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Can I hire a criminal lawyer for a family member and have the lawyer follow my instructions or just review the DA's agreement?

Tulsa, OK |

I asked question about an ADA who wasn’t returning calls about an agreement offered to my mom in leu of charges for animal neglect. ADA verbally indicated the terms of the agreement would be mom never owns animals again. ADA finally called back to say she'll set up an apptment. Not owning animals is in mom's best interest. It’s not what she wants but is willing to prevent serving jail time. I don't want a lawyer to suggest fighting charges to my mother. She would go for it. The lawyers I emailed want a consultation with her. If I'm paying, I know she'd try to have the lawyer help her get the animals back regardless of cost to me. Living half way across the country, I can't go with her to tell the lawyer the actual facts. How do I get a lawyer to just facilitate and/or review the agreement

I also don't want to pay a lawyer's hourly rates just to listen to my mom's sob stories and conspiracy theories. She can go on for hours deflecting questions. Given the facts presented by the DA at the hearing for the bond to reclaim the seized animals, my personal opinion is that the charges are justified, and she would be found guilty. But even if she was found not guilty, my opinion is that she can't afford the animals. She can't even afford a proper place to live because she spends over half of her extremely low income on the animals and refuses to accept the situation change that caused that several years ago. Updated: Is there a way to have her declared mentally incompetent or something in order have the say in what the lawyer does? She does not prioritize basic necessities like food water and shelter above non-necessities like owning the animals .

Attorney Answers 5

  1. No lawyer can ethically represent your mother and withhold disclosure to her of HER legal options in favor of the options that suit YOU, even if you are paying. That dog won't hunt.

    NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. DO NOT RELY ON ANY ADVICE YOU RECEIVE FROM ME OR ANY OTHER ATTORNEY IN THIS FORUM. Legal advice comes after a complete review of the facts and relevant documents and an expressed (written) agreement of representation that forms attorney-client confidentiality. Neither of these two events can occur in this forum. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. His answers to any Avvo question are rooted in general legal principles--NOT your specific state laws. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this or any other matter.

  2. No lawyer can ethically do what you are asking, so don't waste your money.

    The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not considered to be legal advice.

  3. I agree, no lawyer should ethically go along with this.

  4. I think you can pay a lawyer not to represent your mother but to explain to you the conditions of the agreement your mother is being offered. If that is what you need done.

    If you hire a lawyer to represent your mother I agree , in part with some of the other answers. The lawyer would represent your mother not you, even though you were paying.

    This is not that uncommon of a situation in criminal representation. You frequently experience the situation when you are representing a young client and are hired by the parents. Many times I am confronted with the dilemma of "doing what is truly in my client's best interest" vs. "doing what my client wants to do". Ultimately my client has the right to make the choice. But, that does not mean I can not work with the person that paid for my services and try to persuade my client to do what is in their best interest.

  5. You can hire an attorney to just review the agreement and let you know what it says, what its implications are, etc.
    But if you want to pay an attorney to make your mother take the deal, then no ethical lawyer will do that. An attorney who represents your mother will advise her but is ultimately bound by her decision. No ethical lawyer will represent her without talking to her.
    If you don't feel comfortable paying for her lawyer and she cannot afford one, she can contact local legal clinics to assist her.

    This information is for general information purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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