KNOW

YOUR

RIGHTS
A GUIDE TO THE WEST VIRGINIA’S

JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM

INTRODUCTION

This guide is intended for parents and children in West Virginia who have had contact with the
juvenile justice system or might have contact with the juvenile justice system. It will provide
an overview of the process, from police interactions through sentencing. And, this guide will
advise you of your child’s rights during each step.

Ideally, this information is most helpful before your child has any involvement with the juvenile
justice system. Knowing your rights and best practices ahead of time will help keep you or your
child from making a bad situation worse.
This is a guide only. It cannot answer every question or address every situation. Throughout the
process, the most important thing you can do is ask questions. Asking questions will ensure
that you understand what is happening. And, by participating in the process, it shows officials
that you are involved and concerned about your child, which can affect the outcome of a case
against your child.

BASIC PRINCIPLES
OF THE JUVENILE
JUSTICE SYSTEM
Juvenile law is based on the idea that children

can learn from their mistakes and change their
behavior. The goal is to hold youth accountable for their actions, help them find a safe
and productive life path, and protect the
community from crime.
Children younger than eighteen are tried under
the juvenile justice system in West Virginia,
except in very serious cases, where children
over fourteen can be tried in adult criminal

court. But not every child charged with a crime
goes to juvenile court. Many cases are
resolved without any official court action.
In juvenile law, there are two types of offenses.
STATUS OFFENSES are things that would not
be a crime if an adult did them. Truancy and
incorrigibility are the two most common
status offenses. DELINQUENCY OFFENSES
are crimes regardless of age. It is important to
understand the difference, because there are
different rules for each type of offense.

THE

POLICE
STOPS AND
ARRESTS

Police have the authority to stop and question a child

for a short time. Unless the police think that the child
is armed, they cannot search the child or their
belongings. If the child is restrained or not allowed to
leave after a short time, the child is considered “under
arrest.” Once under arrest, police may search the child
and their belongings. The difference between a stop
and arrest is not always clear, and that is especially
true for children.

YOUR CHILD has many rights during interactions with

police, and police have many responsibilities when
interacting with the public. Your child should be aware
of these rights and how to exercise them. Be warned
that not everyone follows the rules. Some may even be
rough with your child. If this occurs your child should
still be polite and respectful. They should not argue, or
fight back. They should pay attention and report to a
lawyer later anything that seemed unusual.

YOUR CHILD has a right to remain silent. Your
child should give their name, address, and
your contact information. They do not have
to provide any further information and should
not do so. This is especially important if they
are being accused of a crime, UNLESS they
know someone else is hurt or in danger.
YOUR CHILD has the right to refuse a search.

If police start patting your child down, or looking
in their belongings, your child should tell them

that they do not have permission. If police continue to
search your child or their belongings, your child should
ask if they are under arrest. If the child is told that they
are not under arrest, the search is illegal and anything
derived from the search should not be allowed to be
used as evidence.

YOUR CHILD has the right to leave. If your child is
stopped by police, they should obey commands, but
they do not have to answer any questions. Once your
child has given their name and your contact information,
and said that they do not want to answer any questions,
they should ask if they are free to go. If they are told
“no,” your child should ask if they are under arrest. If
your child is not under arrest, they should ask again if
they are free to leave. If the answer is still no, they
should remain silent and tell their lawyer if an arrest
follows.

YOUR CHILD has a right to know their rights. When
police place someone under arrest, one of the first
things they must do is to inform them of their rights.
This is called a “Miranda warning.” If your child is
arrested and the police do not notify your child of their
rights, your child should let a lawyer know.

INTERROGATIONS

Any time your child is not free to leave and is being

questioned, they are being interrogated. For children
under fourteen, police cannot use statements made by
the child unless the statement was made with their
lawyer present. For children between fourteen and
sixteen, police cannot use statements made by the
child unless the statement was made with their lawyer
or parent present. For children over sixteen, police are
generally allowed to use anything your child says in a
case against them. This includes things your child says
to school officials, prosecutors, or even to you, if police
overhear or record it. Although rules are in place to
protect children from saying something that can hurt
them, police have a number of ways of convincing a
child to speak and using those statements against
them. Silence is often the best choice.

