid. Look, hey, I used to get ripped back in the day, but I never got so crazy I wandered around kicking in the wrong doors. I mean, even if he was at the right house, why the HELL would he think he should kick the door in? What a total whackjob.

    PS — Isn’t this awfully similar to a letter Wendy posted months ago. With the perfect boyfriend drunk and going in to the wrong houses and now facing a felony? Not saying that Wendy ran it again, but I think the LW must have submitted her problem again, this time with more details. Am I crazy? Or does anybody else remember this.

    Truth be told, at this point, I think I would walk away. This sounds like a person out of control. I mean, seriously, I have never had anybody in my vast and infinite circle of acquaintances do something so stupidly destructive and wreckless…. I have trouble believing that this is — or will truly be — an isolated incident. If she does decide to stay with him, then this is it, his one and only warning. Another mistake even half as stupid and I would kick him to the curb.

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      Maracuya June 1, 2011, 5:48 pm

      No, the other LW fessed up that it was drugs? I need to go back and check the letter. I’m thinking of the letter writer whose boyfriend had some mysterious felony charges she didn’t want to own up to, because the case was still pending. But she definitely chimed in on that letter.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 1, 2011, 5:53 pm

        Hmmmmm, I think that you are referring to a different letter because I totally remember the one you’re now referring to… I thought there was another one involving going in to the wrong house… But I could be mistaken. Or it could be as you suggest that it was additional info she later provided in the comments…. Hmmm, it all seems very familiar though.

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        sarolabelle June 2, 2011, 1:46 am

        Are you thinking of this one?

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        sarolabelle June 2, 2011, 1:46 am

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 2, 2011, 2:56 am

        Yes, that’s it! And yes….it is clearly a different LW. Who knew that being so f-ing stupid was so common! Or that so many on here would have no problem whatsoever with said behavior. Damn, it must be soooooooooo easy to date some of you, ladies. Seriously, tell me…exactly what does a guy have to do before you kick him to the curb? The response to this letter astounds me. All the voices of reason keep getting thumbs down… Hilarious. Many of you will end up with real winners. Can’t wait to read your tales of woe in a year or so. 😉

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom June 2, 2011, 7:50 am

        Exactly!

        If you aren’t picky about major character traits and excuse incredibly bad behavior you will get what you overlook.

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    as1212 June 1, 2011, 5:52 pm

    I don’t usually comment but I had to on this one…. I mostly agree with everyone about this. It was a onetime mistake, no one was hurt.

    HOWEVER, for those arguing that his punishment is excessive – I agree considering nothing that bad happened. Something COULD’VE happened though, and I think that’s the point of the felony – He let himself get to the point where he was out of control. That’s not his friends fault, it’s not the bartenders fault it’s his. And while I think everyone is entitled to a drunk mistake now and then, I had a personal experience like this once only I was home when it happened.

    I was a young college student and some guy drunk off his ass slammed through my door and into my home. After talking to him the next day (turns out he was my neighbor), I came away with the same impression of LW’s boyfriend – that it was a one time mistake and he didn’t normally drink very much. Did that matter though? I was alone with a large man so drunk he could barely speak. He refused to leave my house because he was so confused he thought it was his, and honestly I was about a split second away from braining him with a frying pan when i finally convinced him to leave. He was angry, drunk, and scared the living shit out of me, and really could have harmed me (or I could’ve harmed him). It was a bad situation and he put us both into it, so maybe everyone should think about what her boyfriend could’ve done to someone else before feeling to sorry for him…

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      jena June 2, 2011, 2:32 pm

      I understand where you’re coming from, but the justice system doesn’t usually punish crimes that *didn’t* take place, only ones that did.

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        as1212 June 2, 2011, 2:39 pm

        yes… and one did take place. I was more arguing with people saying he didn’t mean to do anything wrong so the punishment is unfair.. I think it seems a little harsh, but thinking of what could’ve happend also puts it into more perspective i think!

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    J. June 1, 2011, 5:58 pm

    “I love him more than anything and he hasn’t had a drop to drink since (and says he never will). He is a good kid, treats me great, and has a good record, great family, etc. We always have so much fun together…”

    Are you sure about all that? Because it kind of sounds like maybe you’re not sure about this relationship and want to use this incident as reason to leave. Yes, what he did was wrong and he should have a charge against him for it, but as far as crimes go, it wasn’t that bad. If he hadn’t gotten caught and charged, would you still want to break up with him?

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom June 1, 2011, 6:20 pm

    This is serious because violence is serious. I’ve never known anyone who became violent like this when drunk. This really is as much his real character as the person you’ve known up until now. You now know one more aspect of him. Also, a felony is serious because it follows you for life. I have a cousin who has a felony conviction. He wanted to go to law school but they wouldn’t accept him because of his conviction (he was stealing appliances from someones home) so he couldn’t have the career he wanted. One stupid decision really can haunt your entire life.

    One year isn’t a long time to know someone and you have plenty of time to take it slow and see how he behaves and how you feel. Many relationships that last one year won’t last for a full second year anyway. You have years to see how this affects him, his behavior, his job prospects and his ability to rent. You don’t have to decide whether to stay or to leave at this time and if you stay now that doesn’t mean that you can’t leave over this issue in a year if you find the consequences turn out to be more than you want to live with for life.

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      SpyGlassez June 1, 2011, 6:58 pm

      It isn’t just law school. Some of my students have talked about trying to get a job at Wal-Mart and they can’t get hired on because of their record.

