In an ideal world, students would never have any disciplinary issues, either in school or the court system. Unfortunately, children are children, and even the best-behaved kids can run into trouble. Dealing with a student who’s gotten into trouble is never easy, but when the situation involves a student with disabilities, it gets even more complicated. Beyond navigating the regular process of a school or legal investigation, there are additional rules and standards when the student is disabled. In all likelihood, you will need a legal professional to help keep things straight.

Am experienced juvenile attorney will be a key player in any juvenile criminal situation, no matter what the circumstances are. Contact Fienman Defense for any help you may require with a juvenile’s case in the Philadelphia area – we regularly practice juvenile law in Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware, and Chester counties. We are highly-experienced in a wide array of charges involving minors and can handle every aspect of your child’s defense. When a child’s freedom or future is on the line, it should be in the best hands possible.

Contact attorney Michael Fienman online or call (215) 839-9529 to set up a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney.

Disabled Students are Entitled to Protections When Facing School Discipline

Many parents just aren’t aware that students with disabilities have various protections when facing discipline at school. For one thing, your child may not be suspended or expelled if it is determined that doing so would result in a “change of placement.”

A punishment is considered a change of placement if:

  • The student is removed from school for 10 or more consecutive days; or
  • The student is removed for more than 10 total days during one school year for behavior that is “substantially” similar.

If the punishment is determined to be a change of placement, a meeting known as a manifestation determination must take place. At this meeting, the team associated with your child’s Individualized Educational Program (IEP) will meet to determine whether the behavior was a result of the student’s disability, and how that will subsequently affect their punishment.

You May Have a Lawyer Present When Dealing With the School

As a parent, you are entitled to have an attorney at an IEP meeting. You are not required to notify the school district that your attorney will be present, and the school representatives must continue with the proceedings even if they do not expect your lawyer to be there. Your lawyer can make sure that your family’s rights are protected while your child’s behavior is examined. The school may—and oftentimes do—have its own legal representation, so having a lawyer present is a good safeguard to make sure you don’t aren’t intimidated or taken advantage of. Furthermore, due process issues sometimes arise during disciplinary procedures. Your attorney can ensure your child’s rights are not violated while the discipline processes are ongoing.

A Disability Will Also Affect Your Child’s Experience in the Juvenile Justice System

A student with a disability will also have a different experience within the court system than an average student. It will be your lawyer’s job to communicate how your son or daughter’s disability contributed to them ending up in the legal system. While a disability is not a defense for committing any crime, it can be a mitigating factor the court considers when determining your child’s punishment. To help facilitate the consideration, it may help your case if your attorney includes information such as:

  • Your child’s most recent education plan, and whether or not its goals are being met;
  • A description of how the disability impacts your child’s life, without removing accountability for his or her actions;
  • An account of how the disability may have given rise to the misbehavior in question, without placing the blame on the school, other students, or other parents; and
  • A list of the medications your child may take related to their disability, and the possible side effects.

The way your child’s disability is presented will play a large role in the way the justice system addresses the case. An experienced layer will know how to best frame your case to get the most favorable outcome.

Has Your Disabled Child Been Charged with a Crime? Find an Attorney Today.

A case involving a juvenile is almost always complex, and a skilled attorney will be valuable in sorting everything it out. In the Philadelphia area, attorney Michael Fienman can provide any assistance you require related to juvenile defense. Don’t leave the fate of your child up to chance. Set up your free consultation with an experienced juvenile defense attorney via our online form or call (215) 839-9529 today.

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