Juvenile defense attorneys are the professionals who work to protect the rights of minors in various cases that may include child custody, abuse, divorce, neglect, and juvenile court proceedings. A defense attorney for minors is generally appointed by the court in the following cases:
• The minor has been neglected or abused, physically or sexually
• Child custody procedures that have been challenged
• Termination of parental rights
When it comes to juvenile court proceedings, parents may choose to hire a juvenile attorney, but if they cannot afford to hire one, the court will appoint a juvenile defense attorney. These attorneys are trained to represent minors. To become certified in child welfare law, they must be certified through the National Association of Children’s Counselors (CACC). To obtain this certification, they must have practiced as a child defense attorney for three years and have spent at least thirty percent of that time working in the field of child welfare. They must also complete at least thirty-six hours or more of continuing legal education courses that address child welfare law.
Responsibilities of defense attorneys for minors
• Participate in all negotiations and legal proceedings
• Request for hearings
• Conducting research
• Obtain all necessary and relevant records about the parents and the minor.
• Receive notification of all court documents
• In support of the defender’s position, present evidence to support it.
• Collection of child support payments
• Make various recommendations to the court in the best interest of the minor they represent.
• Present the child’s wishes to the court.
In juvenile court proceedings, juvenile defense attorneys will coordinate judicial services with community resources and agencies that provide treatment programs or assistance to any minor in need of alcohol or drug abuse treatment or other forms of counseling. They are the ones who will investigate the criminal charges and the circumstances surrounding it. The juvenile defense attorneys will also make recommendations to the juvenile court regarding a proper closure of the case in the best interest of the minor.
In some cases, these attorneys may act as advocates for special education. If the child has special needs, the child advocate can represent both the child and their parents in matters related to the treatment and services offered by the local school district to ensure that these children receive the appropriate public education that is provided. and required by law. They can also advise parents and children to help them understand their legal rights. Children’s advocates are also lobbying the state legislature on behalf of children’s rights and investigating legislative proposals. Child advocates work to ensure that children’s rights are upheld.