San Jose, CA asked in Criminal Law and Federal Crimes for Arizona

Q: May an uncharged minor accused of a felony hire an attorney to defend the minor?

Grandparents are willing and able to pay legal expenses. Minor’s parents do not want grandparents involvement. Minor does want grandparents help. Minor needs legal help. Parents have not obtained legal assistance.

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Zachary Divelbiss
Zachary Divelbiss pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: This is an interesting predicament you are in because of the individual needing help being a minor. The fact that the minor is involved means the parents or legal guardians need to be involved but not as much as you might think. They need to be present for court and that's about it for most cases.

In most regular adult and minor cases, it doesn't matter who is paying the attorney, all that matters is if the client agrees to be represented by the attorney. In fact, most attorneys do not communicate with friends or family members other than to receive payments due to confidentiality requirements.

The issue here is a little more complicated in the sense that the minor is allowed to have a lawyer, even if they have not been charged with a crime, but it sounds like the parents don't want to hire one. Ultimately the decision to hire a lawyer is up to the minor but if the parents disagree it may cause other issues between the lawyer and parents.

It is BEST to hire a lawyer BEFORE they are charged with a crime because sometimes a lawyer can prevent the individual from being charged all together.

I would recommend contacting the lawyer who you want to hire and then the lawyer can contact the parents and the minor to receive permission to represent the minor. This way the grandparents are completely left out of the situation and the minor still receives legal representation.

I would be more than happy to speak further about this situation and strategize about other possible solutions. Please feel free to give me a call at 480-935-6545 or

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.