YOUR CHILD HAS THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT.

Just like being stopped or arrested by police, your child
should provide their name, address, and your contact
information. They are not required to say anything else,
and they should not say anything else. Even if their
statements should be protected, police may be able to
use that statement to gather more information against
your child, or bring it into court in another way.

YOUR CHILD HAS THE RIGHT FOR THEIR PARENTS,
GUARDIANS, OR CUSTODIANS TO BE NOTIFIED AND
PRESENT. One of the first things police must do if your
child has been arrested is notify you. Police cannot
delay, and when delay is unavoidable they cannot use

that time to keep asking your child questions. If police
ask questions during this time, your child should let
their lawyer know.

IF YOUR CHILD IS UNDER SIXTEEN, THEY HAVE
A RIGHT FOR YOU TO BE PRESENT DURING
QUESTIONING. But be aware you may not want to

discuss the situation with your child at the police
station. Police can record these conversations, and use
them in their investigation. You and your child should
wait until a lawyer is present to discuss the situation.
Police cannot record the conversation when your child’s
lawyer is present.

YOUR CHILD HAS THE RIGHT TO A LAWYER. One of
the first things your child should do if placed under
arrest is to request a lawyer. If your child has not done
so, you can also request a lawyer. Police must stop all
questioning after a lawyer is requested. If they do not,
you should pay attention to what officer is asking questions, and get their badge number. Your child’s lawyer
should be informed about this. Be aware that if you or
your child volunteers information after requesting a
lawyer, that information may be used against them.

A WORD ON

LAWYERS

Depending on your finances and your child’s case, your

child may have a lawyer appointed to their case.
Appointed lawyers are also called public defenders.
They will be familiar with the juvenile justice system.
Even if you qualify for a public defender, you can still
choose to hire a private lawyer. Your child’s lawyer will
answer your questions and keep you informed about the
progress on your child’s case.
Lawyers represent their client, and in a juvenile case,
that means the child. Your child’s lawyer will do what is
best for your child, or what your child wants. This may
not necessarily be what you want, or even what is in
your best interest. In some situations, your child’s
lawyer may feel that your interests and your child’s
interest are in such conflict that the lawyer can no
longer communicate with you. In that case you should
seek a lawyer for yourself.
The government also has lawyers whose job is to prove
charges against your child are true. This lawyer is
called the prosecutor, or district attorney. Even though
they are lawyers, a prosecutor’s job is not to protect
your child. They may be able to use things that you, or
your child, tell them against your child in court. Be sure
you know who is representing your child, and only speak
to them.
YOUR CHILD HAS A RIGHT TO EFFECTIVE COUNSEL.
YOUR CHILD HAS THE RIGHT TO MAKE MATERIAL
DECISIONS ABOUT THEIR CASE, LIKE HOW TO PLEA OR
WHETHER TO ACCEPT A PLEA BARGAIN. Your child’s
lawyer can make tactical decisions about how to
represent your child, like what evidence to present,

even if you and your child disagree. If you are unhappy
with your child’s lawyer, you should first let them know.
They should be able to explain what they are doing, and
why they are doing it. If you still do not feel comfortable
you can terminate the representation. If the lawyer was
appointed, you will have to ask the court for a new
lawyer; if you hired them, you will need to hire a new
lawyer. If the court rules against your child, and you
believe the lawyer made serious mistakes that led to
that finding, you should talk to a new lawyer about an
appeal. If you think your child’s lawyer did something
illegal or unethical, you should contact the West Virginia
State Bar and file a complaint.

THE COURT

PROCESS
SENT TO COURT

There are two ways to send a juvenile to court.

