When & where can I get a lawyer if my child is taken into protective custody?

Although the court will not provide a public defender for the Protective Custody Hearing, you have the right to hire an attorney. You may ask the judge for a continuance of the Protective Custody Hearing so you can hire a lawyer. You can find a lawyer in the telephone book or by calling the lawyer referral service of the State Bar of Nevada at 1-800-789-5747.

If your case is not resolved at the Protective Custody Hearing you may apply for a public defender. Following the Protective Custody Hearing, you will be served with a legal document called a Petition for Hearing and an Application for Appointment of Public Defender. You must complete the application and return it to the court immediately.

If you qualify for a public defender, the court will send you an Order Appointing Public Defender. The Public Defender`s office will contact you by mail to arrange a time to meet with you. If you do not qualify for public defender services and want an attorney to represent you at future hearings, you must hire one.

It is important that you tell your social worker and attorney of address and telephone number changes.