Can a Grandparent Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer for their Grandchild in State College, PA?

Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts

If someone’s been arrested and is sitting in jail, they usually do not have the resources to research lawyers, find a phone number, call a lawyer, and pay the attorney for their services.  In many cases, people get lawyers because a family member called the lawyer for them.  The Law Office of Andrew Shubin’s criminal defense lawyer for Penn State students explains how parents and grandparents can hire a lawyer for their child or grandchild and help them get the representation they need, and we discuss how that situation will play out in many cases.

Are Grandparents Allowed to Hire a Lawyer for their Grandkid in State College?

Pennsylvania law almost always allows people to hire a lawyer to defend someone else.  Many lawyers are ultimately paid for by a parent or a grandparent instead of by the defendant themselves, especially in cases of college students charged with a crime or cases of juvenile criminal charges.  If your grandkid has been arrested and sent to jail for a crime, you usually do have the ability to hire a lawyer for them under PA law.

If your grandchild is still a minor, the court might not let you be involved in the case directly.  Instead, your grandchild’s legal guardian may be requested at hearings and might need to work with the attorney on the case, since they are partly responsible for what happens to the child in the juvenile justice system.  However, this doesn’t usually affect your ability to pay for the lawyer’s services.

How Can I Hire a Lawyer for Someone Else in State College, PA?

Hiring a lawyer for someone else is quite similar to hiring a lawyer for yourself, but with a few extra steps.  Typically, to hire a lawyer, all you need to do is call them, meet with them, discuss your needs, and make an agreement to hire their services.  Our lawyers, and many other lawyers, offer free legal consultations to help you do this.  If you are hiring a lawyer for someone else, there are a few extra steps just to ensure that they want the representation and that they are on board with the services we will provide them.

If your grandchild is in jail right now, they might not be able to call a lawyer, and they could use their “one phone call” to call you for help instead.  First of all, it is important to verify that the person who called you is indeed your grandchild.  Many people set up scams to prey on older adults where they will call them and pretend to be a grandchild who needs bail money or is stranded in a hospital.  Our lawyers will first and foremost try to contact the jail and make sure that your grandchild is indeed there.

Typically, we can meet with your grandchild in jail to confirm with them that they will accept our representation.  We can then discuss their case and be present during any custodial interrogations.  We can also work to get your child released and get them a chance to go home while they await trial.  In some cases, this might mean fighting to get your grandchild bail or to get bail reduced.  After your child has been released, we can begin working on the case and gathering evidence to present at a preliminary hearing or trial to get the charges dropped and dismissed.

Getting a Lawyer in State College to Bail Out Your Grandchild

If you are not able to travel to State College yourself, but your child has been arrested there, our attorneys can fight to get them bailed out.  The judge who set bail for your grandchild will have made one of the following bail decisions, which will affect how we will proceed with your grandchild’s case:

  • Release on their own recognizance (“ROR bail”) means that the judge is willing to release your grandchild and trust them to return to court on their own without any payments.
  • “Cash bail” means that your grandchild will have to pay some amount of money before they can be released, and they will forfeit that cash if they do not appear in court.
  • “Bond” means that your grandchild will have to make a down payment on some percentage of a cash bail payment to be released, and they will forfeit the full amount if they do not appear in court.
  • Bail can also be denied, which means your grandchild will have to wait in jail.

Bail should be set by analyzing the defendant’s risk of fleeing and failing to return to court as well as their risk to the community and their ability to pay.  If your child attends Penn State or works in the area, they have ties to the community that will help ensure a judge they will come back for a court date.  If the crime was not very severe, such as a theft offense or public drunkenness, there is little cause to hold the defendant, and a court should grant ROR bail or a low cash amount.

If the judge does not issue bail that you can afford or the judge denies bail altogether, we can fight at a bail hearing to get the bail amount reduced or to get the judge to grant some form of bail.

If I Hire a Lawyer for My Grandkid, Can the Lawyer Tell Me About the Case?

People who hire a lawyer for someone else often want to know how the case is going and might have their own opinions about how to handle the case that they want to share with the lawyer.  If you hire a lawyer for your grandkid, your grandkid is our client.  That means that we must maintain a confidential relationship with them and that they get to make the final decision about whether to plead guilty or fight the case in court.  Ultimately, we can share any information that your grandchild lets us share with you, and we can work with you on the case if your child allows it, but if they are an adult and they do not want us to tell you about the case, we unfortunately must maintain our lawyer-client confidentiality.

Call Our State College Criminal Defense Lawyers if Your Grandchild Has Been Arrested

The Law Office of Andrew Shubin’s State College criminal defense lawyer represents Penn State students charged with crimes throughout the area in criminal cases.  If your grandchild was arrested or charged with a crime and needs a lawyer, contact us today about hiring our services to fight to get them out of jail and work to get charges dropped, dismissed, and pled down.  For a free legal consultation, call us today at (814) 826-3586.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.