Juvenile Law

A juvenile is a person not old enough to be held responsible for criminal acts. Usually the age is set at 18, however, that age can vary depending on which state the crime is committed or where the person who has legal custody over the minor resides.

The main goal of the juvenile justice system is rehabilitation rather than punishment. Attorney Susan J. Lax has an understanding of the legal system as it applies to minors and will be able to represent the best interest of the child in a civil or in a criminal proceeding.

Delinquency Cases

A delinquent is defined by state law as: “a child who (1) violates any federal or state law, or municipal or local ordinance; or (2) without just cause runs away from his parental home or other properly authorized and lawful place of abode; or (3) is beyond the control of his parents, parent, guardian or other custodian; or (4) has engaged in indecent or immoral conduct; or (5) has been habitually truant or, while in school, has been continuously and overtly defiant of school rules and regulations; or (6) has violated a lawful order of court.”

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Dependency/Neglect/Abuse

These are cases stating that a child is not being properly cared for by their parent or legal guardian and it is necessary for Children’s Services Board to become involved to provide proper care for the child until other arrangements are made.

If you know a child that you believe isn’t receiving the proper care or is being neglected by their parents, call Susan J. Lax to help you figure out which step to take next to support the well being of that child. She will do everything in her power to make sure the child(ren) are in a safe environment and take the necessary steps to assure that happens.

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Legal/ Grandparent Custody

Legal Custody gives a family member or other person true right and responsibility to have care and control of a minor child subject to the true rights of parents. Having legal custody does not terminate the parental rights of the child.

With grandparent custody, however, the law only permits the grandparents to obtain “physical custody, care, and control” over a grandchild that lives with the grandparent in two ways (1) with a Caretaker Authorization Affidavit (this is completed by a grandparent who is unable to locate one or both parents) and (2) with a Grandparent Power of Attorney (this is completed by a parent or guardian when they are unable to care for the child or if they believe it is in the child’s best interest). Both of these methods allow grandparents to:

  1. Enroll the child in school;
  2. Obtain educational and behavioral information about the child from the school district;
  3. Consent to all school-related matters regarding the child; and
  4. Consent to medical, psychological or dental treatment for the child.

It is important to note that neither of these ways grant the grandparents legal custody of the grandchild, for that to happen they will need to follow the same procedure of the legal custody aspects.

Susan J. Lax will be able to help within either of these situations and make sure they are in the best interest of the child. When it comes to matters involving children things can become more difficult With the help of Attorney Lax, it should relieve some stresses by knowing she is experienced within the Juvenile law area and has helped many with issues involving custody matters.

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