Physical Abuse in a Connecticut DCF Case

  • If your child has any unexplained injury, the Department of Children & Families may launch a child abuse investigation into you and your family.
  • Anything you say to DCF can be used against you if you are later arrested.
  • You have the right to an attorney at every step of a DCF investigation.
  • If you’re contacted by a DCF agent, make sure to consult with a top DCF defense lawyer before speaking to DCF or signing any documents.

How Does a Physical Abuse DCF Investigation Start?

Top Connecticut DCF defense attorneys know that a child’s injury shouldn’t automatically raise suspicions of abuse. But, if your child has an unexplained injury, or an injury that does not seem like it was caused by an accident, the Department of Children and Families may launch an investigation into you and your family for physical abuse. Often, Connecticut DCF investigations begin by a report from a doctor or other medical professional, school staff, or even from an anonymous person who calls in to DCF’s hotline.

What Is the Definition of Physical Abuse in Connecticut DCF Investigations?

Physical abuse is broadly defined in the Department of Children & Families’ regulations. For example, f DCF feels that your child has an injury that was “not an accident” or that you’ve used excessive physical punishment, then you might be investigated or substantiated for physical abuse. Keep in mind that physical abuse is different than physical neglect, and that DCF can investigate you for both physical abuse and neglect at the same time.

If DCF Substantiates Physical Abuse, Can I Go to Jail?

A DCF substantiation is a not a crime in Connecticut. However – it’s more important than ever to get an attorney from the beginning and make sure your rights are protected. Here’s why: Anything you say to a DCF agent can be used against you during a police investigation or criminal case. In fact, there’s a felony charge called Risk of Injury to a Minor, under Connecticut criminal law § 53-21. If you are being investigated by DCF for physical abuse, there’s a chance that you are or will be investigated by the police for the same allegations. Not only that, but substantiations for physical abuse can lead to DCF staying involved in your family through ongoing services, or even filing a neglect petition or starting removal proceedings.

Can I Appeal a DCF Physical Abuse Decision?

Yes. If DCF conducts a full or intake investigation into your family, it will decide whether to substantiate allegations against you at the end of a 45-day period. DCF will also decide whether to place your name on its Central Registry of people it deems to be a “risk” to children. You have a limited time to appeal DCF’s decisions and file the correct paperwork to preserve your rights. If DCF has substantiated against you, make sure to get in touch with a Department of Children & Families appeal lawyer sooner than later to make sure that everything is properly filed on your behalf.

Get in Touch with a Connecticut DCF Defense Attorney Today

Keep in mind that DCF investigates almost every report it receives. The DCF investigation process can be extremely overwhelming, even if you have done nothing wrong. If you’re contacted by DCF, and face allegations of physical abuse in a Connecticut DCF case, be sure to call a team of experienced lawyers right away so that your rights are protected. Click here to see hundreds of reviews from our past clients.

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