When a
child is arrested, the case is sent to the court by the
police or prosecutor. In many cases though, courts get
the child’s case through a petition. Petitions are
typically filed by parents, schools, or government
agencies when they believe the child should be charged
with an offense. You will be notified if a case against
your child is referred to the court. You have a right to
know what the charges are.

A DETOUR:
INFORMAL
ADJUSTMENT

Also known as “diversion,” informal adjustment is an
alternative that prosecutors and courts can take. For
first-time status offences, courts must use an informal
adjustment. With an informal adjustment your child will
be given a set of rules, called “conditions” that they
have to follow. Conditions may include curfews, paying
for damage to property, attending school every day,
doing community service, or receiving counseling or
substance abuse treatment. If your child breaks a
condition, the original petition will be sent back to the
court, and a case initiated. And, if you accept the
diversion, it is in your child’s best interest to follow all
the conditions and resolve the matter informally.
YOUR CHILD HAS A RIGHT TO BE NOTIFIED ABOUT THE
INFORMAL ADJUSTMENT. You and your child must be
informed that an informal adjustment is being considered. You must also be informed that you have the right
to refuse the informal adjustment. If you are, or were
not notified of this, you should consult with an attorney.

YOUR CHILD HAS THE RIGHT TO REFUSE AN INFORMAL
ADJUSTMENT. Your child does not have to accept the
terms of the informal adjustment. If you refuse the
informal adjustment, the case will continue to
adjudication. Accepting conditions may seem easier
than going to court, but conditions can last for a long
time, and if your child breaks these conditions your child
will be sent to court for a formal resolution of the
matter. If the charges against your child are not true,
you and your lawyer do not believe there is enough
evidence to convict your child, or you think the police
acted inappropriately, you may want to consider
refusing the informal adjustment. You should consult
with a lawyer before making this decision.

PRE-TRIAL
HEARINGS

Once a petition is sent to court, it does not

immediately go to trial. Some cases need a detention
hearing. The purpose of a detention hearing is to
determine if your child can stay with you or if they need
to be held somewhere else. Not every case needs a
detention hearing, but where there is a detention
hearing, it must be held without delay, in most
circumstances, that means within twenty-four hours.
Generally, judges can rule that your child must be
detained if they committed a crime that they could be
arrested for if they were an adult, if your child has a
history of avoiding court hearings they are required to
attend, or if the judge believes your child’s health and
wellbeing are at risk if they stay with you. Appearing at
the detention hearing, and showing the judge that you
are serious about your child’s health and the charges
against them, will make it more likely your child can
stay with you.

Every case must have a preliminary hearing. For
children who are detained, the preliminary hearing must
be within ten days of the petition being filed.
Otherwise, the preliminary hearing must generally occur
within twenty days of the petition being filed. At the
preliminary hearing the judge must inform you and your
child of the charges pending. The judge will then
consider the evidence and decide if there is enough
evidence against your child for the case to proceed.
The judge is not determining guilt or innocence. They
are simply deciding if there’s enough evidence to
continue the case against your child.

PLEA BARGAIN

Most criminal cases in the US do not go to trial. Most
are resolved by plea bargains. In a plea bargain, certain
charges are dropped or reduced in return for the
accused pleading guilty or agreeing that they
committed the offenses. If your child is offered a plea
bargain, you should consult an attorney and carefully
consider whether to accept. Sometimes these are
valuable resolutions that will help a child avoid the
harshest penalties. But at other times, a prosecutor
may scare people into accepting a plea bargain, even
though the case against them was weak.

ADJUDICATORY
HEARING

In juvenile justice cases, a trial is called an

adjudicatory hearing. The purpose of the hearing is to
establish the facts around a case. In cases where your
child is charged with a delinquency offense, your child,
through their lawyer, can request a jury trial. That
means that twelve people will be selected to hear the
evidence and decide what is true. For status offenses,
or if your child does not request a jury, their case may be
heard in a bench trial. That means that the judge will
decide the facts. In either case, it is the
prosecution who must show, beyond a reasonable
doubt, that your child committed the offense of which
they are accused. The decision in an adjudicatory
hearing is called a disposition.

