There are several places to look in order to find out where a friend or family member has been taken. For instance, www.vinelink.com lists the location of offenders from all over the country. The sheriff’s department where they were arrested or the arresting agencies can also be contacted. Some counties have inmate information on their website.
How Can I Find A Qualified Attorney If A Friend Or Family Member Has Been Arrested?
If a friend or family member has been arrested, an attorney should be contacted right away. I recommend that a person read reviews of several attorneys online before choosing one. There are a myriad of websites that allow former clients to post feedback on attorneys.
Visit the website of attorneys you’re interested in. Having a website is a sign of legitimacy. Check to see if that website has been updated recently. What kind of content is on that website? Is it helpful or superficial? You may be able to submit questions directly to that attorney through their website. A great example of what to look for in a website is www.Urbanic.Law. Ultimately, the choice of which attorney to choose is always the defendant’s.
Can An Attorney Help My Friend Or Family Member To Get Out Of Jail Right Away?
An attorney can help speed up a person’s release, lower the bond, and talk to the prosecutor. Depending on which county or city the arrest occurred in, the attorney may be able to talk to the prosecutor so that charges do not get filed.
Can My Friend Or Family Member Hire Another Attorney?
The friend or family member can absolutely hire a different attorney. The decision to hire an attorney is ultimately the defendant’s choice. A defendant can fire an attorney for any reason, at any time. I realize that some people may be reluctant to fire an attorney because they have already paid money to them. Some people mistakenly believe that all the money paid to the attorney is gone. That’s because some attorneys in Oklahoma are still telling clients that retainer fees are “earned when received” or “nonrefundable.” That is incorrect, unethical, and illegal. The only money an attorney may keep is money for work performed. Once an attorney has started to do work, then that attorney has started to earn the money that has been received from the client. If the client then decides to fire the attorney, then, depending on how much work was done and how much money the attorney received, the client may be entitled to a refund.
Can I Hire An Attorney For A Family Member Or A Friend?
A friend or family member cannot hire an attorney for a defendant, but they can recommend an attorney and offer advice. A friend or family member can pay for an attorney, which is quite common, but the choice is the defendant’s only. An attorney must have gained permission from the defendant before visiting them in jail. In fact, if an attorney were to visit a defendant without permission, they would be in violation of the rules of ethics regarding solicitation.
Can I Pay For Someone Else’s Legal Representation?
It is possible for someone to pay for the legal representation of someone else. This happens all the time. However, the defendant must sign a form acknowledging the risks and alternatives of that scenario. A typical example of the risks is where the person paying for the legal services attempts to use money as leverage to get what they want from the attorney. That person could either want confidential information or want the attorney to do a certain thing. This can lead to a very bad situation. If something like this happens, then I will not divulge any confidential information because my obligation is to the client—not the person paying. However, the client has to know that if that happens, then I can withdraw from the case due to non-payment.
Alternatives to this situation can prevent the temptation to use money as leverage. For example, the defendant can get a public defender. If that happens, then nobody would have to pay any money for the legal representation. Or, the defendant can give the money to the attorney. For instance, they can borrow the money from somebody else just so long as the money is actually going from the defendant to the attorney. Finally, the payer can pay the entire fee at the start of the representation. That way, the money cannot be used as leverage throughout the representation. I explain all of this to my clients so that everybody is on the same page.
Additionally, I have the person paying sign a third-party guarantor form, which binds them to the terms of the contract that the defendant signed. By signing this form, the payer is also agreeing to pay for the defendant’s legal representation in the event that the money does not come from the defendant.