Child protective services cases, also called juvenile dependency cases, involve allegations of child abuse or neglect. These cases can move along quickly and catch you off guard. It is extremely important to contact an attorney immediately, you risk losing custody of your children if you fail to properly defend yourself.
When you face a hearing, you should contact an attorney before going to court. You may be eligible for a court appointed attorney who may have very limited time available to discuss your situation with you. If you do not qualify for a court appointed attorney you may proceed to a hearing unrepresented or be told to return to court with a retained attorney the next day. You can ask the judge to postpone the hearing in order to get assistance of counsel.
I represent parents, grandparents and De Facto parents in California Juvenile Dependency cases. I ensure your side of the story is heard at a juvenile dependency hearing. I provide an aggressive, yet balanced, defense. The best approach is to foster workable relationships with social service's personnel, while at the same time taking a firm position in court to get your children back where they belong.
I have successfully defended parents wrongfully accused in Shaken Baby Syndrome, molestation, physical abuse and neglect cases. It is my experience that everyone involved in this area of the law is genuinely interested in protecting children and most are over burdened with ridiculously high case loads. Sometimes it takes a special combination of patience and perseverance to get the true information out and persuade the court to go your way. No one wants to see a child separated from a parent based on untrue allegations.
I can guide you through the process if you are in recovery from substance abuse and are ready to rehabilitate. The judge, the social workers, the lawyers – everyone in that courtroom – has seen it all already. They have heard every excuse, seen every abuse and witnessed parents who can never reunite with their children. You have to be serious in your recovery.
Parents sometimes come to me with horrendous stories of having been mistreated or “set-up” by social workers. It’s easy to get caught up in fighting over “constitutional rights” and become angry with unfair treatment received from total strangers. In order to survive this process and get your children back in your custody (or keep them there) you must set all of this aside and focus on the factual allegations being made against you. As a juvenile dependency attorney, my job is to prove the allegations are not true, or do not rise to the level of risk necessary for the government to take your children into protective custody. If you want to sue a social worker or a therapist, or get someone fired, or defend your right to smoke pot – I am not the attorney you need. My job is to get your children back. If you are ready to focus on that – call me!