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  • caitie_didnt

    caitie_didn't June 1, 2011, 8:32 pm

    I’m not going to say “yes, the LW should stay” or “no, the LW needs to leave” BUT here’s what I thought when I read this and the comments:

    1). I know lots of people who can get blackout drunk and NOT get violent, but then again I know people who are obnoxious when sober and belligerent and aggressive when drunk, and a rare few that are generally okay but occasionally get belligerent when they’ve been drinking. LW needs to decide which category her boyfriend falls into- because this amount of belligerence and violence in someone is seriously unattractive and would make me question whether or not I could trust them. But on the other hand, maybe he just doesn’t handle his liquor well and this was a one-time-thing.

    2). I believe the letter states that there were no eyewitnesses- how does the LW know that her boyfriend told her the truth about what happened? Did she get it directly from the police or did he tell her himself? Do the charges line up with what her boyfriend has told her (if class D felony includes property damage from $1000-$10000 then yeah, his account seems pretty reasonable. But it also seems he was VIOLENTLY kicking in more than one door to do that much damage.)

    3). A felony of any kind is a big deal and will affect his career and his future (including renting an apartment or getting a mortgage or maybe even a line of credit- I’m really not sure on this but if he has to get a background check for anything, he’s probably pooched). That’s something to think about if you’re planning on spending your life with this man.

    4). Nobody seems to have brought up the possibility that the bartender could be in serious shit for this (including facing a lawsuit). Over-serving is something that bars and restaurants (not the seedy ones) tend to take VERY seriously and the boyfriend and his friends were CLEARLY overserved by the bartender. Places have lost their liquor licenses over things like this- has boyfriend’s lawyer brought this up at all?

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      oldie June 1, 2011, 9:16 pm

      The bar/bartender could indeed be in serious shit, but I don’t see how this helps the LW or her bf. I’m sure the bar owner doesn’t approve of free drinks to all of bartender’s buddies. This part of story sound kinda unlikely in fact. A round of freebies to good customers and friends of the establishment, perhaps, but enough freebies to get them loaded? Doubt the guy keeps his job if he does that sort of thing. More likely, bf didn’t want to admit to LW how much he spent at bar.

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        Britannia June 1, 2011, 10:17 pm

        A very good point about the bartender thing. I have girlfriend who is a bartender, and she sometimes gets away with giving me a drink or two because I tip her well, or maybe one round for a group of friends — but her manager noticed and she had to explain herself to him, and then he said to never do it again, so I don’t bring a group of friends unless we can pay for everything. It’s highly unlikely that the bartender was able to give a TON of shots to multiple people without getting into big trouble with his manager.

        Any manager worth his salt would notice something like this happening — think about it, Patron (here in Tucson) is $7 a shot when it’s on special. Multiply that by 3-5 shots per person, 4 or 5 people minimum (since it says he was out with a “group” of friends), that’s about $100. No way is a bartender going to put that up.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 June 2, 2011, 10:42 am

        OMG you participated in a bartender giving away product for free from their place of business without consent! That is stealing, and you should be held accountable for your actions! That is way worse than speeding 5 MPH over the speed limit. That place is probably going to go out of business now because of all of the free drinks your bartender friend gave away!I mean giving one drink away is clearly the same as if she stole all of the alcohol from behid the bar and gave it to you! You should definitely report her to the police, and turn yourself in. I guess you did lie before, and you have broken the law, that makes all of your other points not valid… See it sucks when people overreact for no reason!

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        Britannia June 2, 2011, 3:19 pm

        Good job, your snark is so intelligent.

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        AKchic June 2, 2011, 12:09 am

        Very good point. In Alaska it is illegal for bar staff to give “free” drinks. A bartender can purchase the drink him/herself and give it to someone, but cannot under any circumstance give out freebies.

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didn't June 2, 2011, 9:04 pm

        It totally doesn’t help the BF but I wonder if his lawyer has brought it up as a counter-argument? I’m thinking that maybe the BF *didn’t* actually get all these free drinks, but just told the LW that he did, and never mentioned the blatant over-serving to his lawyer.

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        LW June 3, 2011, 4:24 pm

        I don’t know the bartender personally but I have been to the bar several times. He is ALWAYS giving out free shots. The last time I was there, my friend and I each got 4 free shots from him as well as several of the other people sitting around us. Whether or not it’s allowed, he does it and has been doing it for years. It definitely brings customers in…that’s a big reason why my friends like to go there when they go out.

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  • katie

    Katie June 1, 2011, 8:48 pm

    In the area I live in, a guy who had just gotten back from Afghanistan (he was in the military) did this same kind of thing, except he wasn’t drunk, he had really severe PTSD and just took it out on the first house he saw when he went nuts. He tried to get in the door, then when that didnt work, he went for the windows, and destroyed this house by the time the cops got there.

    does it make him a bad guy?

    no.

    this is one of those times where i wish our law system was more like a human being; understanding that sometimes, shit just happens and thats ok.

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      AKchic June 1, 2011, 9:08 pm

      PTSD/Mental illness is much different than a drunken incident like the LW described. The LW’s boyfriend could have avoided his predicament had he not imbibed as much as he did. Someone with PTSD/Mental illness cannot help their episodes, and even if they are being treated, sometimes an episode happens.

