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Juvenile Law

Dependency

When a child, for whatever reason becomes embroiled in the dependency system, there is an allegation of abuse, abandonment or neglect. Vicki Eskin represents has experience representing the child, the parent, and even more frequently, the grandparent or other family member responsible for caring for the child while the dependency case reaches resolution.  

Mrs. Eskin has been involved in both initiating private dependency actions where family chooses to avoid making an anonymous report to the child abuse hotline, and instead help move the parents toward a productive plan leading to reunification with their child. In some instances, returning the child to the parent is not ideal and Mrs. Eskin will assist in formulating an enforceable custody agreement placing a child with another caring family member.

Parents in a dependency action are entitled to an attorney, and an attorney’s early involvement can be critical to successful reunification with the child. Mrs. Eskin represents parents accused of abuse, abandonment or neglect. Parents who have dependency actions brought against them could face the termination of their parental rights. Mrs. Eskin helps protect the parent’s rights, assists in setting up visitation and in helping cases progress as quickly as possible by advising parents of actions which will facility closing the case.

Mrs. Eskin also represents children who are at the heart of dependency actions.  Because of her early experience in teaching profoundly autistic and other children with special needs, she is often called upon to assist children who need a voice in court to address unique issues needing specific resolution.  She is also very active in ensuring children with special needs who age out of foster care are protected and have the resources to be successful.

Frequently, Mrs. Eskin has represented grandparents or other caregivers responsible for the day to day care of a child. Under current law, these caregivers are not considered parties to the dependency action, yet they are charged with a great deal of responsibility. With legal representation, the caregivers are provided a greater voice with the court and other parties and have a clearer understanding of the roles and options to which they may avail themselves.

Delinquency

When juveniles are detained, it is critical that an attorney become involved immediately in the case.  Often with early intervention, cases may be resolved without the child incurring a juvenile record.  Although juvenile records are often considered to be confidential, with the expansion of social media, broadening of records laws and other means, simply entering a plea of guilt or no contest may well hamper a juvenile’s ability to enter some colleges and some areas of work.  Additionally, the child may be subject to detention before and after a hearing to determine delinquency and may be placed in a residential facility away from family.  

Early intervention is crucial to keep the child’s options open, protect his or her future, and to have a full view of possible outcomes of adjudication. Certainly, no child should ever enter a plea to a felony offense without the assistance of counsel, as the ramifications may follow the juvenile throughout the remainder of his lifetime. Representation of juveniles is an expense that parents should want to contemplate, despite their frustration over the child’s possible culpability due to the serious consequences which may result from poor representation or lack of representation. Additionally, under some circumstances, juvenile cases may be transferred to adult court, which removes most protections available under juvenile rules and statutes, including incarceration in an adult facility with more mature and or hardened offenders.

As Mrs. Eskin was a teacher before practicing law, she is comfortable assisting with IEP plans and in resolving delinquency issues which impact school attendance.

Adoption

Finding a forever family for a child is the goal for everyone who cares for a child.

Sometimes adoption by a family member related by blood or by a stepparent is appropriate. Other times, children are placed by the state or through private placements. The adoption process is usually by necessity a two stage process. If the child is to be adopted by a non-relative, the Court requires proof of several specifics, which our attorney can help you complete.

As Mrs. Eskin was herself adopted by a stepparent, she is able to work with each member of the family to ensure a happy and successful adoption.

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established. Levy & Associates does not represent you unless you complete an intake form and until a representation agreement is signed by you and by one of our attorneys.