Should I get a lawyer to defend me?
A: You can quietly pay the ticket and wait for a possible increase in car insurance or you can hire a lawyer who
most likely will be able to lower the points or have the ticket taken under advisement, which means no points
provided you do not get any more tickets for the following year. You will, however, be responsible for court costs
and, of course, the lawyer fee.
Q: My daughter, who is only 14, was arrested for shoplifting and now has a court date in the juvenile court. Will
she have this on her record?
A: An arrest is not a conviction but if she does plea to shoplifting she will not have the incident on her record,
although courts will have a record of it. Most, but not all, juvenile (adjudications) convictions are unavailable to
the public and to prospective employers so when she applies for a job and is asked if ever convicted of a crime
she can safely answer "no" .
Q: My brother and his wife are being charged with neglect of their children because their house is a mess (they
are hoarders, well his wife is for sure) and I think they are addicted to drugs. The Department of Human Services
removed their children from the house and they have court next week. What can they expect to happen?
A: From what you have said the most likely outcome will be that the court finds probable cause that the children
are neglected and living in an unsafe place. The parents will sign a parent-agency agreement which is an
agreement between the parents and the Department of Human Services. This agreement will specify what the
parents must do to get the children back. In the meantime, the court will usually permit the parents to have
visitation with their children. If the parents comply with the parent-agency agreement then the children will be
returned to the parents. This can often take months and even years. The children most likely will be placed with a
relative of the family during this period. If no relatives or family members are willing to take care of the children
then the children may be placed temporarily in a foster home. If the parents do not substantially comply with the
parent-agency agreement within a certain time (usually a year) then the court will terminate their parental rights
and the children will be placed for adoption.
Q: My husband is a good provider but he has a temper problem and sometimes I think I cause it. Last night he
was drinking again and we argued. He hit me several times and then my 15 year old son, from a previous
marriage, called the police. My husband was arrested for domestic violence and spent the night in jail. There also
is a "no contact" order so he cannot return home. I want to drop the charges so he will not go to court and I want
him to return home.
A: You cannot drop the charges because the matter is now between the city attorney/prosectuor and your
husband. You are a victim and cannot make this matter just go away by refusing to press charges and your son
is mostly likely a witness to the event. If this is the first time your husband was arrested for domestic violence then
he should get an attorney who may be able to keep the conviction off his record. To do this, he will have to plead
guilty and then comply with all probation requirements, which most likely will be anger management classes and
alcohol abuse counseling. The probationary period could last a year. The court may also require him to wear an
alcohol-testing tether for a few months. If your husband complies with all the court's requirements then the
domestic violence conviction will not be entered on his record. If your husband has prior domestic violence
convictions then the outcome for your husband could be much worse. A third conviction of domestic violence
raises it from a misdemeanor to a felony and he could spend some time in jail. It might be a good idea if you both
Q: I was pulled over by the police and charged with driving on a suspended license. I did not know my license
could be suspended simply because I have not payed other traffic tickets. Do I need a lawyer for this?
A: Yes, you should retain a lawyer. Driving on a suspended license is a misdemeanor and subjects you to higher
court costs and the possibility of jail time. Your lawyer may be able to adjourn your court case so that you can
pay all outstanding traffic tickets and have your driver's license valid. Then your attorney may be able to
persuade the city attorney/prosector to dismiss the charge of driving on a suspended license and instead have
you plea to no operator's license on person.
The answers given above are intended to give you general guidance but it is always necessary to
consult an attorney regarding your specific circumstances.
Driving While License Suspended
All Juvenile Crimes
All Drug and Sex Crimes
Breaking and Entering
Setting Aside a Conviction
Parent Neglect Cases
Our Average Attorney Fees (Excluding Trial)
Misdemeanor: $750.00 +
Felony: $2,000.00 +
Traffic Ticket: $200.00 +
|For a sample Retainer Fee Agreement please email your request to:
or call 586-783-8095 to discuss your legal matter.