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I was sleeping with my attorney and he agreed to my probation without telling me any of the conditions, now what can I do?

New York, NY |

Any time I asked him any questions he ignored me or didn't know the answers and when I met probation they told me my attorney was supposed to tell me about all of the terms. On my plea it just said probation and my lawyer/lover failed to tell me so many things. I did not accept probation yet and don't know if I should turn it down. I am hurt and feel my attorney dropped the ball and never want to see him again. He is more worried about him getting in trouble for starting a relationship with me than anything that is going on with my case. I feel used and ignored. Now I have no idea what to do. Do I replace him? What would I tell the judge?

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Attorney answers 5

Posted

It seems to make sense to hire a new attorney at this point.

Scott Gross
516-662-7995
Former Prosecutor

This is not a solicitation nor is it legal advice. An attorney/client relationship has not been established. The Law Offices of Scott Gross, PC 631-456-2326 Scottgrosslaw.com

Posted

Other than a matrimonial case, there is no per se rule about an attorney sleeping with a client. I do suggest you you get a new lawyer though.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

Posted

Hire a new attorney who wil go over everything with you and help you determine what options you may have at this point.

Posted

The only ethical prohibition as to having sex with an attorney is if the client is a matrimonial client. Then, your question raises more questions then it explains. You state that you met with probation but did not accept probation. Rest assured if you allocuted to a plea for a term of probation you allocuted to the terms in open court and you signed off on the terms in the court record. Like many criminal defendants you likely were not paying attention or were in denial. If you would like you can retain an attorney to pull the file and review for some sort of constitutional error to restore your case to the calendar. Expect to spend up to $10,000 for that service.

Asker

Posted

The story is much more detailed but I didn't feel like posting it. He has already admitted to me that he was totally wrong and is sorry and since he txtd that to me he does not seem that bright. When I agreed to probation the only thing written on the paper I signed was probation, no terms were written. It was my lawyers responsibility to let me know what those terms were. He said I would need to check in once a month at a kisok and that was it. He either didn't pay attention or didn't care and just told me he would take care of it. The sex is not the problem but I feel if I didn't have a personal relationship with him he would have treated me like any other client. He knows he didn't do a good job but how does that help me. I think he should have been a lawyer in the court room and anything else outside of it. If I don't agree to the terms now he thinks it will make him look bad and I will need to tell them why I don't agree. FYI I paid him for his services upfront so it has nothing to do with money.

Michael J Palumbo

Michael J Palumbo

Posted

Every single time a client of mine has allocuted and the sentence includes a term of probation the court has a standard form that lays out the terms of probation and the length of probation. The defendant must sign it and the court reads out loud in open court the terms of probation and the defendant must state on the record that they are assenting to the terms of probation and the overall sentence. If the plea allocution did not happen this way then you have a valid case for appeal of your sentence. This is more a violation by the court then your lawyer. So there again, retain counsel to do the work to get your sentence vacated.

Asker

Posted

I am in treatment court for refusing a breathalyzer. I had to complete a year of treatment court first before probation starts and the only thing any paperwork said was probation upon completion. If I did not make it through the year I would have been sentenced to jail time and then put on Parole when I go out. Probation told me that they went over the terms with my lawyer and that he was supposed to tell me. I assumed the terms of probation would have been contingent on my performance in treatment and not that they were already set. If I knew they already gave set terms I would have wanted to talk to the DA and see if there was a way to lessen them. Every time I asked the Judge a question he said your lawyer will explain it to you. It's not that I can't do the probation since I did not have one sanction this whole year but I would like to have been made aware of what I had initially agreed to. I already completed a year, I do not want to have to be re sentenced and do this year of rehab again. I am not a violent criminal I refused a breathalyzer and passed all video taped sobriety tests. i know the court did not appreciate my refusal and is sticking it to me but to have to go to probation once a week for a 1st time non violent arrest is a little much. I do not have any priors and this monitoring is really not necessary and had I know it was going to be like this I would have tried to negotiate a better deal but because I had a relationship with my lawyer he just said he would handle it. I though he would try to get me the best deal possible not just agree to any terms proposed. Maybe he is just not god at his job who knows. I am wondering if I complain that I was not made aware of the terms I will have to go through another year of this because the treatment wouldn't count if I say I am not happy with my representation. I want this to not continue for years.

Michael J Palumbo

Michael J Palumbo

Posted

Without being retained to assist you anymore, this is above my pay grade.

Posted

You have to replace him and get advice that is not tainted. You tell the judge nothing. Your new lawyer will speak with the judge.

Joseph A. Lo Piccolo, Esq.
Immediate Past President, Criminal Courts Bar Association 11'-12'
Hession Bekoff & Lo Piccolo
1103 Stewart Ave, Suite 200
Garden City, NY 11530
516-408-3666 (o) / 516-408-3833 (f)
Jlopiccolo@hbclaw.net

I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.