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
  • 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 won?”

As always, you get what you pay for. Be sure to talk to a qualified attorney about your specific situation before choosing to rely on information you get from internet discussion boards such as this one.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.