      Equating this incident with a soldier’s combat-induced PTSD is a bit of a disservice to our soldiers.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 June 2, 2011, 12:07 pm

        So for the person with PTSD/Mental illness you would some how in the middle of this whole episode ask them if they were mentally ill? So it’s the just the drunk guy you are going to shoot, because somehow you decide right there on the spot from the other side of the door that this guys was drunk and going to hurt you? I mean earlier you said you would be shooting the person on the other side of the door, and somebody would be calling the cops, so I don’t really see the difference, because you never had the chance to find out why the person was doind this.

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      as1212 June 1, 2011, 9:09 pm

      It doesn’t at all make him a bad guy – he’s still a victim. But what if someone was home and he got in?

      Also, I don’t think equating someone making the decision to continue drinking until they’re irresponsibly wasted to some with PTSD is really appropriate.

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark June 2, 2011, 3:00 am

      Actually, um, yeah. If that was MY house, I would probably think he was a bad guy. People’s illnesses don’t allow them to just run around destroying things because they can’t help themselves… Hell, half of the people in prison are crazy and probably “nice” guys if you go by your definition.

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        as1212 June 2, 2011, 12:08 pm

        I was assuming that this was the first time the neighbor’s PTSD had presented itself, and I also assume he got immediate help. If he knew he had a problem and was prone to do things like that that’s a whole different story, but you absolutely cannot blame someone for simply HAVING mental illness. It’s their responsibility and the responsibility of those around them to make sure it doesn’t hurt anyone else though, and I think that’s what you were trying to say.. it’s not very appropriate to characterize a veteran as a ‘bad guy’ because after serving his country he’s having difficulty handling the things he had to deal with there.

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      • katie

        Katie June 4, 2011, 2:50 am

        “it’s not very appropriate to characterize a veteran as a ‘bad guy’ because after serving his country he’s having difficulty handling the things he had to deal with there.”

        that is exactly what i’m trying to say- just because this guy did a bad thing, doesnt just automatically make him a bad person.

        i think it is very similar to the LW’s boyfriend’s situation- he did a bad thing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he is a bad person.

        of course they are a little different, one being a mental illness and one being just some idiot who drank too much, but the overall theme is still there

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      B June 2, 2011, 8:26 pm

      If he was suffering from PTSD, I’d feel really bad about taking whatever action was required to stop his violent actions. After the fact.
      If he was a violent drunk, I wouldn’t feel bad about taking whatever action was required to stop his violent actions.
      Just speaking as a former soldier who suffered PTSD but who never committed violent acts upon others or their property. Don’t use a label as an excuse to commit violence. It’s demeaning.

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    • katie

      Katie June 3, 2011, 9:29 pm

      whoa whoa, all i was trying to say is that sometimes people who are otherwise good people, have some issue that makes them do something stupid/destructive/scary to others/ect, but that doesn’t just mean you can write them off because of what they did. good people do bad things sometimes.

      that soldier who freaked out isn’t a bad guy, he just freaked out and happen to attack a house. the LW’s boyfriend, i am assuming is a good person, and just got drunk and freaked out thinking he was locked out of the house he wasy staying at. both situations were bad for very different reasons, but that doesn’t mean that bad people did it.

      and quite frankly, anytime anyone says anything about military people they are always attacked for being “disrespectful” of the military, that is just annoying… i just heard this happen on the radio too. i dont get it.

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    anna728 June 2, 2011, 12:23 am

    I just don’t think he’s a bad guy. He sounds like kind of a dope at worst. If anything it’s just kind of lame that a guy in his mid-20s can’t handle his booze at all. Then again he rarely drinks, so of course he couldn’t handle it.

    The crime he is being charged with is trespassing! Talk about unimportant crimes. Yeah, I would be scared if I heard someone break my door, but what he was planning to do matters. If he was angry and violent and deliberately broke into a stranger’s house, it would be a different story. But instead he was just confused and stupid and trying to get into his buddy’s house. There is a difference between stupidity and malicious rage. And it is not as though intention doesn’t matter in the law- after all think first degree murder vs. manslaughter.

    There are crimes that would be a huge dealbreaker for me. Murder, rape, armed robbery, kidnapping, for instance. Then again there are plenty of things that are legal that, although I agree it shouldn’t be illegal, I find despicable. Adultery, for instance, or say, getting three girls pregnant in less than three years, like a guy I knew did. My point is, the legal classifications are not exactly proportional to your character.

    I don’t even think this is a very shocking occasion. I’ve never drunkenly broken into a house (then again I probably physically couldn’t), but I’ve certainly done a million dumb things, and so have people I’ve known. I got a misdemeanor in high school for drinking underage. People I’ve known have gotten in fights, stolen things, driven drunk, broken things, and injured themselves. At any given bar or party someone is bound to do something stupid. Sometimes people do stupid things drunk. Not that serious crimes are excused by drunkenness, but with something like this, it really makes a difference. It’s pretty unlikely that you can avoid ever making a drunk mistake if you drink even occasionally. Hell, I’ve even had multiple friends get charged with trespassing sober (not of houses).

    As far as consequences of getting a felony, well that is true, but your life is not over. A friend of mine got a DUI (or DWI, I forget which), which certainly is a felony, and he got a good job after it, and his crime was worse than the LW’s boyfriend’s. If I had to explain my felony in a job interview, I’d sure rather it be trespassing than the other options. If all evidence points to it being a one-time mistake, he shouldn’t have too much trouble getting a second chance.

