If you are being investigated by Child Protective Services (CPS) for abuse or neglect, you should take it seriously. CPS representation begins at the moment of your first contact with CPS. The goals in a CPS case are to keep your family together, to navigate a case carefully to minimize potential criminal exposure, and ultimately to have CPS out of your life and for your family to return to peace and normalcy.
Teachers, doctors, and other professionals are legally required to report anything they perceive to be possible evidence of abuse or neglect. They mean well, but this obligation can lead to misunderstandings that break families apart.
Something as simple as a bruise, scratch, or even a comment taken out of context could get the ball rolling toward the worst possible outcome: the loss of your children. With your family at stake, you cannot afford to roll the dice on taking on CPS without an experienced, proven attorney looking out for you.
Unfortunately, yes. Not only that, but you can face additional consequences such as a criminal conviction for child abuse or neglect, as well as damage to your personal reputation. If convicted of abuse or neglect, you could be looking at as many as 15 years in prison. You need to take the accusations against you extremely seriously.
If you have reason to believe you are being investigated by CPS, you need to act quickly to hire an attorney. It is generally advised to cooperate with CPS during the investigation process. However, you can expect that CPS will not be looking to give you the benefit of the doubt (despite whatever you may be told). It is important to know that a CPS case is technically a civil matter and many of the constitutional protections that apply to criminal cases regarding collecting evidence and how it is used against you do not apply in a CPS investigation. Just one example is that you are not issued Miranda Warnings by a CPS investigator but all of the evidence obtained can be used against you criminally. It is critical to have an experienced attorney on your side to help guide you through the investigative process in a manner that lets you cooperate with the CPS Investigator while at the same time looking out for your best interests and the best interests of your family.
In most cases, an investigation will stem from accusations or a conviction of child abuse, neglect, or sex crimes. If the investigators determine that a child has in fact been abused or neglected, they can remove the child from the home to be placed in temporary custody or foster care, and recommend the termination of parental rights. Having an experienced attorney help you make sure that the facts of your case are fully and accurately evaluated in an unbiased way can have a significant impact in the outcome of your CPS investigation.
CPS cases move very quickly in their early stages and there are important rights that are frequently not fully explained in preliminary proceedings which can be permanently waived if they are not asserted. Proper investigation and aggressive advocacy are crucial when taking on a Child Protective Services case. The sooner you get in touch with me, the sooner we can begin tailoring a legal strategy to your CPS situation.