APPEAL

Decisions can be appealed, which means another judge
will review the case. Appeals are not a second trial. On
appeal your attorney will have to show that the
evidence did not support the findings, that the prior
judge made a mistake of law, or that some rule was
broken in how the evidence was used or the trial was
run. If you are not happy with your child’s disposition,
you should let your lawyer know right away, so that they
can discuss the possible reasons why you should or
should not appeal. An appeal must be filed within thirty
days of a decision.

SENTENCING

In the juvenile justice system, a sentence is called a
“disposition.” Another hearing will be held, this time to
decide what the sentence for your child will be. The
judge will determine the sentence. There are a number
of sentences available to judges:

COMMUNITY SERVICES OR AGENCIES: The judge may feel that either
the child or the parents need assistance from a mental or
behavioral health provider, social worker, or other community
agency. Some dispositions will require the juvenile and/or parents
to receive treatment.
PROBATION: The judge may allow your child to return home with
certain rules and an agreement not to get in trouble again. An
officer, called a probation officer, will be assigned to monitor your
child. If your child commits another offense, or breaks the rules set
by the court, they can be charged with breaking probation. Be
aware of how long the probation conditions run – sometimes they
will be in place until your child is an adult – which in West Virginia
can apply until your child is 21.
ALTERNATIVE SENTENCING: Judges have significant discretion to
come up with alternative sentences, such as community service,
repaying a victim, or participating in mediation. In West Virginia,
there are also alternative programs such as drug court or teen
court.
PLACEMENT IN A MENTAL HEALTH FACILITY: If the child needs
short-term intensive mental health treatment, the judge can order
them into a facility to receive evaluation and treatment. These are
typically very short-term placements, and a longer plan is usually
developed after the child is released.
PLACEMENT WITH DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN RESOURCES
(DHHR): The judge may place your child in the custody of DHHR.
DHHR may place the child in foster care, or some other private
facility that DHHR contracts with. Some of these facilities are
out-of-state.
PLACEMENT IN A DIVISION OF JUVENILE SERVICES (DJS) FACILITY:
DJS is responsible for running the correctional facilities for
juveniles. In the most serious cases a child can be placed in one of
these facilities. All of these facilities are in-state.

MULTIDISCIPLINARY
TEAMS

1 A juvenile may not be punished by physical force,

sentencing and beyond, your child may be followed by a
“multidisciplinary team” (MDT). The MDT is made up of
legal professionals, law enforcement, school officers,
mental health professionals, as well as a
representative for the child and the parents or
guardians. Throughout the process the MDT can make
recommendations to the judge, law enforcement, health
professionals and parents about ways to manage the
child’s case. After sentencing, an MDT may help
determine what services are necessary to help the
child, make recommendations about the level of
services necessary, and follow the child to ensure they
get necessary services.

participate in daily physical exercise.

From the moment a petition is filed, through

PLACEMENT
Judges

have a lot of discretion whether to place
children in facilities or homes away from their families.
When this happens parents lose the right to make
decisions for their child. Even so, parents and
guardians can play an important role. MDT’s must meet
every three months to reevaluate the case of any child
who has been removed from their home. Parents who
actively participate in this process can continue to have
some say in what happens to their children, and may be
able to get their children home sooner. Regular visits
from family and friends will also help to show your child
and the authorities that you are engaged and involved.
It is also a chance for you to talk to your child and make
sure they are being treated appropriately. Every juvenile
in state custody has a number of rights, which must be
given to them in writing when they are brought to a
facility. Parents and guardians should check regularly
to ensure that these rights are being met.

deprivation of nutritious meals, deprivation of family
visits, or forced solitary confinement.

2 A juvenile must be given the opportunity to
3 A juvenile in a state facility may not be locked alone

in a room, except for sleeping hours, unless unresponsive to reasonable direction and control.