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      oldie June 2, 2011, 11:49 am

      This is likely not being prosecuted as a felony because he did $1-10,000 property damage or because he trespassed. He broke into people’s homes! That is serious and the citizens of a community insist that their police and DA rightfully treat it as serious. And no, most peole who drink occasionally, or even who drink fairly frequently, are not going to make this kind of mistake, just as most people who drink fairly often are not going to bash some guy’s face in at the bar, because he thinks he looked at his gf. I don’t think LW should instantly dump him for this, but this will complicate their time together. I think the attempts to minimize this as some piddly little thing on a par with what most everyone has done when they drink is really off-base.

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        anna728 June 2, 2011, 10:40 pm

        I have four different friends who have trespassing on their records, all sober. I’ve done about a million stupid things when drunk. I just really do not think this was that serious. He’s an idot, but he’s not a sinister villain.

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      as1212 June 2, 2011, 12:16 pm

      “People I’ve known have gotten in fights, stolen things, driven drunk, broken things, and injured themselves. At any given bar or party someone is bound to do something stupid.” Wow, maybe those people need to grow up and stop drinking?? I am by no means against enjoying a drink now and then, but there is ABSOLUTELY no excuse for driving drunk or getting so drunk that you do things that directly put other people in danger.

      The issue of what he did while drunk is not an issue of intention. Obviously he was being stupid and didn’t mean to do what he did, but that doesn’t make what he did any less damaging or potentially dangerous. Everyone is responsible for themselves whether they’re drunk or high or whatever. Are you saying that just because someone who kills a family because they got in the car drunk didn’t MEAN to do that, their character is fine? I sure hope not. Just as I sure hope that you actually don’t think that if you want to ever drink you just accept that you’re going to make stupid drunken mistakes.

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        anna728 June 2, 2011, 10:55 pm

        I guess you did not get the point I was hoping to make with what you quoted from me. I of course am extremely against drunk driving, and of course don’t approve of the other things I mentioned either. The point was trying to make is that this guy isn’t unusual in his having made a big mistake drunk. You don’t have to be a sub-human monster to f*** up drunk once.

        I am not arguing that he should be off the hook. I think the charges he’s facing sound appropriate. I’m not suggesting he shouldn’t be accountable. What I object to is the idea that he is automatically an awful person and this was a really brutal, terrible crime. The whole point was about his girlfriend staying with him, and I don’t find this to tarnish his character enough to break up with him unless she has other reasons she wants to.

        As for your example of killing a family while drunk driving- c’mon, no one would think it’s fine because they didn’t mean to. That person should obviously go to jail. But it is still classified differently legally than, say, premeditated murder. But the problem with their character is that they drove drunk. Whereas I am sure you would recognize that intentions DO matter in other cases. For example, someone is driving sober and safely and they end up crashing, which kills a family. Obviously that is still a tragedy, but the driver in that case is clearly a better person than the drunk driver.

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      • katie

        Katie June 3, 2011, 9:38 pm

        “What I object to is the idea that he is automatically an awful person and this was a really brutal, terrible crime”

        this is totally what i was trying to say in my comment above, and no one seems to understand! lol we must hold un-popular opinions.

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      Vivster June 2, 2011, 9:19 pm

      Breaking and entering plus property damage isn’t “just” trespassing.

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        anna728 June 2, 2011, 10:41 pm

        I said trespassing because in the LW’s letter she said “he will most likely receive trespassing with no jail time”.

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    sarolabelle June 2, 2011, 1:38 am

    Where did Regina Ray go?

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      SpyGlassez June 2, 2011, 6:29 pm

      I was wondering that, too!

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    Leyahn June 2, 2011, 9:46 am

    You said –
    “He is a good kid”
    His actions reflect that his is, indeed, still a kid.
    Do you want to date him or raise him?

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    LW June 2, 2011, 2:00 pm

    To answer some questions and to put an end to this discussion, my boyfriend’s charges have been lowered to trespassing, a misdemeanor, after all the statements were collected (about a week ago, as I sent this message awhile ago). Also, as asked by the Devil’s advocate, I know the story was entirely true because I read the case, which contained statements from the homeowners and officers. He is also paying the damages for the doors, which he is happy to do because he knows he was in the wrong. My boyfriend also went to a specialist to determine whether or not he has a drinking problem. The specialist told him he does not need to be going to any classes and stated that it was just a bad night. She faxed a statement to both the prosecuting and defending attorneys as well as the courthouse saying this as well. He has not drank a drop since and it has now been 2 months since the inccident happened. Lastly, Leyahn, I use the word “kid” often when talking about people. I wasn’t trying to insinuate that he always behaves as one or is one. He knows what he did that night was wrong and the question of whether or not he “deserves” the punishment was never the issue. I plan to stay with him and if anything, this has helped us grow more as a couple. Thanks to all for responding. It is comforting knowing that many of you agree with my decision to stay. Thanks again!

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      Calliopedork June 2, 2011, 5:03 pm

      Im glad he received a.more appropriate sentance. A felony would have been too much

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      AnitaBath June 2, 2011, 5:04 pm

      I’m glad to hear the update! I personally would have probably done the same in your shoes, and I wish you all the best 🙂

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      Vivster June 2, 2011, 9:20 pm

      Glad that worked out for you!

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      anna728 June 2, 2011, 10:57 pm

      Sounds like things went reasonably well in the aftermath, given the mess it was.

