I have a theoretical roommate.
beginning 2015, he was amped on life. he was in a fantastic career jump-starting internship, along with being on the right track to finally getting on the dean's list at his university. Over time though, his attitude changed. He spent most of his time in his room on his laptop. He still did schoolwork, and internship work, but wasn't attending class as much. As March slipped into April, he simply stopped. Everything. He often didn't leave his room for days on end, sleeping mostly, wasn't responding to calls or texts, stopped doing everything he loved. One day he messaged me and asked if we could grab a coffee. He admitted to having suicidal thoughts, two or three times daily.
I did everything I could think of, finally convincing him to seek out help through our school's in house psych counselling. He did, and begin seeing a counselor on a regular basis. This was in around the end of April. As far as I know, he didn't even go to any of his final exams he was so distraught. After exams, he had to move house with me, so I helped him the most I could, but he said he needed to head back to his hometown to pick up some things for his internship.
So he drove back home in his tiny econobox from the 90s with barely 100hp, loaded it up, and headed back to our Uni town. On the way back, on a country road (80km/h) he had a thought as he approached a deep valley.
"I could end it if I swerved my car into that semi truck coming at me."
"My little car likely won't hurt him, but I'll surely be crushed on impact with all this stuff crammed in here--- stop. stop this. you need to focus. take deep breaths. in. out. in. out."
"I hit that bump extremely hard. how fast am I going? oooh..."
He checked his rearview mirror and watched as the OPP cruiser made a quick U-turn and sped up behind him, lights flashing.
"I'm done. This is it. My life is actually now over. What would happen if I ran? No, that's beyond stupid. I should have just swerved into that truck." He thought to himself, pulling over as fast as he possibly could to avoid angering the officer.
The officer approached, and asked him if he knew how fast he was going. he began to apologize, not answering the question. The officer then asked for his license and registration, which he promptly gave over- except for his insurance card, which wasn't anywhere he could find. *EDIT*. He was well done now. The officer grimaced, and went back to his car after offering the advice that my roommate should probably call his parents to ask for a ride. He came back 30 minutes later to the guy, 21 years old and crying quietly to himself in the drivers seat. The officer asks him to step out. he does, and the officer presents him with his summons for stunt driving, and two tickets. One for the stunt, the other for speeding more than 80km/h over the speed limit. He then reamed him out for doing such a dangerous speed in such hilly terrain while the farmers were planting their fields nearby. He told the kid how his car was getting towed at his expense, his license getting suspended, and after watching my roommate try to explain himself to the officer, giving him a brief lecture on this is just how life is, that he was just going to have to deal with it, and that the officer was simply doing his job. The officer then offered him a ride to the nearest Tim Horton's, where his mother was going to pick him up. They went to our apartment, and his mother dropped him off.
I came home from summer class that day to find him bawling on the carpet in our then-barren living room. The only person he spoke to that week was his counselor.
The next week he went and picked up his car at the impound lot. He then went to the DMV to get his license reinstated. Oddly enough, their records indicated that the fee was paid in full the weekend prior, much to the confusion of both the employee and my roommate. He then went back to our apartment.
That week he left the house twice. Once to see his counselor, and once for some kind of business meeting. I later found out that they had fired him due to his 'mental state incapacitating his ability to perform his duties effectively.' He didn't leave his room for several days. Things came to a crescendo one night at around 4 in the morning. I woke up hearing a quiet knock on my door, followed by him whispering my name. I came to the door, he was crying about how in his room he almost ended it right there, using a rope he had in his emergency highway kit and the ceiling fan as his mounting bracket. I locked the rope in my closet after calming him down.
I went back to my hometown shortly after, being finished with my summer studies, telling him to never hesitate to call there was anything, at any time of day.
The next month went by, him withering away in his room, until the week before his first appearance. He went to see a ticket buster, who upon hearing his story and experiencing similar trauma in their life, offered their services free of charge to him. The only catch was that he would need to represent himself. They guided him through the first appearance, telling him to send a request for disclosure before first appearance, and go in and ask for adjournment. He did, and another month passed without him speaking to anyone but his counselor each week, and one more visit to the ticket buster. He went into court to receive his disclosure, and went home. Running out of money, he took a position at the lowest possible level at his old company for the next month or so, and nearing the end of the month they asked for payments to cover some of the costs of his leaving. Being chased after for a few thousand dollars by the job that fired him, he shut down again. Locked in his room. Talking to no one.
