20-20 Program 3-27-09

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Stef, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. Stef

    Stef Dazed and Confused


    I watched 20-20 last night. They had a spot on there about a Judge Mark A. Ciavarella Jr. from PA who was sending kids off to Dentetion centers for 1st time non-violent offenses. It was truly shocking. Here's a link regarding the story: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/13/us/13judge.html?em.

    What's that got to do with Conduct Disorders? Well, if something should happen and your difficult child gets arrested, don't take it lightly. I don't care what they (police) tell you- get good representation. I think that is especially important to us since they (the state) will bring up any type of conduct disorder in court. It could get ugly. My understanding is that most States don't require JV representation. Don't fall into that trap. Where I live, JV representation is required thru the entire process. Whether a Public Defender or Private- no JV can go it alone. It's suicide in my opinion to do so. So for those of you in that situation, consider carefully what could happen. At least talk to a lawyer- it usually free to do so. I am personally in this situation right now. We have a private attorney for difficult child and he is presently on probation as a result. It could have been much, much worse. And yes, the State did bring up his "issues" at the hearings.
  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Stef, you are so right and your advice is good. We did hire a private attorney each time our difficult child had to go to court, I think it was seven times. The attorney did only juvenile cases so he knew the judges and magistrates very well and they respected his judgement. He also happened to go to law school with my husband so we trusted him. difficult child would have been in much more trouble had we not hired an attorney.

    I would also advise any parent to follow whatever steps are necessary to have their difficult child's record expunged. Otherwise anytime they get into trouble the record will pull up and the judges are much harsher.

  3. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Very good advice. Thank you for sharing.
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Hiring a private attorney who "knows" juvenile from current experience can make a huge difference. There is a huge disparity between socio-economic groups. Even in our small town the cost for private representation is a mind blower. It is not unusual for the two really experienced lawyers to charge a base fee of $1800. Steep.........and sometimes impossible. DDD
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    DDD we are very fortunate here. Our attorney charges $500 as long as it can be settled in one court appearance. That covers everything up to and including the day in court. That is very reasonable.

  6. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    difficult child 2's mom hired an attorney because Children's Services wanted to return difficult child 2 to dad, which is a joke. (Children's Services took custody of difficult child 2 when he kept running away from dad. He always ran to mom's house. Dad had them bamboozled that it was because mom let him do whatever he want; not because dad was abusive).

    Anyway, it was a $1500 retainer and $225/hour. Over a $2,000 bill and the attorney spoke 2 sentences. One of them was, "I am representing Ms. X." He didn't do any filings or anything either.

    In this case, difficult child 2's PD was better.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I think the average cost here is about $200-$250 an hour- with charges for everything including 10 min phone calls, copies, mailing you something, etc. And that's just for someone to handle the juvenile charges- they know nothing about the mental health stuff and will tell you that- they won't even go there. They usually want at least $1000 up front.

    I won't even go into the cost for the attny to prepare for the custody case when my bro filed.