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        GingerLaine June 3, 2011, 11:49 am

        Thanks for the update, LW! And very good to hear that he was evaluated by a PROFESSIONAL. I hope it’s nothing but (mostly) smooth sailing from here.

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    jena June 2, 2011, 2:20 pm

    um, what damages are so large that he’d get a felony? kicking a door at the first house, leaving without touching anything at the second? we’re not getting all the facts here, i’m afraid.

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      LW June 2, 2011, 2:32 pm

      They orignally had him for attempted burgulary which is what the felony charges were for. Which, as I mentioned in the above statement, have now been dropped after being proved that there was no “intent” at all. The homeowners said in their statements that the man entered without right, but was not threatening and when asked to leave, did without any confrontation. He even asked to pay for the door. However, the police charged him with breaking and entering-attempted burgulary as they did not recieve the statements or proof at the time of the incident (which is never the case). After a month of discussion between the attorneys and police, they dropped the charges to trespassing/misdemeanor.

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    happyfeet June 2, 2011, 4:48 pm

    I can’t believe you were thinking of dumping him over this.

    Jeez. A guy gets one little felony

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    Kat June 2, 2011, 4:57 pm

    Why do people always try to excuse bad behavior, as if it is something that just *happens* to them? “My Boyfriend Has Become a Felon”? Seriously? No, your boyfriend drank irresponsibly, then Commited a Felony. You want to stay with him and support him thru the consequences of his actions, then do so, but don’t try to make excuses for what he, himself, did or cry about how he is now going to have to pay for it.
    Intent isn’t something that people wear on their forehead like a neon sign. I wouldn’t trust someone who, after their inhibitions were removed by alcohol, behaved in such a manner, but you are an adult and can choose your own path.

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      Buck June 2, 2011, 6:16 pm

      Well said. The level of rationalization here is disturbing. Our brains will always tell us what we want to hear, and it is such a hassle to get a new boyfriend.
      This guy is a drunk who stays clean almost all the time. He knows he is a drunk. This is not the first time he has done this sort of thing, ask some old friends. He knows he has this problem and he went out and got toasted anyway. So add dangerously irresponsible to his other attributes.
      LW. What was the very first impulse you had when you heard about this act of drunken violence? Not your first thought, your first instinct. If you are a healthy human being your instinct was to get away from this guy. You should go with that.
      I will give him this: he is lucky as hell, and it is better to be lucky than good. Once he started his rampage what happened is probably the optimal outcome. Wake-up calls all around and nobody got hurt or worse.
      This is not a benign problem. If you really need a project in your life all-righty then.
      But the level of denial here is high. Alcoholism is a progressive disease. If you love this guy, if you are willing to devote yourself to his physical and spiritual welfare you need to approach this situation realistically and proactively with professional help.
      There is probably an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting starting hours from now close to where you live. You should go and talk to someone there.

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        anna728 June 2, 2011, 11:02 pm

        “This is not the first time he has done this sort of thing, ask some old friends.” I don’t think you can make that assumption.

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        LW June 3, 2011, 3:49 pm

        You’re right, Anna728. I have dated my boyfriend for over a year but we have been friends for YEARSSSS. He is NOT a drunk or in the beginning stages of alcoholism. I have seen him many times drunk prior to us even dating and he is always well behaved and just having fun. WE choose not to drink because we care a lot about what we put in our bodies. We are both health freaks and know alcohol isn’t the best for us. If you read my comment earlier, you would read that he did go to a specialist and she sent him away saying he does not need classes and that there is no problem. She even faxed statements to the prosecuting attorney, defense attorney, and the courthouse. The statement was attached to the final case. YOU’RE making assumptions, and you’re right, the rationalization here is disturbing…on your part.

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    Poppa June 2, 2011, 5:01 pm

    I was a bartender is Alaska for many years, I’ve seen all levels of alcoholism.

    Some people can drink for years and not be an alcoholic, others are genetically predisposed to alcoholism.

    People that black out and are violent are alcoholics. The boyfriend should never drink again. They can be the sweetest person when sober, but can be a mean drunk.

    A felony conviction is minor compared to this.

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    grandma June 2, 2011, 5:01 pm

    How old is this love of your life? If he is older than 24 run for your life. Teenagers might get away with this behavior but grown ups can’t. He’s lucky someone didn’t shoot him while he was kicking in their door. I would have..

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    yaddamaster June 2, 2011, 5:02 pm

    if you marry him I pity your kids. You may not mind being his mother but your children will need a father – for which he has dubious qualifications beyond contributing his DNA.

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    Nofelony June 2, 2011, 5:09 pm

    I’d get it knocked down to misdemeanor or he will face a lot of issues later in life with jobs and promotions and background checks and it will come up when gets stopped in the future. Not to mention in some states he cannot own a weapon.

    As for you and him, as long as he treats you good and does right otherwise, it’s fine.

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    Narniaman June 2, 2011, 5:16 pm

    So, LW, since he promised not to ever touch a drop of the stuff again. . .

    Are you going to do the same to support him?

    And as far as his “therapist” — was this really someone who wanted to help him, or someone picked out by his attorney with the express purpose of obtaining a report to minimize his legal consequences?

    I’m a medical professional. . . .and I am very, very skeptical of a report that someone who gets so plastered that when he blows a 0.16 and breaks down two doors and afterwards can’t remember anything. . . .does not have a problem with alcohol.