At appearance number 3 he requested typed notes from the officer- there was a discrepancy in the written notes that could potentially set him free! A slipup that could have resulted in a lock speed of 30 over rather than a target speed of 80 over. He thought he was saved. He went home and began job hunting, interviewing at multiple different places before crashing again, hard. back to the norm of not leaving the house except for counselling appointments.
Appearance 4 saw him receive an offer- drop the stunt charge and lower the charge to 60 over. He explained to the prosecutor his situation, begging for them to see him as a victim of circumstance, but no dice. No typed notes either. He called his friend the ticket buster and asked their advice. They told him he likely wasn't going to get a better offer. He cried as he drove home, calling another paralegal they referred him to, saying that the case was now out of their experience level. The next day, he walked into another paralegal's office, and explained his story. The paralegal thought he could bargain the ticket down to 49 over, for a decent fee. Money that my roommate didn't have, unfortunately. The paralegal told him that he would begin preliminaries, and to come back with the retainer 'once he had some cake in his pocket'.
He found another job, and created a plan: Work for the year, and do artwork (he's pretty amazing at it) and apply for architecture school. He got two jobs. One in a factory, and the other waiting tables at a fine dining restaurant. He worked for a week, before running completely out of money trying to buy some breakfast because he'd run out of food at home. He crashed, and
admitted himself to hospital because no one was around to help him. After the mandatory 3 days they hold you for while on suicide watch, he was released, fired by his factory job. fortunately the restaurant hadn't scheduled him during his meltdown, and he still had a job there. He worked minimal hours over the next month, seeing his counselor for the last time at the end of august, before she moved on to private practice where he couldn't afford her.
At this point the other roommates and I returned for school, and he almost seemed normal, apart from the fact that he only left his room to go to work. in October though, he had his fifth appearance. He went to the court, and spoke to the prosecutor. they told him they were still waiting for the disclosure. But 5 minutes before court time, they called him back to their offices. They handed him a stack of papers. "Here you are," they said, "Now do you want to take my offer or shall we go to trial?" Mortified at the thought of potentially having all charges convicted, he burst into tears trying one last time to get a new bargain, arguing as to why the law was written, and that if it's purpose is to deter repeat offences, he couldn't fall under that category since he'd never intended to commit the crime anyways. They declined to comment on the theory. They gave him a few moments to call counsel, and in that time he was told to put it to trial. The prosecutor explained that the offer made on appearance 3 would stand until the trial date. He left the courthouse, petrified. He'd seen the shows. Courthouses were basically knife fights. Anyone could win. He had the same shocked expression for most of that day. We all gave him a wide berth.
His trial date was set 358 days after the date of his initial summons. His paralegal got excited. This could mean they could potentially use the charter defence, that he has right to timely trial, and that current precedent is set at 10 months. He was over by almost 2 months! He could potentially walk away free. My roommate came home thinking that he had the prosecutor to thank, that somehow they gave him a hail mary pass by setting his court date so far in advance. He returned to work much brighter and set on the future. He painted, drew, and worked. But over time he reverted back to his depressed ways. He was losing money. He decided to sublet his room and move back in with his parents in his hometown for the time being. The last I spoke to him I offered him a hug.
So a few questions about my hypothetical roommate:
Has anyone successfully employed 11b in their defence?
What about using my friend's obvious mental illness as a defence? his argument of "not going to repeat the crime if he had never intended to do it in the first place" seems pretty solid to me.
When employing 11b, does that drop non criminal charges as well? (the speeding ticket, not just the stunt)
Should my hypothetical roommate go to court? or take the plea? (one of the things he enjoys most in the world is tuning, driving, and working on cars and motorcycles- his friend and him were building their own bikes in tandem when he was functioning last. His favourite pastime is taking a drive and finding great driving roads. Not being able to drive would likely not be good for his mental health)