4 A juvenile shall be provided with his or her own

clothing or individualized clothing which is clean and
supplied by the facility, and shall also be afforded daily
access to showers.

5 A juvenile must be given constant access to writing

materials and must be allowed to send mail without
limitation, censorship, or prior reading. The juvenile
must also be able to receive mail without prior reading,
although mail may be opened in the juvenile’s presence
to inspect it for contraband.

6 A juvenile may make and receive regular phone calls

without being charged. He or she can also make and
receive long distance phone calls to his or her family
without charge at least once a week, and receive
visitors daily and on a regular basis.

7 A juvenile shall be given immediate access to medical
care as necessary.

8

If a juvenile is in a juvenile detention facility or
juvenile corrections facility, he or she must be provided
access to education, including teaching, educational
materials, and books.

9 If a juvenile requests access to an attorney, he or she
must be afforded reasonable access.

10 A juvenile has a right to a grievance procedure,

including some mechanism in place for appeal.

BEST

PRACTICES

AVOID THE SYSTEM
IN THE FIRST PLACE

Be an active parent. Get to know your child’s friends.
Know where they are going when they leave and check
up on them from time to time. Ensure that they are
attending and participating in school. Work with
teachers and school officials to identify issues before
they become problems. Recognize when your child
needs help. Mental health is a major contributing factor
to involvement in the juvenile justice system. Early
intervention, consistent care, and medical compliance
are all part of keeping a child with a mental illness out
of the system. As a parent you should be aware of signs
of mental illness including sudden changes in grades or
school attendance, changes in mood or behavior, drug or
alcohol use, excessive risk taking, trouble sleeping, or
unwillingness to be around others. Getting a child
diagnosed and treated early and appropriately can make
a lifetime of difference.

BE IN THE KNOW
Ask questions: It is very important that you under-

stand what’s happening. If you don’t understand something, ask your child’s lawyer, caseworker, probation
officer, or even the judge to explain. If you still don’t
understand, ask again. You have a right to know what is
happening and how it will affect your child and family.
Tell your child to ask questions too, so that they can
understand and follow all rules and court orders.
Know what you agree to: Throughout the process
you and your child may be presented with choices.
Social service agencies and organizations may suggest
involving the juvenile justice system. Courts may offer
diversion to your child. Your child may be offered a deal
to plead guilty. Neither you nor your child should sign
anything unless you both fully understand it. Talking

with a lawyer about these choices is best.

DON’T PANIC
No matter where you are in the process, remain calm. A
calm demeanor will help your child who is likely as
scared, confused, and frustrated as you are. Staying
calm will also ensure you do not make a bad situation
worse by making a bad impression on police, the prosecutor, the Multidisciplinary Team, or the judge.

STAY SILENT
Children are given greater protections than adults with
regard to statements they make to police and prosecutors. But the best way for children to protect themselves, and for parents to protect their children, is to
exercise the right to remain silent. Make sure your child
knows to ask for you, and then a lawyer, and not to say
anything else to police. Wait until you are home, or until
you have a lawyer present to discuss your child’s situation with them.

GET A LAWYER, TALK
TO YOUR LAWYER
Your child has a right to legal representation, and may
have a right to have an attorney provided at no cost.
You and your child should exercise this right. A lawyer
can provide informed advice, ensure that your child’s
rights are being respected, and best argue for your child
in court. You should make sure that your lawyer is given
all the facts regarding your child and their situation. You
should feel comfortable asking your child’s lawyer
questions and making your concerns and wishes known.
But always remember your child’s lawyer’s duty is to
your child, not to you.

FREQUENTLY ASKED

QUESTIONS

MY CHILD HAS JUST BEEN ARRESTED. WHAT DO I DO NOW?
Call your police department or police district to find out where your child is being held and go there right away. Usually,
a child picked up by police will be brought to a police station. Tell police you want to be with your child. Do not yell or
lose control, because that could make things worse. Tell your child not to speak with police. Call a private lawyer or
remind your child to tell police that he or she wants a lawyer.

