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Juvenile Court

Juvenile courts handle cases for children under the age of 18 who are accused of crimes. When students are involved with the juvenile court, the Department of Children and Families (“DCF”) is usually involved as well.

The schools are often intertwined with a child’s involvement in the juvenile court matters if the arrest occurred on-campus or if the school was notified of an off-campus arrest. Matters leading to an arrest are often considered a violation of the student handbook and can lead to suspension and/or expulsion. Once your child has been arrested it is important you contact an education attorney.

On-Campus Arrests

On-campus arrests generally occur for conduct that takes place on school grounds. School resource officers are frequently involved in the process and are the nexus to the local police. Your child is frequently questioned without Miranda warnings and asked to make statements. Your child often feels intimidated by the process and provides statements and is searched. Questions as to whether the confession and/or search were legal sometimes arise.

Attorneys Paul and Seeliger have many years of experience as former prosecutors. Attorney Paul was with the Queens District Attorney’s Office and spent time in Homicide Investigations, and Attorney Seeliger was with both the Queens and Brooklyn District Attorneys’ Offices and worked on death penalty cases, many appellate cases, and training for prosecutors statewide. We know what to look for and how to vigorously defend your child when needed.

If your child has a 504 plan or an IEP, they are entitled to a Manifestation Determination Review (MDR). The MDR is a key step in the discipline process. The key question is whether the alleged behavior is a manifestation of your child’s underlying disability or if the district failed to implement the 504/IEP. If the answer is yes to either question, your child cannot be expelled. It is imperative you be represented by an attorney at an MDR review. There are many pitfalls at this step of the process and a seasoned and experienced attorney is needed.

Off-Campus Arrests

If a minor child is arrested off-campus and the Superintendent of schools is notified by the police, your child can still face suspension and/or expulsion. If your child has a 504 plan or IEP, as stated above, you are entitled to a Manifestation Determination Review, and it is important you are represented by an experienced attorney at this PPT. It is also possible that if you suspect your child has a disability but was never identified, your child may still be protected, but this is something you must discuss with a seasoned and experienced attorney.

Piper Paul Law – Experienced in Juvenile Court Matters for Students with and without Disabilities

Whenever your child has been arrested and is asked to come to the police station or school to make a statement, you should contact an attorney immediately. More importantly, you should contact an attorney who has knowledge of criminal law, suspension/expulsion laws, and education law and understands the interplay between the three systems.

Piper Paul Law works hard to mitigate the interaction between your child, the police, the juvenile justice system, and the school. Call us now and take the first step towards protecting your child’s future.


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Westport, CT 06880

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