My sons public defender said a parent basically has no rights to a juvenile while he is in juvenile hall....we live in Ca. How is this possible? I thought parents are responsible for their child till 18?? How can i have no say or even obtain any info on my own childs case??
Your son's LAWYER, who is being provided to him at government expense, is correct.
Your son is the client, not you. His communications with his attorney are protected by the Sixth Amendment and a host of other laws and regulations.
Even if your son allows his lawyer to discuss the case with you, lawyers are not required to provide copies of police reports to parents... or even to the client, if they fear that releasing the reports could hurt the client's case.
Lawyers often limit the information they give a client's family... especially when the family member is likely to repeat information that should not be shared. When a parent starts posting about the client's case on the Internet, I usually provide no more than the next court date and the purpose of the scheduled hearing.
This is NOT legal advice. It is a general discussion of legal principles by a California lawyer, and does not create an attorney/client relationship. You should always consult PRIVATELY with an attorney.
Appears you're laboring under several misconceptions.
SAN DIEGO CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY--20 years experience
You son is charged with a criminal act and any communications between him and is attorney are confidential and cannot be revealed without the approval of the child after consultation with his lawyer. Further, in most states, discovery in a criminal matter, by law, is not to be disseminated to anyone, including the defendant. You can show him or her but you cannot give them copies.
Finally, as to your last two issues: Nothing in the law is total-There are always exceptions; Secondly, you are not the custodian while the child is incarcerated and, therefore, do not have normal parental rights; Thirdly, there are provisions in the law that, depending on what it is you want and the age of the child, the child's wishes preempt yours no matter if he is under the age of majority. A classic is medical under Federal law and, usually under state law as well.
Finally, not confuse responsibility with knowledge of conduct or condition. Ask yourself this question: If you are responsible for his conduct does that mean you will do his jail time if he is convicted of certain crimes?
Mr. Marshall and Mr. Finnecy are correct. You are NOT the client and therefore you have no rights in this matter. The attorney's client is your son and the attorney-client privilege applies to them alone. If a non-party to the representation were to get privileged information like attorney client communications, it could break the attorney client privilege and the DA could find out what the attorney said to your client. Even if your son gave permission for his attorney to give you the reports, I would not do it. Case law makes it clear that under certain circumstances, the attorney does not even have to give the police reports to the client if the attorney thinks it would endanger the client or the case. Even if you hired an attorney for your son, the same rules apply no matter who is paying the bill.
The information and legal suggestions made herein do not in any way create an attorney-client relationship. The responses provided herein discuss general principles of law and should not be relied upon by the asker in making legal decisions. Only an attorney who has met with the asker and fully reviewed the facts and circumstances of the asker's individual case should be relied upon for legal advice. If you find my suggestions helpful, please mark the appropriate box as helpful.
The reason most attorneys do not provide discovery to family is because CA law requires that victims address and phone shall not be disclosed. So you have to redact the police reports. It a tedious process. I do provide discovery to family, but it often takes awhile to do the redacting.
The most important relationship that an attorney and client have is the confidentiality that exists. It exists so that, among other things, a client can confide in his counsel and the attorney can do his or her best job.
It is understandable that as a parent you feel left out. But, in the long run, your child will hopefully confide in his attorney and thereby get zealous representation.
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