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You have the right to an attorney...

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posted on Mar, 23 2015 @ 08:52 PM
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... "If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you."

I'm sure many of you have heard this before, hopefully not in person, but maybe on television or in a movie.

It's never a good thing to hear those words, however if you're in dire need to prove your innocence against a corrupt system, yet you do not have the means to afford legal counsel, it may be the only chance you've got at defending yourself.

They tell you an attorney will be 'provided' for you, what they actually mean is it will be FINANCED WITH INTEREST.

That's right... about 5 or 6 years ago, it was a very unfortunate time in my life... including seriously considering a divorce, being evicted due to actions of my ex wife, and scrambling to find somewhere -anywhere- I could afford to live. At the same time, also thanks to my ex wife, we were losing custody of our son, and had to go to court over him. I won't go into too many details, but I couldn't afford an attorney. Here's what I recall about that; I remember showing up at the courthouse where there was an attorney waiting to meet me. He was my legally 'provided' legal counsel, and he pulled me into a room to ask me questions regarding the case.

So, without any disclosure whatsoever of the debt I was about to accrue, I went to several court dates where my state-appointed attorney was of no help at all, and the amount he was owed was then levied against me by the Administrative Office of the Courts WITH INTEREST, all without my knowledge until I opened the letter today notifying me of where my tax refund had gone... Finally for the first time in the years since losing my son and getting a separation/divorce, I was due a tax refund, except the state withheld them to apply toward my debt that I did not know that I owed, minus a 5 dollar fee for applying this toward my debt. The letter I received also notified me that there will be interest on the amount I owe, however it still did not disclose how much I owed or how much interest was being applied.

Not knowing how much I actually owe, and then having about 5-6 years worth of an unknown interest rate on top of that, I imagine I will never be able to pay it off in my lifetime. I'll be calling tomorrow to see how much I owe... and I'm afraid. Very afraid.




posted on Mar, 23 2015 @ 08:59 PM
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Ask for a receipt? Proof the money went to the proper party? You do realize how easy it is for an ATTORNEY to file paperwork against clients right?



posted on Mar, 23 2015 @ 09:04 PM
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Welcome to debtor's prison brother, our illustrious law makers have created a shell game of the constitution and you get to guess we're you stand within the law. Good luck, cause your going to need it



posted on Mar, 23 2015 @ 09:07 PM
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originally posted by: Iamthatbish
Ask for a receipt? Proof the money went to the proper party? You do realize how easy it is for an ATTORNEY to file paperwork against clients right?


A receipt? I got my receipt from the NCDOR, saying how much I overpaid, how much I was due back, how much was taken to pay the Administrative Office of the Courts, and how much their fee was to process that payment. As far as finding out how much I owe, I am doing that tomorrow since I haven't known anything about it until today. The issue I have with it isn't as much the money I possibly owe (although that can be a big problem), but rather the fact that I was never notified that I would ultimately be paying for the legal counsel the courts provided, with interest.



posted on Mar, 23 2015 @ 09:08 PM
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a reply to: Aldakoopa

What a nightmare. Is there a law society you can contact? Your local rep? Some kind of ombudsman? You need first of all to get that information. I hope someone with helpful suggestions will chime in. In the meantime, try not to look for the worst scenario as it can be self-defeating. Wishing you all the best.



posted on Mar, 23 2015 @ 09:09 PM
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a reply to: Aldakoopa

Wow, that's just nasty. Don't know what to tell you except try to fight it. As far as I am aware a bill has to be disclosed and you should have received an invoice, otherwise, how is any of this legal?

Cheers - Dave



posted on Mar, 23 2015 @ 09:11 PM
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a reply to: Aldakoopa
You need to request copies if all the legalese you signed. You know the pages they specifically say," sign here or I can't help you? " The same pages some states require that they are read aloud to you verbatim?

I'm guessing it was not only done in monotone but, this was also a traumatic time for you that didn't allow you to think clearly. You need to request copies of everything!



posted on Mar, 23 2015 @ 09:18 PM
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originally posted by: Iamthatbish
a reply to: Aldakoopa
You need to request copies if all the legalese you signed. You know the pages they specifically say," sign here or I can't help you? " The same pages some states require that they are read aloud to you verbatim?

I'm guessing it was not only done in monotone but, this was also a traumatic time for you that didn't allow you to think clearly. You need to request copies of everything!
I gotcha... now if only I could remember my attorney's name. Damnit, I can remember my ex-wife's but not mine!


EDIT: After a brief search for licensed attorneys in the area I came up with his name... except he no longer practices law and his office no longer exists.

edit on 23-3-2015 by Aldakoopa because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 23 2015 @ 09:41 PM
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a reply to: Aldakoopa



EDIT: After a brief search for licensed attorneys in the area I came up with his name... except he no longer practices law and his office no longer exists.


That could work in your favor, if he was disbarred for some reason. Keep fighting. Contact your reps and the media. Do your homework. They don't like when people fight back armed with facts.



posted on Mar, 23 2015 @ 09:47 PM
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Not just fighting, you need more information.

You need; who filed, when they filed, who actually gets the money, is it in the proper amount of time... I really find phone calls to be very helpful. Get a kind chatty person on the phone and most of your work is done. You need to be pointed in the right direction for your specific location.