    He does have a problem with alcohol — a serious problem. I don’t know how big your boy friend is — but it only takes four or five drinks for some people to get to a blood alcohol of 0.16.

    If he handles this right — as a warning to never, ever touch the stuff again — this incident will be a tremendous learning experience for him.

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      LW June 3, 2011, 4:11 pm

      We both are no longer drinking. His parents also have not touched a drop (they would have a beer every now and then when another couple was over or so). We are all in full support of his decision to not drink anymore. Also, the professional was not chosen by his attorney and my boyfriend did not know her either. Lastly, he blew a 1.6 at 6:00am in the morning. That was after bar close at 2:00am, after eating (he called me while in the process of eating chicken strips), and after throwing up (also while on the phone with me). This is the first time he’s ever gotten aggressive in this manner. We have been friends for years.

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    Harold June 2, 2011, 5:20 pm

    He said “My boyfriend called me belligerent and even puking.” people say things when drunk that they’re afraid to say when sober.

    He doesn’t love you- he’s using you. Run away. Forget the felony and all that- focus on what he said.

    I’m 55, I’m a male, I’ve seen it before. Run away, now, while you can.

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    RetiredE9 June 2, 2011, 5:31 pm

    If you were my daughter I’d tell you to dump him. You only have his word this hasn’t happen before.

    Just like no criminal is ever caught “the first time” he commits an offense, I have to suspect this was not a first for him either.

    If you do decide to stay with him either married or not keep every account COMPLETELY separate. If you have a joint checking account keep a minimum of your money in the account. If he get stupid again (something I consider likely) and winds up with some kind of liability (get into an accident, hits someone, etc) that will reduce your personal liability. Don’t let him have access to your credit, ATM or debit cards.

    If he stays straight for five years or so, you can re-consider my advice.

    Please remember that with a felony he’s already damaged goods. He won’t be able to vote in most states, he won’t be a candidate for any job that involves handling money (so even McDonalds is out as an employment avenue) he can’t qualify for many licensure programs, some mortgages, his car insurance will be sky high.

    P.S.I missed the update regarding the felony, but he’s still going to get dinged for car insurance for a number of years.

    It’s like buying a new car, you love it until it breaks down the first time, after that you will never feel the same about the car, ditto for the boyfriend. Dump him, there’s always another guy.

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    jay June 2, 2011, 5:37 pm

    It’s all there. Your boyfriend is a violent drunk who hasn’t hit you- yet. Run away.

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    Howard Roark June 2, 2011, 5:48 pm

    Be sure to continue to have sex with your boyfriend. That way you can become accidentally pregnant and have a child with someone with a drinking problem. You 2 will either split or stay together and have the violent childhood you had growing up will get passed along to your child! Good times !. Then in a few years/ months you can try to figure out why your home life is so much like your unhappy childhood.

    This is the time to get out and why single people should not have sex before marriage- minimum age of 28 with a 1yr engagement. People are what they do…NOT THEIR INTENTIONS

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      AnitaBath June 2, 2011, 8:24 pm

      ……………..

      I…I…I don’t even know what to say.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 2, 2011, 9:21 pm

        To me it’s more of a reality check.

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      LW June 3, 2011, 3:53 pm

      When did this discussion turn into sex? You know nothing about me, let alone about my sexual life. You’re making assumptions here and you’re severly wrong.

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      LW June 3, 2011, 3:55 pm

      When did this discussion ever bring up sex? You are making assumptions. I have amazing parents, so does he. Your assumptions are severely wrong in all cases.

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    Kevin June 2, 2011, 5:59 pm

    You need to figure out what really happened. I’m not sure the best way, possibly the cops involved. If he’s lying (like he has a previous arrest record or the situation isn’t as described) you should run fast and far.

    If he isn’t lying and you want to stay he needs to get this down to a non-violent misdemeanor. Even a series of misdemeanors. 4 serious misdemeanors might have more jail/fines than one minor felony, but felonies are BAD.

    If he doesn’t have one of the best criminal defense attorneys in town he needs to get one. It’s possible a PD is one of the best one in town, but if he isn’t he desperately needs one. if you are not sure his current attorney is the best in town try to find a friend of a friend who is a lawyer or judge and ask. You only get one shot a trial, if you get a bad lawyer you are just screwed.

    This probably means someone has to pay the attorney a LOT of money. Him, his family, you. Someone. A successful criminal defense is usually quite expensive, a felony conviction is going to cost him serious money every day for the rest of his life.

    And he should never drink again, most especially with ‘friends’ like those. Getting arrested because he was drinking is a pretty clear sign of that.

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    livermoron June 2, 2011, 6:02 pm

    Dump him. Drunken behavior is just a revelation of what is going on inside his psyche. I’ve seen a lot of drunken folks in my life and belligerence/violence is an uncommon reaction to intoxication. The only times I’ve seen that type of behavior is when the drunk is cut-off from accessing more alcohol.
    Calling you and being abusive? I’ve seen drunks call someone they love and getting all dopey and maudlin. Never heard of one calling their lover and being nasty to them. I’ve also seen them tell off a boss they don’t like.
    I also know some folks who got in trouble trying to get in the wrong house while drunk. They knocked and yelled and rang the doorbell…but they didn’t kick in any doors. His behavior is very troubling.
    You are being played.
    At the very least take some time off from him and see what else is out there. You could ruin a large chunk of your life with this guy.

