Legal Question in Constitutional Law in New York

judge order to parent

My 17 year old was arrested following an altercation with another minor in her therapy session. The charge: harassment and a restraining order. Judge set bail at $100, told me I earn too much (teacher salary) for free attorney and to get one and come to court week later. I did not see the point of paying fees (times are tough and my daughter's mental health issues are expensive). I brought all her medical with me, dressed appropriately, asked for a few minutes of the judges time politely and he refused, scolding me to get an attorney. I did not argue but I wanted to ask, ''why do I have to pay someone to hand over these very papers and he will say exactly what I am capable of saying.'' The hell of this is the group therapy is for BPD patients that are all at the ''potential for violent behaviors''. There all in group because they can't control there rage. I am to return again this week, and I still don't plan to hire an attorney. By law, do I have to? I am aware that I may be charged with contempt but isn't that a bit much considering my daughter has no history with respect to any previous violations of the law. Am I compelled to hire a lawyer for my minor child because the judge says so?

Asked on 10/12/08, 7:51 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Carlos Gonzalez Gonzalez Legal Associates PLLC

Re: judge order to parent

short answer is YES. The judge can deny to hear the case till you have counsel, and could negatively impact your case as well.

You may NOT represent ANYONE other than yourself in any Court of law without being admitted into the practice of law... if you do, you could be arrested and face felony charges...

while i understand your predicament, and your point of view, the truth is that the court case is not just about getting your daughters perspective or your story out... its an issue of negotiating and discussing legal issues, all of which have differing ramifications which as a non-attorney, and specifically not a criminal defense attorney, you would not be aware of what these ramifications are... and as such you would be denying your child a constitutional right to an attorney.

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Answered on 10/13/08, 12:04 pm

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