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My Rant: Parents and Paying for Legal Services

My Rant: Parents and Paying for Legal Services


As an attorney who owns a suburban law office, I often have parents or grandparents bringing in their children for the kid's legal needs.

(When I say "kid's," it means anyone under the age of 40.)

On a few occasions, parents have brought their children in to help set up a business -- but in the majority of these cases, the child has done something wrong to end up with them needing legal services.

In the second group of cases, I always tell them the same thing: 'your parents didn't do XXXX -- they shouldn't have to pay for XXXX."

As such, I have a simple rule: if the parents front the child's legal fees, the child pays the parents back.

Call it old fashioned -- call it teaching responsibility -- call it whatever.

And I do not care how the child pays back the parent. It can be through paying back the parents financially, or it can be from cutting grass for the next ten years.

I believe that a key part of the legal process is teaching offenders lessons about their actions and the consequences of those actions. Part of this involves teaching the child/client the financial consequences of their actions.

Many people who do not have prior experience with the criminal justice system do not understand the costs associated with it. The costs of a felony charge, not including potential lost income from not being eligible for some jobs or promotions, can be thousands of dollars. This includes court costs, fines, restitution and attorney's fees.

In cases such as Driving Under the Influence / Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence (DUI / OVI), there are additional costs related to driving privileges, towing and impoundment fees, reinstatement fees and the use of taxis, busses, Uber and/or Lyft.

Given the above, the costs of an arrest can easily be thousands of dollars.

Even in family law cases, such as child custody or support, the costs can be expansive. Court costs, filing fees, experts and/or attorney's fees can easily run into the thousands of dollars.

I understand the financial costs associated with a case can be tremendous -- and usually, unexpected.

And I appreciate parents or grandparents who are able to help out their family members with the expense.

But I do believe that the person who committed the act should be the one who ultimately pays for the legal services.

If you or a loved one is in need of legal representation, please do not hesitate to call VanHo Law at 330-653-8511. You can also contact us here.


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