Seated in a wheelchair and wearing a jail-issue jumpsuit, Amanda Gould felt certain the judge would release her. Her lawyer, her kids and husband thought so, too.
She knew her case was complicated, knew she had messed up by violating the terms of her probation. But two months in the Pasco County jail for something that soon may be legal seemed punishment enough.
In August, during a regular drug screening for a 2013 DUI conviction, she had tested positive for marijuana. She says it's the only thing that eases her pain and allows her to function as a mother.
At an Oct. 8 hearing, Circuit Judge William Webb held a stack of papers with Gould's medical history. A probation officer had recommended that her probation continue.
"I think that's a waste of time," the judge said. "It's pretty clear to me from this report that she likes drugs and she's not going to stop using them, no matter what."
Gould's attorney, Marc Joseph, sounded dismayed. "Your honor, I disagree." He said his client was chronically ill.
Webb referred to Gould's file: "This says she's on numerous narcotics."
Those were prescribed by doctors, Joseph said.