OCS & Child in Need of Aid Cases
We represent parents who find themselves at odds with the Office of Children’s Services. Nobody wants children to come to harm, and we agree that all children deserve a healthy and happy childhood. But, we’ve learned over the years that so many OCS caseworkers have limited training. This limited training can mean they do not understand how to assess a situation before removing a child from home fairly. Removing a child from home – even an unsafe home – is traumatic.
The OCS caseworker with whom you interface might not understand how to assess past bad habits that you left behind in light of who you are now. They might not understand the critical aspects of interviewing children. And, they likely do not have any actual decision-making authority, instead they report to a supervisor who has never met you but who will make important decisions about your family.
The fact is, that the longer you wait to obtain experienced counsel, the harder it may be to get your children back.
Thus, you may wish to obtain competent and experienced legal counsel to guide you through this process.
We start with the assumption that every matter will be litigated. Any negotiation we do on your behalf will be done from a point of strength. When you retain us, we take your side. And you can watch on a step-by-step basis how we do it.
We will represent parents of children, children themselves, and family members or friends seeking placement or custody of children currently in the state’s custody.
We also represent people facing a “substantiation” of child abuse of neglect (which can result in loss of a job from an employer).
For out-of-state lawyers needing help in Alaska, contact us.
Criminal Defense and Juvenile Delinquency
Contact with the criminal justice system can be scary. An individual charged with a crime might worry about losing their freedom, livelihood, and reputation. With competent and experienced legal counsel, your chances of receiving a favorable outcome increase.
We’ve tried many cases to juries (on behalf of adults and children) throughout the state. We’ve also won lots of cases before trial throughout the state.
If you are accused of it, we’ve seen it (or will refer you to someone who has).
The best time to get a lawyer is before charges are brought and before talking to the police. The police investigate crimes and often have little discretion over the eventual outcome. If a police officer asks you questions, say you would like to speak with a lawyer first. Unfortunately, even young people can be on the receiving end of the criminal justice system.
Contact with the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) may seem benign, but it is often the first step in bringing life-altering charges. Whether you are retaining a lawyer for yourself or your child, it is essential to have a lawyer with you every step of the way.
In Alaska, juvenile defendants have many of the same rights as adults, including a jury trial. However, if possible, it is best to consult with a lawyer before charges are brought and before meeting with the Division of Juvenile Justice, and to have a lawyer every step of the way.