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      AnitaBath June 2, 2011, 8:27 pm

      “I’ve seen drunks call someone they love and getting all dopey and maudlin. Never heard of one calling their lover and being nasty to them. I’ve also seen them tell off a boss they don’t like.”

      Nowhere did she say that her boyfriend called her and was abusive or nasty to her.

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        AnitaBath June 2, 2011, 8:30 pm

        Okay, I missed the “belligerent” part before, but that still doesn’t mean that he was abusive towards her, and the “nasty” part is a little vague.. Maybe the LW can clear this up?

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        LW June 3, 2011, 3:59 pm

        He was never mean or nasty to me on the phone at all. He has never been that way to me at any point in our relationship or prior to that when we had been friends for years.

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    gb_in_tx June 2, 2011, 6:22 pm

    He’s fortunate that my back door wasn’t one of the ones he kicked in. There’s a good chance he wouldn’t have survived the incident — we’re armed.

    He’s got 2 strikes against him, IMO. He’s demonstrated himself to be at risk for stupid and violent behavior when alcohol is involved and there’s no guarantee that he won’t backslide. And, it looks like he will be a felon and that will haunt him (and by extension, you) for the rest of his life.

    The first strike is one that can be overlooked, given time. If he really does turn himself around then that’s one thing. It can happen.

    But the other is more serious. Has he lawyered up? Can his defense atty talk the charges down to a pair of misdemeanors? There’s enough at stake here that it is worth the money to hire a top notch defender who will negotiate a misdemeanor plea bargain.

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    JadedByPolitics June 2, 2011, 6:25 pm

    First off I am truly surprised by the felony charge on a first time offense (get a better lawyer) however, my son did almost the exact same thing, though he didn’t break things, just banging on the wrong doors, and his friends were not true friends that night either (that seems to be an issue in this day and age), he was arrested but he sobered up in jail got community service and that was 4 years ago. Four years later he is a fine upstanding citizen, who works, pays his bills who made a error in his past. If we give up on those we say we love at the first sign of trouble the question becomes did you ever love that person in the first place?, whether that person be a child, a friend or boyfriend.

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    Vinny B. June 2, 2011, 6:25 pm

    Tell him to get a batter lawyer before he pleads to anything.

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    AnitaBath June 2, 2011, 6:45 pm

    What the fuck is up with all the recent comments telling her that her boyfriend is a worthless, immature, abusive, manipulative alcoholic?

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy June 2, 2011, 6:52 pm

      The post was linked to from a major website, so lots of new readers with different viewpoints…

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        AnitaBath June 2, 2011, 8:22 pm

        I was unaware we had new blood, my apologies.

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    Purpleslog June 2, 2011, 5:51 pm

    No way is this the first time. Perhpas the first time he was caught…

    Alcohol-driven belligerence will only get worse and worse.

    Run away from this dude before he messes up everything around you.

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    livermoron June 2, 2011, 7:26 pm

    Perhaps those viewpoints reflect a more accurate truth than the one you propose Anita.
    So many people ruin their lives by making a poor relationship choice. Some people learn from that and try to teach others.
    Anita, is this site only meant for those who believe she should stick it out with him? Why would she pose the question if she didn’t want to get some opinions. I haven’t read every comment, but of those I’ve read no one has called him worthless. Abusive, immature, manipulative are all things he has exposed about himself. He may be an alcoholic. Binging is a form of that abuse, yet who can tell from the info here?
    The bf may be redeemable. I’d advise anyone not to bet their future on it though.

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      AnitaBath June 2, 2011, 8:21 pm

      livermoron, the views expressed have been HUGE HUGE HUGE leaps from the details given in the letter. The letter writer has stated that they both RARELY drink. In her update (about halfway down the page, I believe) the letter writer stated that she knew all the details of the case and knew he was not lying, that he has handled the fall out responsibly, that he’s sought counseling and has been told he doesn’t have an alcohol problem, and she has stated many times that he treats her great. So I ask you, livermoron, does one stupid mistake justify everyone crucifying him and branding him an alcoholic and a manipulative abuser?

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    Larry O'Leery June 2, 2011, 7:39 pm

    Alcohol is dangerous. It played a major role in ruining both my marriages. If you are satisfied that alcoholism doesn’t run in his family, as it is an inheritable trait, then maybe you slow things down a bit to let time prove that it was a one-time thing.

    Ask yourself how you’d advise your 20-something-year-old daughter if she came to you with that situation.

    Go with your gut.

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    Hunt Brown June 2, 2011, 7:12 pm

    With regard to the felon part, as a lawyer I can state the odds are that if this is his first offense your state has a first offender statute which will allow the court to dismiss the charge after probation, or alternatively to “nol prosse” the case (elect not to prosecute) if he satisfies certain conditions, like reparation and probation, but really, that isn’t the problem. As Shakespeare said “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet….” whether or not he is a “felon” is entirely secondary to the reality that he’s got some issues because getting plastered in extremis, becoming abusive while drunk, and kicking down doors is not behavior one expects to find in well adjusted people.

    My money says your boyfriend might have anger issues and a binge drinking problem and he should use this as a wake up call to do some serious self-examination. He shouldn’t forgoe an evaluation, but whatever it states he should commit to six months of AA meetings and should attend a “Men Stopping Violence” program.

    And while he’s doing that, you might want to explore why you are attracted to this man. A lot of times we get into relationships thinking that we can help or save a person, and if that’s you, realize now the only person who can fix your boyfriend is your boyfriend. Making excuses for him, rationalizing his behavior, and defending him is called being codependent and enabling, so maybe this is your wake up call too.

