How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Chris T., JD Your Own Question

Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3693
Experience:  Experienced in both state and federal court.
45002201
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Chris T., JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am in Georgia. My step-son went to court today for a theft

Resolved Question:

I am in Georgia. My step-son went to court today for a theft charge. He stole a computer from me and used it. He was ordered to go to family counciling. I (his step-father) was order to go as well. I have not been charged with any crime, nor arreste, or convicted of any charge. Does the judge have the right to order me to attend counciling?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 1 year ago.

TexLawyer :

Good afternoon. I'll be assisting you with your question.

TexLawyer :

If you have not been charged with a crime, the court does not have any authority over you.

TexLawyer :

As such, the court cannot legally force you to go to any sort of counciling.

Customer:

What should I do? The judge said if I don't go there could be legal charges against me?

TexLawyer :

Do you have a lawyer?

TexLawyer :

What exactly did the judge tell you?

Customer:

Not yet, I was supoened to court as a witness. As I stated this was my step-son who was charge with theft of my computer. The judge order my step-son to attend family counsiling and then ordered my wife and I to attend as well. If we refused we would be held in contempt. I fell my due process rights have been violated. I have no interest in attending counsiling with him.

TexLawyer :

Is your son an adult or a minor?

Customer:

Minor, he is 16. He is my step-son and not my son. He just lives with me.

Customer:

Do I have a legal standing to refuse or can the judge hold me in contempt?

TexLawyer :

I'm sorry, step-son. With him being a minor, things are more complicated. You, as a parent (even a step parent) are in a different position than if he was an adult. You are legally responsible for his care and well being, and as such, the law views you in a different light than the parent of an adult child. That said, I've never seen a judge force a parent to attend under threat of jail. In my opinion, he lacks that legal authority.

TexLawyer :

However, here is the position you are in:

TexLawyer :

You can not go to the counseling sessions and test the judge's authority. Unfortunately, that will likely result in you being held in contempt and possibly thrown in jail, not to mention the legal fees.

TexLawyer :

So, my opinion is that the judge lacks the legal authority to force you to go, but the question you have to answer for yourself is whether you believe it is worth finding out.

TexLawyer :

Also, you can try to take this issue up before-hand and challenge the conditions of probation, but a court may find that this issue is not yet "ripe," that is, there is not a real contraversy since you haven't actually been held in contempt yet.

Customer:

That is the question. I really don't want to spend any time in jail. I just applied for a FFL and I am affraid this will result in the application being denied. Should I hire an attorney to fight the order? Do I stand a change in getting the order over turned?

TexLawyer :

Yes, I think you do have a good chance. It might cost you a couple thousand dollars, though.

TexLawyer :

Any time an appeal of a judge's order is involved, attorney's fees can get fairly high.

TexLawyer :

Don't get me wrong, I think you have a very valid point, but I just want you to have all the information to consider before you decide what is in your best interest.

Customer:

I understand that. I am not worried about the cost. I just don't want the legal system over stepping their boundaries. I feel he had no right to order me to do anything. Thank you for you time. You have given me the advice I needed to proceed.

TexLawyer :

Glad to help.

Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3693
Experience: Experienced in both state and federal court.
Chris T., JD and 11 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    19941
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    8189
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jespoag/2008-12-17_222355_jessepic.jpg JPEsq's Avatar

    JPEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2132
    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsenmartin/2008-04-22_214950_me1.jpg Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    110
    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/PaulmoJD/2013-10-10_195858_JAImage.64x64.jpg Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    31621
    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    15975
    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
 
 
 

Related Legal Questions