Can a Parent Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer for Their Child in State College, PA?

Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts

Many parents want to do everything they can to help their children when their kids are in trouble.  When it comes to legal issues, most parents are not lawyers themselves and don’t know where to begin to help their child other than calling a lawyer.  If your child was arrested and needs a lawyer, you might be wondering whether you can hire a lawyer for them to help get your child out of jail and fight the charges against them.  Our criminal defense lawyer for Penn State students, Andrew Shubin, explains how you certainly can hire a lawyer for your child in State College and how cases work when someone other than the defendant is paying their lawyer.

Can You Hire a Lawyer for Your Kid in State College?

Generally speaking, the person who needs a lawyer and the person who pays the lawyer do not have to be the same person.  It is incredibly common for a parent or another loved one to pay for a lawyer, especially if the child is still under their financial support like with many college students or teenagers.  In so many cases, the child can’t afford a lawyer themselves, and the parent steps in to cover the attorney’s fees to help their child out.

In cases where your child cannot afford a lawyer, the county might provide a lawyer for them.  The right to a lawyer is guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution, and if you can’t afford one (if you are “indigent”), the state will provide a lawyer.  If your child is a minor and is being tried in a juvenile criminal case or if they are still under your financial support, the court might consider your finances when deciding whether they can “afford” a lawyer or not, but typically, all minors and any college student without personal finances can typically get a public defender appointed to represent them.

While this lawyer might be able to represent them, it might be better for your child’s case to hire an attorney who can spend personalized time on the case and has the latitude to meet with you and work with you instead of relying on the public defender’s office and their heavy caseload.  In many cases, parents do make the decision to hire a lawyer themselves rather than trust the public defender’s office.

What Happens in State College When a Parent Pays a Lawyer for Their Child?

No matter who pays the lawyer’s attorney’s fees, it is the lawyer’s legal duty to represent the best interests of the defendant.  This means that the defendant is the client, and the defendant gets to make decisions about whether they plead guilty or fight the case at trial, not the person paying the bills.  As a parent – especially a parent who is paying money for your child’s lawyer – you might want to be able to control the outcome of their case.  Unfortunately, legal ethics rules dictate that all lawyers must work with their clients’ best interests, not the interests of the person paying them.

In most cases, children are willing to loop their parents into the process.  This means that, if we are given permission by your child, we will be able to share information about the case with you and discuss options with both you and your child, working together to help them.  If your child is a minor, we will usually be required to keep you involved in the case.  If your child is an adult and you are willing to pay for their defense, we have to respect their wishes to keep information confidential and private, even if that means not sharing it with you.

Getting a Lawyer to Bail My Child Out of Jail in State College

If your child is in jail right now, our attorney might be able to intervene and get them out as soon as possible.  Once you hire our services, we can go to the jail, request to meet with the child, make sure that your child is okay with us representing them, and then do everything in our legal power to get your child out of jail and start working to fight the case against them.

Getting your child out of jail might require setting up a bail hearing and convincing a judge to release your child from custody.  Judges should only deny bail to defendants who have a big risk of not returning for their next court date (e.g., people who live out of state or have no jobs, friends, or other ties in this community).  Alternatively, a judge might deny bail if the defendant is a danger to the community (e.g., if they were arrested for a serious violent felony like attempted murder or sexual assault).  If the judge sees there is a risk, but not a high risk, they might require a cash payment or a down payment on a bail bond to get the defendant out of jail.  In some cases, the defendant can be released on their own recognizance and trusted to return to court on their own, but achieving this outcome might take some strong legal arguments.

After your child is released, they will need to fight the charges against them at a preliminary hearing and perhaps even at trial.  Our attorney can represent them throughout this process and fight to get charges dropped, dismissed, and pled down to avoid serious consequences.

Call Our State College Criminal Defense Attorney to Hire a Lawyer for Your Child Today

If your child is a Penn State student who was arrested for a crime or if your child was arrested in State College for any other reason, you might need an attorney.  PA law does allow you to hire a lawyer for your child, so call The Law Office of Andrew Shubin today to schedule a free legal consultation with our attorneys and start working to get your child’s charges taken care off.  For a free legal consultation, call us today at (814) 826-3586.


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