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Legal Aid in Seattle

PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies drinking coffee in themountain cabinRegistered User regular
edited July 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
I have a friend who lives in Seattle that is involved in a battery case after he grabbed his girlfriend. He makes a lot of money, but has a lot of expenses (he's renting a 3BR house that the girlfriend was living in rent-free), and is having trouble coming up with the money for legal fees. Is there any way to avoid paying tens of thousands of dollars in lawyer money?

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    DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2009
    I have a friend who lives in Seattle that is involved in a battery case after he grabbed his girlfriend. He makes a lot of money, but has a lot of expenses (he's renting a 3BR house that the girlfriend was living in rent-free), and is having trouble coming up with the money for legal fees. Is there any way to avoid paying tens of thousands of dollars in lawyer money?

    Public defender?

    Doc on
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    PowerpuppiesPowerpuppies drinking coffee in the mountain cabinRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Doc wrote: »
    I have a friend who lives in Seattle that is involved in a battery case after he grabbed his girlfriend. He makes a lot of money, but has a lot of expenses (he's renting a 3BR house that the girlfriend was living in rent-free), and is having trouble coming up with the money for legal fees. Is there any way to avoid paying tens of thousands of dollars in lawyer money?

    Public defender?

    Apparently PD is only for low income people. He asked and was told he makes too much money. He makes less than 100K/year, I know that much.

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    TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Doc wrote: »
    I have a friend who lives in Seattle that is involved in a battery case after he grabbed his girlfriend. He makes a lot of money, but has a lot of expenses (he's renting a 3BR house that the girlfriend was living in rent-free), and is having trouble coming up with the money for legal fees. Is there any way to avoid paying tens of thousands of dollars in lawyer money?

    Public defender?

    Apparently PD is only for low income people. He asked and was told he makes too much money. He makes less than 100K/year, I know that much.

    My buddy got a weed possession and paraphernalia charge and was told the same thing. He dropped out of school to pick up more hours at the gas station he was working at so he could fight the charge, and they said he couldn't have a public defender. :x

    edit: Anyway, there's a reason they're called Public Pretenders. Borrow $500 from somebody and get real representation.

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    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    Most attorneys know that times are hard and that few people have enough liquid cash floating around to fund a lengthy trial. As such, they have payment programs that can be pretty fair.

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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I'm not a lawyer, but in my experience, legal aid societies and bar associations limit their low-income aid to civil, not criminal, cases. As others have said, that's what PDs are for.

    The bar association of King County might be able to refer him to a good domestic violence lawyer, but I wouldn't bank on them cutting him too much of a break on fees.

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    CoJoeTheLawyerCoJoeTheLawyer Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I have a friend who lives in Seattle that is involved in a battery case after he grabbed his girlfriend. He makes a lot of money, but has a lot of expenses (he's renting a 3BR house that the girlfriend was living in rent-free), and is having trouble coming up with the money for legal fees. Is there any way to avoid paying tens of thousands of dollars in lawyer money?

    No. Tell him to suck it up and pay for his lawyer.

    Public Defender programs are for the truly desolate who really don't have any means in which to pay for legal services, not smucks who were not bright enough to save some of the "lots of money" he was/is making for an emergency.

    Additionally, Improvolone is right: Most attorneys will work with clients with regards to financial issue. In terms of amounts, in PA, most firms would charge a base retainer of $500 for work on a family law matter. If he’s facing criminal charges (you just mention battery, that could go either way), he can expect to have to pay double that to retain a decent criminal attorney.

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    WileyWiley In the dirt.Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    He needs to look at where he spends his money and find something to cut out. In most cases with lawyers you get what you pay for, so he is better off finding a way to pay for a good one.

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    kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    edited July 2009
    I have a friend who lives in Seattle that is involved in a battery case after he grabbed his girlfriend. He makes a lot of money, but has a lot of expenses (he's renting a 3BR house that the girlfriend was living in rent-free), and is having trouble coming up with the money for legal fees. Is there any way to avoid paying tens of thousands of dollars in lawyer money?

    No. Tell him to suck it up and pay for his lawyer.

    Public Defender programs are for the truly desolate who really don't have any means in which to pay for legal services, not smucks who were not bright enough to save some of the "lots of money" he was/is making for an emergency.

    Additionally, Improvolone is right: Most attorneys will work with clients with regards to financial issue. In terms of amounts, in PA, most firms would charge a base retainer of $500 for work on a family law matter. If he’s facing criminal charges (you just mention battery, that could go either way), he can expect to have to pay double that to retain a decent criminal attorney.

    Uh. PDs are for people without income, not people with giant incomes who live beyond their means.

    Furthermore, PDs are the only criminal defense attorneys who see a -lot- of experience in criminal matters early on. They're ideologically dedicated to criminal defense. Especially in jurisdictions where the pay is decent, PDs are some of your best bets for good criminal defense. Most good criminal defense attys are either PDs or ex-PDs, sometimes ex-DAs.

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