Juvenile Law

On this page, you’ll find useful information about two key topics pertaining to juvenile law: Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) cases and juvenile delinquency cases. As adults, it’s up to us to advocate for children when they are unable to do so themselves. So, please, regardless of your relationship to the child or children in question, don’t hesitate to speak up in order to get them the help they need.

Child in Need of Assistance Cases

In Iowa, a Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) is defined as a child who has been abused, neglected, or otherwise mistreated to the point that they are in physical danger in their current home environment. If you’ve seen signs of any of the following, contact me immediately or at least report your suspicions to Child Protective Services:

  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Drug Use
  • General Inadequate Care (parents or guardians cannot or will not provide adequate food, clothing, medical care, and/or other necessities)

As an attorney with more than three decades of experience handling these types of cases, I am not only able but also extremely willing to act as a guardian ad litem for children in these situations. “Guardian ad litem” is simply the legal term for an attorney who represents a minor child throughout the course of their legal proceedings. They ensure that the child’s voice is heard and also take the initiative to investigate and recommend their own ideas on what actions would be in the best interests of the child.

To learn more about the specifics of the CINA process, I encourage you to read my blog post about CINA processes and timelines.

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Juvenile Delinquency Cases

Defending a child from juvenile delinquency charges can be every bit as crucial to their future as it is to protect them from an abusive home environment. You see, even if a child has made a poor decision (or if they were falsely accused of a crime), there’s still a chance that early intervention can minimize the impact of that accusation and keep them out of trouble in the future.

When I represent a child accused of juvenile delinquency, I strive to offer solutions that will both protect the child’s future and promote better decision-making moving forward. For instance, depending on the circumstances of their case, it could be possible for the child to be put under probation or undertake community service as opposed to facing more serious consequences.

For a closer look at the legal processes involved in juvenile delinquency cases, please visit my blog post about juvenile delinquency procedures and timelines.

If You See It, Report It!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: as adults, it’s our duty to protect minors from the dangers of the world — including themselves. If you know a Child in Need of Assistance, or your own child is in danger of getting charged with a juvenile crime, do not wait to act! Contact me today so we can get started on any corrective actions necessary.