Asked in Family Law, Collections and Juvenile Law for Michigan

Q: Can you be charged for a lawyer that you never used, hired, talked to or had a meeting with?

When I was 13 I was falsely accused of hitting a swan with a 2×4 board. DNR took it to get X-rays done and nothing was wrong with it. I finally received my papers saying I had to go in front of the referee. When I went my mom repersented me in court and the referee told me if I completed my probation and payed my court fines that it would come off my record so I never had to go in front of a judge. Well almost 8 years later I received a letter in the mail saying I owed $210 in 20 days if I did not pay it than they was going to bring new charges on me and put a warrant out for my arrest. They said $60 was for the rest of my court fines and $150 was for a lawyer. The thing is I never hired a lawyer, talked or had a meeting with one. How can they make me pay for a lawyer that I never agreed to or used and how come they can wait until I'm almost 21 to say anything about me owing them.

1 Lawyer Answer
Trent Harris
Trent Harris
Answered
  • Collections Lawyer
  • Jackson, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Since you were a minor, your mother controlled your defense. It’s possible you were appointed a lawyer by the court and your mother talked to the lawyer without your knowledge. Nevertheless, the court believes the lawyer fee was part of your verdict/judgment, and that’s probably written in the judgment somewhere. $210 is pretty cheap to avoid having a criminal charge on your record which could prevent you from getting hired for employment, or getting an apartment. You are unlikely to win if you try to fight this. I would just pay the fine. Have you heard the song ”I fought the law, and the...law won?”

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