Have you ever made a mistake?
I bet you have, we all have. It’s just that in some cases, those mistakes, those misjudgements, end up meaning that you are guilty of committing a criminal offence.
I had the privilege of supporting a very lovely lady through her court case recently. She was charged with Drink Driving, she admitted and accepted it. In her words, “there was no reason for her to have done it”.
You see, she is an alcoholic. She didn’t consider herself an alcoholic until this happened, not really, more that when she drank she drank too much and made stupid choices, so she simply didn’t drink. She could function perfectly well without it, she didn’t need to drink to cope with life or even just drink out of habit. She had been dry for many years – she estimated at around 10 years. As a youth she had gotten herself in trouble, she had drunk too heavily and she had made some mistakes. So she just didn’t drink.
She got involved in a rehabilitation scheme and it was the making of her. She thrived in that environment, so much so that she went on to work with a number of charities and had dedicated her life since to helping others. I think most people that met her, spoke to her, and heard her story, would consider her a good person. She definitely didn’t see herself that way. She was mortified and disgusted with herself for having done it.
She suffers from migraines, and had been suffering from one for almost a week. Nothing was touching it, she was exhausted and just wanted to sleep. So she drove and bought a bottle of wine, hoping that a couple of glasses would relax her enough to sleep. Unfortunately they didn’t work and a couple of hours later she took the decision to go out for a drive, not for a moment considering the alcohol she had consumed earlier.
There was never any question of her pleading anything other than Guilty. She had spoken to a firm of solicitors before me who had assured her that there would be a loophole, that the police would have made a mistake somewhere, that something would be wrong, that she would get away with it. She didn’t want to “get away with it”. She wanted, she needed, to take responsibility for her actions and move on with her life.
There had been no accident, no reports of poor driving from the public, just a random stop by the police, and one our client was immensely grateful for, because in her head it meant that a bad situation had not been made worse.
We worked with our client, not only to make sure the courts saw her and not just the offence, but also to help our client realise that yes she had made a mistake, but that she was not defined by that mistake, and that all the good she had done and would still do in life was worth more than this one mistake. We supported her through telling her family, her friends and colleagues.
At Forrest Williams we understand that behind every case there is a client, a family impacted by this matter. You will have a dedicated case handler, you will have multiple ways of contacting that person so a method that works for you and your life is used – we know that if you work in a busy office you may not want to take calls during the day so it may be that we email or text and speak on your breaks when you can be somewhere private. We work with you and for you.
If you are charged with a criminal offence and want to work with a team who have won awards for their customer service levels then give the Forrest Williams team a call on 01623 397200.