/ 5.10.24

Can Parents Be Present When a Minor Is Talking to Their Lawyer?

Written by: Doug Ridley

Your Rights As a Parent When Your Child Is in Trouble with the Law

When your child is accused of a crime, you want to offer your support, guidance, and financial assistance. You will also want to do whatever you can to protect your child’s rights and freedom. By hiring a Ventura criminal defense lawyer, you can ensure your child has qualified, experienced legal representation to assist in defending them against a criminal charge.

But when you hire an attorney to represent your child, it raises the question of where the line of the attorney-client privilege is drawn. Are you or your child considered the client? And can you be present during your child’s conversations with their attorney, or does your child have the right to speak with them privately?

In this article, we will answer these questions and explain how the attorney-client privilege works and what your rights are as a parent.

If your child has been accused of a crime, contact Ridley Defense right away. Working with one of our skilled juvenile crimes attorneys in Ventura will ensure your child’s rights and best interests are aggressively protected. Take immediate steps to safeguard your child’s future. Contact our office online or call (805) 208-1866 to schedule a free consultation.

Your Role in Your Child’s Legal Representation

You always want to be there for your children. But when your child is experiencing legal challenges, you will likely want to be involved in every aspect of the process. You will try to find them the right attorney and cover the costs of your child’s legal representation. However, when it comes to direct communication between your child and their lawyer, the dynamics can differ significantly from that of adult client interactions with an attorney.

If You Pay for Your Child’s Attorney, Are You Considered the Client?

No, you are not considered the client. Regardless of who pays the attorney’s fees, a lawyer owes complete loyalty to his or her client without regard to the wishes of the benefactor who has remitted the fee for representation.

This means that no matter what you as a parent may want, the criminal defense lawyer will take only your only child’s direction. So unless your child wants otherwise, you will have very little control over the legal strategy your child’s attorney decides to follow.

Can You Be Present During Your Child’s Discussions with Their Attorney?

Whether you can be present during your minor child’s consultation with their attorney depends on several factors. This decision is one that is typically made by both your child and the lawyer. 

In many cases, your presence during these discussions can provide your child with comfort and support. However, there are situations where the attorney might need to speak with your son or daughter alone to ensure they feel comfortable speaking freely about their case and to uphold the integrity of the attorney-client privilege.

Again, your child is the client. This means that any confidential discussions they have with their lawyer are protected under the attorney-client privilege and can only be discussed with you if your child gives them permission to do so.

Speak with a Top Juvenile Defense Attorney in Southern California

Accusations of any wrongdoing should never be taken lightly. That is why it is absolutely essential to take immediate steps to protect your son or daughter against allegations or charges involving any criminal activity. But you must also consider their legal rights and the role you, as their parent, play in their representation and defense.

If your child has been accused of a crime, entrust our dedicated legal team to protect their freedom and future. To learn more about how we can help, contact Ridley Defense today. Reach out to us online or call (805) 208-1866 to schedule a complimentary consultation. We are proud to serve juveniles and their families across Southern California, including those in Ventura County, Santa Barbara County, and Los Angeles County.

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