CAN MY CHILD GET A LAWYER AT NIGHT?
Your child has a right to a lawyer at any time of night or day. When you or your child tells police you want a lawyer, police
must stop questioning until the lawyer arrives.

CAN I BRING MY CHILD HIS MEDICINE IN A DETENTION CENTER
OR CORRECTIONAL FACILITY?
Detention centers and correctional facilities may allow you to bring medicine for your child. Your child should tell
detention officers about his or her medical and mental health history. If your child takes medication, you can bring the
prescription container and provide the doctor’s phone number.

IF MY CHILD IS DISCHARGED, CAN THEY COME HOME BEFORE
THE DETENTION HEARING OR TRIAL?
This depends on the seriousness of the charge, whether it is a first offense, and what a judge decides is best for the
child, the family, and the community. When a parent comes to court, it shows the judge that the child has family
support. This can be very important when the judge decides whether to allow the child return home.

HOW WILL I KNOW WHEN MY CHILD MUST BE IN COURT?
You will be notified about court dates by mail, so be sure to let your child’s probation officer know if your address
changes. Keep all court papers together in a safe place, along with phone numbers for your child’s probation officer and
lawyer, and notices about court dates. Write down the names of the people you talk to in the juvenile justice system and
the information, with dates, they provide. These notes will create a paper trail that can help you later.

DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR COURT COSTS OR SERVICES?
If you are able, you will be expected to pay for a lawyer for your child. The court may require financial information to
decide if you are able to pay these costs.

WILL MY CHILD ATTEND SCHOOL WHILE THEY ARE IN A
DETENTION CENTER OR A CORRECTIONAL FACILITY?
While in the custody of the Division of Juvenile Services or the Department of Health and Human Resources, your child
will be required to attend school, job training, or GED preparation classes. According to West Virginia Department of
Education rules, incarcerated children in correctional institutions will have adequate and appropriate educational
opportunities. This includes developing an individualized program plan for each incarcerated child in accordance with his
or her unique needs, abilities, and length of incarceration.

CAN I VISIT MY CHILD IN A DETENTION CENTER OR
CORRECTIONAL FACILITY?
Yes! Visits are vital for children and their families. Ask for a copy of visitation rules for the facility where your child is
held, as each facility may have different rules. Detention centers and correctional facilities may set certain times or
dates for visiting, and may allow only parents or guardians to visit. Do not bring children unless you know that the rules
permit children. Most facilities also have set times when children can call family members. Facilities have rules about
the clothes visitors can wear and the items they can bring into the center or have in their car. You may be searched for
weapons or contraband on your visit. Make sure you know the rules before you visit, so that you are not turned away
without seeing your child.

WILL I STILL HAVE A SAY IN MY CHILD’S LIFE?
While your child is in custody, the Division of Juvenile Services or the Department of Health and Human Resources
makes medical decisions for your child. Your child should let a staff person know if they require any medication or have
any specific medical needs or restrictions. Make sure that you are still involved and made aware of any medical issues
that arise as you and your child are the best source of information about your child’s medical history.

WHO’S IN THE COURTROOM?
People in juvenile court include:
THE JUDGE: The judge is in charge of the courtroom and plays a very important role in your child’s case. The judge listens
to information from the child’s probation officer, lawyers, witnesses, and the child who is charged. In bench trials, the
judge decides if the child is guilty or not. The judge also determines your child’s sentence.
The State’s Attorney (Prosecutor): The prosecutor’s job is to prove that charges against the child are true. They present
evidence and witnesses against a child who is charged with a crime.
DEFENSE LAWYER OR PUBLIC DEFENDER: The defense lawyer represents the child who is charged. If parents cannot pay
for a private lawyer, the court will appoint a lawyer called a public defender for free. The defense lawyer presents
evidence and witnesses to help the child. The defense lawyer’s job is to try to prove the child’s innocence, or to get the
best plea agreement or sentence for the child.
PROBATION OFFICER: The probation officer monitors a child’s compliance with the conditions set for the probationary
period. A probation officer will inform the court if your child does not follow the probation conditions.
Witness: A witness is someone who saw, heard or has information about a crime. A witness can testify for a child or
against a child in a juvenile court hearing.
CLERK: The clerk is seated next to the judge. He or she is responsible for all legal records, scheduling, and information
about the cases before the judge.
DEPUTY SHERIFF: A deputy sheriff is assigned to each courtroom to keep order and security in the court.
Court Reporter: A court reporter creates a record of everything that is said in court. This record is called a transcript.