ETA: His not practicing law in your state doesn't prevent him from collecting money owed. If he filed. It could be an audit prompting the filing paperwork retroactively. You really need this information to have a plan of action.
edit on 23-3-2015 by Iamthatbish because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 23 2015 @ 10:25 PM
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While phone calls are often helpful, sometimes a visit to your local courthouse can give you lots of the basic knowledge you might need in order to track all this down. There could be a set fee for this kind of work, although I don't know. That's an important detail. If the lawyer bills the state and the state then collects, your state rep might help you find out things about your account or at least assist you in navigating the system. Sorry, I'm just tossing things out there to give you some ideas.



posted on Mar, 23 2015 @ 10:28 PM
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its called bankruptcy, look it up, and no you can't go to prison for debt. Thats why we invented georgia? lol

B A N K R U P T SEE?

USE IT to your advantage to claim a single residence the government can never steal. LOL



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 01:33 AM
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a reply to: Aldakoopa

Not American but Australian but i am really interested to see how this plays out . Keep us updated and good luck .



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 01:46 AM
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a reply to: Aldakoopa

First I am so sorry this happened to you. I hope you determine the amount isn't much more than what you have already paid in via your refund being seized. Perhaps you can negotiate (once you actually have some info) and have interest charges waived.

Second, thanks so much for sharing this. I never heard from anyone that when a state attorney was provided for a person who couldn't afford one, that person would then be billed, with interest, at some point in the future.

Good luck. I hope it turns out to be not as much as you're afraid it is.



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 03:29 AM
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a reply to: Aldakoopa

Do not just ask for a receipt.

Ask for a particularised receipt, in which all things that you are being charged for, including the number of hours of the lawyers time and at what rate per hour you are being charged, the interest, and any other costs are laid out in full.
edit on 24-3-2015 by TrueBrit because: Grammatical error removal



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 05:33 AM
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I think this might have more to do with your attorney in this particular case being appointed to represent you in Family Court (or whatever you call it in North Carolina). You're really only provided legal representation without cost (or at a pro-rated cost depending on what it is determined you CAN afford) in criminal cases.

That's why you didn't hear those words ("right to remain silent," etc...) before your family court hearing. You'd only be Mirandized if you were being arrested. So, the part about an attorney being provided wouldn't apply in this Family Court matter. Or in your divorce hearing(s). Or in Small Claims. You get the idea...



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 09:41 AM
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Also there's a form to fill out of you can't afford the fees. I think the attorney is supposed to help you with them.

My kids needed a best interest attorney once and she was court oredered so she had no reason to pick either parent. She reminded me to file the form to have her fees waived.



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 09:57 AM
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5 Respected Nations That Straight Rob People Who Live There


#5. Charging Criminal Defendants for Their Own Trials

Every single person reading this knows that if you're accused of a crime in America, you'll be provided with a lawyer if you can't afford your own (it's in every cop show, shouted by the detective at the dramatic moment of arrest). That's because in the 1963 case of Gideon v. Wainwright, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that forcing poor people to defend themselves in criminal court violates the Sixth Amendment, which guarantees the right to a fair trial and an attorney. So you can imagine people's surprise when they got a bill.

That's right: Today, defendants in criminal cases are required to pay for public defenders, jury trials, and buttloads of other non-punitive court costs.

How in the hell can they get away with that? To find the answer, we must hop in our DeLoreans and revisit the 1980s, when incarcerations increased sevenfold thanks to the wars on crime and drugs, respectively. America quickly discovered that taking care of that many prisoners is #ing expensive. Add in the fact that state legislatures were simultaneously chopping vital dollars from the criminal justice system in order to avoid politically unsavory tax hikes, and suddenly charging defendants for flamboyant luxuries such as their constitutionally guaranteed lawyers and jury trials became an easy way to make up the difference.

As a result, laws in over 40 states have since transformed the criminal justice system into a revenue-generating racket. Criminal defendants aren't only charged for legal representation but also for basic needs such as healthcare, prison stays, ankle monitors, tape to piece America's shredded Bill of Rights back together, and tissues to absorb a bald eagle's tears. If you're too jobless, too homeless, or too sick to cough up the cash, too bad. You should've thought about that before getting accused of breaking the law (the burden of proof is still on the prosecutor, remember).

In places like Benton County, Washington, about a quarter of the cases heard each day deal exclusively with jailing people who couldn't afford to pay the court costs for such unconscionable transgressions as stealing a $2 can of oat soda. Hell, in states like Virginia, Florida (surprise!), and North Carolina, defendants can be slapped with more than $1,000 per charge filed against them. Confronted with a tidal wave of costs, many simply forego such limousine luxuries as an adequate defense altogether. However, there are alternatives for defendants who can't cough up the money for their defense -- any person facing these fees can perform community service to have the costs forgiven ... provided they can afford the community service participation fee, that is.


Yea...



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 10:18 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

Big "justice", it is rampant and is directly tied to the public sector police unions as well as the lawyers.

Who know what sorts of inside deals these judges have going on?



posted on Mar, 24 2015 @ 10:33 AM
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a reply to: greencmp

Yea, I ran into this problem when I ended up needing a public defender for some contraband that was found on me when a nurse cut my pants off while waiting to be operated on. Imagine my surprise when a bill for $50 bucks showed up in the mail, which was even more infuriating because the schmuck didn't do anything either. I didn't even see the guy until the trial, we get to the stand, the judge asks to see the nurse who found the contraband, nurse wasn't there because contraband wasn't serious enough to pursue a real conviction (plus me being white may have had something to do with it), thus chain of custody was broken, and the judge dismissed the case on the spot.

I didn't even NEED the defender and still had to pay $50 for him. Oh and the state is forcing me to expunge my record so anyone who does a background search on me will see the charge until I get it expunged, which I also believe is BS. If the charge is dropped, the state should just expunge it right there on the spot. Not make the person charged do it while not telling them to do it (I only know it needs to be done because I pulled up my record at a later date thinking it was clean).



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