Can the court make me pay for the lawyer they appointed without my consent or chance to waive the right to counsel for my juvenile child?

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Can the court make me pay for the lawyer they appointed without my consent or chance to waive the right to counsel for my juvenile child?

My child was put on probation by the parent (me) for not coming home one night. I was not going o go ahead with it but the magistrate told me if I did not go ahead with the charges the police would. The day of the hearing a lawyer approached us in the hallway and stated he was appointed to represent her. She told him she was pleading guilty. He never once offered use the right to waive counsel. I was not told until after the hearing that if they found me able to pay for the lawyer I would have to pay. About 6 weeks after the hearing I get a bill in the mail to pay the lawyer fees.

Asked on October 24, 2011 under Criminal Law, Ohio

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

What is happening is that the court system is attempting to have the custodial parent of your minor child reimburse the court for attorneys fees incurred in the child's defense under statute.

The court system is empowered to assess such charges to the responsible child in that under the laws of all states, parents are responsible for the conduct of their children up to the age of 18.

You can contest the charges assessed against you by contacting the court clerk who issued the invoice to inquire how you go about it. Unfortunately the chances of being success on any such contest would appear to be remote based upon what you have written in your question.

 


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