Juvenile Court Representation

In Tennessee, the juvenile courts handle a broad range of matters, including from child custody, dependency and neglect, and delinquency. At the law office of Montpelier, Cole, Della-Rodolfa & Ford, P.C., we have decades of combined experience providing juvenile court representation to clients in Knoxville and throughout East Tennessee. Our attorneys have strong experience handling guardian ad litem matters, and we can work with you to help ensure your rights are protected.

Dependency And Neglect

Dependency and neglect cases are lawsuits involving children who are at risk of harm due to a parent's inability to properly care for his or her children. If the court finds that a child is at risk, the child is usually removed from the parent's custody and placed with a relative while the parent attempts to rehabilitate himself or herself in order to regain custody.

Occasionally, if no relative is able to care for the child, the child may be placed in the custody of DCS. Once in DCS custody, the parent will be required to complete tasks on a Permanency Plan in order to regain custody.

Juvenile Delinquency

Delinquency actions are the juvenile equivalent of criminal charges, and a child has most of the same rights as an adult except that juvenile court will not conduct a jury trial. This extraordinarily important right is protected for juveniles because if a juvenile is convicted by Juvenile Court, the child has an automatic right to an appeal de novo in the Circuit Court, where they would be impaneled.

If convicted, a juvenile normally will be placed on probation and be required to do community service, educational classes and various other tasks. Punishment is not the purpose of the sentence. Rather, the goal is to rehabilitate the child so he or she will not commit more serious crimes.

In more extreme delinquency actions, a child may be placed into custody of the state. Two important things are triggered by this. First, the child's parents will be required to pay child support to the state. Second, the Department of Children's Services, not the judge, will determine where and at what level the child will be placed. In the most extreme cases involving significant violence, and if the child is 16 or older, the state can request that the child be transferred and tried as an adult, bringing with it all of the ramifications of adult sentencing if convicted.

Contact Our Lawyers For Juvenile Court Representation

Regardless of how serious or small your child's case seems, he or she is in trouble and needs representation. Learn more about the counsel we provide by scheduling a free telephone consultation. We can be reached through an online contact form or by calling 865-951-7324.