GETTING
HELP
If you have specific questions, you should consult with a lawyer.
The following list includes organizations that may be able to
provide assistance to you and your family.

American Civil Liberties
Union of West Virginia
The ACLU of West Virginia maintains
an active legal program to assure
that the Bill of Rights and the rights
guaranteed by the West Virginia
Constitution are preserved for each
new generation. In addition to our
legal staff, we depend upon many
dedicated lawyers from around the

state who are willing to donate their
time and talent to the cause of
protecting individual freedom. The
ACLU usually files cases that affect
the civil liberties of large numbers of
people, rather than those involving a
dispute between two parties.

PO Box 3952
Charleston, WV 25339-3952
Phone: (304) 345-9246
Website: http://www.acluwv.org

Legal Aid of West Virginia
With over 100 full-time staff in 12 offices across West Virginia, Legal Aid of West Virginia (LAWV) is
the state's primary provider of civil legal aid and advocacy services. Their mission is to ensure that
the most vulnerable among us - low-income families, seniors, victims of domestic violence, the
disabled - have an equal shot at justice, in the courtroom and in their communities.
922 Quarrier Street, 4th Floor,
Charleston, WV 25301
Phone: 1(866)255-4370, fax: (304)345-5934
(Additional locations in Beckley, Clarksburg, Elkins, Huntington, Lewisburg, Logan, Martinsburg,
Morgantown, Parkersburg, Princeton and Wheeling)
Website: http://www.lawv.net/

Mountain State Justice
Mountain State Justice is a non-profit legal services firm dedicated to redressing entrenched and
emerging systemic social, political, and economic imbalances of power for underserved West
Virginians, through legal advocacy and community empowerment offered regardless of ability to
pay. Essential to this mission is an inclusive work environment that encourages, supports, and
rewards the collaborative and creative pursuit of professional excellence.
Offices in Charleston and Clarksburg
Toll Free Phone: 1-800-319-7132
Website: http://mountainstatejustice.org/

West Virginia Advocates
West Virginia Advocates, Inc. (WVA) is the federally mandated protection and advocacy system for
people with disabilities in West Virginia. WVA is a private, nonprofit agency. Their services are
confidential and free of charge.
1207 Quarrier St Suite 400
Charleston, WV 25301
Phone: (800) 950-5250, (304) 346-0847, Fax: (304) 346-0867
Website: http://wvadvocates.org/about-us/

West Virginia State Bar Lawyer Referral Service
This website is designed to assist the public of West Virginia in locating lawyers that are currently
taking referrals in specific practice areas. These lawyers are not certified in any specific practices
that are honored by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals but they may have experience or
interest in that specific area of practice.
Website: http://www.wvlawyerreferral.org/

WV Child Advocacy Network
Network of 21 Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) throughout the Mountain State. A CAC is a
child-friendly facility in which child protection, criminal justice, and child treatment professionals
work together to investigate abuse, hold offenders accountable, and help children heal. Rather than
having a child taken from agency to agency to endure multiple interviews, the CAC model brings the
system to the child for an effective, child-centered, healing process.
304-414-4455

PO Box 3952
Charleston, WV 25339-3952
Phone: (304) 345-9246
Website: http://www.acluwv.org