Juvenile dependency cases are always serious business. According to Carlsbad juvenile dependency lawyers Fischer & Van Thiel, retaining legal counsel is absolutely essential in these matters. The consequences of trying to handle these matters entirely on your own without help can be far more devastating than you might imagine.
These cases differ very greatly from normal child custody cases. They normally arise because a social worker or police officer has removed the child from the family home, or in less usual cases it may be that the child has self-excluded himself or herself from the family home. Every one of these scenarios will involve allegations of abuse, neglect, or some kind of wrong-doing. The potential that you could subsequently face criminal charges is very real, and something you’ll want to avoid.
Now, it is important to understand that the system isn’t perfect. Mistakes do get made, false allegations are known to occur, and sometimes innocent people are thrust into the spotlight over misunderstandings. A lawyer can help prevent this situation from going too far, or spinning out of control.
Parents who choose to represent themselves in court are putting themselves at great risk. This is such a serious problem that many judges won’t even allow it, and will insist upon a court appointed attorney to represent you. There’s nothing especially wrong with that, and court appointed attorneys are indeed qualified lawyers who will normally do their best to represent your interests, just as any other lawyer would.
The problem is that the court appointed attorney may not necessarily be highly trained or experienced in this particular area of law, and they’ll probably be handling a lot of other cases simultaneously that could involve a whole slew of unrelated legal issues. This potentially means that despite their best efforts, they may not be able to represent you adequately because this area of law is not their specialty, and most court appointed attorneys normally deal with criminal law cases only.
Juvenile dependency law specialists are always going to be the best choice. They have the experience in these types of cases to know how things are supposed to proceed, and also what potential problems can arise. They can help avoid or mitigate those problems.
Most often problems arise from three different factors:
- Parents being unable to control their emotional response when accused of doing something wrong
- Parents or children not being able to express themselves well enough to avoid confusion or doubt
- Authorities making incorrect assumptions and/or allegations which are left unchallenged
- Lying by any of the parties involved
When false allegations or assumptions are made but are not understood by the parents, they could fail to respond appropriately and will then find the case turns against them. In the worst scenario, criminal charges could arise over unintended admissions of guilt or even simply agreeing to something when you did not understand what was being said. The importance of having a lawyer on your side to help you through this process can not be overstated.