    There is a great book by Harville Hendrix called “Getting the Love You Want” that explains so much about how and why we are attracted to our mates and how to use our relationships for our personal growth. I’ve read it a couple of times. You should read it.

    And I’ll give you one last thought, if your boyfriend says “I don’t need AA or MSV because I don’t have a problem” tell him it’s a deal breaker. He either goes or you will leave him. If he’s a good guy he’ll take the chance to learn more about himself, but if he’s a jerk he’ll refuse and that will tell you all you need to know before you either pack your bags or hand him his toothbrush.

    Good Luck

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    Ken Royall June 2, 2011, 8:36 pm

    I have been drunk. Most people have. However most people I know didn’t go around kicking in doors up and down the street. I would be cautious and hold off on marriage for a bit. If he does a repeat performance (not exactly unlikely) blow him off.

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    livermoron June 2, 2011, 10:54 pm

    How many mistakes of that nature are allowed Anita? How many warning signs do you disregard? Binge drinkers can go quite awhile between incidents, but when they occur they can ruin lives and destroy families. His behavior was waaaay over the top. it revealed somethings about him that you and the OP seem to wish to overlook.
    How little self-regard do you have to have to put up with that? Do you wait until you have a kid or two with him? Options get pretty narrow at that point.
    At some in one’s life one comes to the realization that all the warning signs were there and you just refused to acknowledge them.
    It seems to me that you have a lot of maturing to go through Anita. I hope you make the right life decisions.

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      AnitaBath June 2, 2011, 11:05 pm

      Personally, I think five children would be my limit. Maybe I’d learn on the sixth.

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    joe June 2, 2011, 11:17 pm

    drop losers.
    repeat as necessary
    you are not a superhero and do not have a mission to save the world
    find a good one

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    livermoron June 2, 2011, 11:38 pm

    glad you are taking it seriously. When you give advice without actually caring what happens to the person who follows your advice…
    but at least you know how to spell ‘fuck’

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      AnitaBath June 2, 2011, 11:56 pm

      I also know how to spell “holier-than-thou,” which is how you’ve been treating me during this entire exchange. When you talk down to me, stretch the truth, and generally act like everyone is beneath you, I’m not going to take the time to give you a proper response.

      When you take me seriously, perhaps I’ll take you seriously.

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      Taurwen June 3, 2011, 12:48 am

      Well if you’re impressed by ‘fuck’ I have a few more four letter words I generally save up for people like you.

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    livermoron June 3, 2011, 12:07 am

    Very difficult not to talk down to you.

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      AnitaBath June 3, 2011, 12:09 am

      I’m sure it is.

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      SpaceySteph June 3, 2011, 3:21 pm

      Is that because you’re tall?

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    crypticguise June 3, 2011, 12:19 am

    Your boyfriend is a doofus and not very responsible. However, I think he can get this expunged from his record. Talk to a good “connected” attorney.

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    LW June 3, 2011, 4:31 pm

    Just so everyone is aware…neither my boyfriend or I am asking for sympathy. As I’ve said before, he is fully aware that what he did was wrong and knows he needs to be punished for it. I was simply confused about the next step for myself and our relationship as the “title” (as bad as that is) of felony, scared the crap out of me. However, as I mentioned in my update, he did not get a felony and is working to get his life back on track after this life altering experience.

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      Narniaman June 4, 2011, 11:22 am

      The question is, LW, — if you decide to stay with him — is . . . . .

      Are you going to be an enabler?

      The only thing he can do to make sure there are no more drunk raging breaking and entering episodes. . . .is to never, ever drink again.

      Are you going to support him in that effort? Or are you going to be drinking right in front of him?

      One other thing you should consider. . . just what will be your limit with him? If it’s okay for him to have a felony before you marry. . . .how many afterwards? Or are felonies okay as long as he does do jail time? Or is less than 30 days okay, but anything longer a deal breaker?

      You are to be commended for seeking counsel — but make sure you get counsel from people who have been around a bit, and not from a 19 year old that has only known it all for maybe two or three years.

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        LW June 6, 2011, 1:23 pm

        Unfortunately, I understand that people commenting aren’t able to read every post; however, I had written in earlier posts that I have completely quit drinking, as well as his parents. We are 100% behind him and none of us have the need or desire to drink anyways. Also, I had written earlier that he did not get a felony for his actions after all the data and statements were collected. He recieved a misdemeanor for trespassing. I am 23 and my mom opens my mail all the time without my permission, which is a felony. Sure, I am angry about it, but am I to stop associating with my own mother and turn her in for doing so? No. Even if he did recieve a felony charge, I will not let the title “felon” keep me from being with the one I love who I know deep down is a great, compassionate man, who simply made a big mistake, one night. I truly believe that he will not drink again and I will have no further worries in the future. For all those who disagree, condemn me all you want for my choice, but I am sticking with it. I have a good head on my shoulders, and if I had the smallest doubt that my choice of staying with him because of this one incident is going to harm me more in the future, I would MOA. Job wise, he is already secure as he owns his own construction business in a small town where everyone trusts him and knows he’s a good man. Obviously, being in a small town, everyone knows about this incident as well and no one has changed their opinions or has thought differently of him.

        Thanks again for all your comments; however, I will not be back to this post to read any future comments.

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