Justia Lawyer Rating
Super Lawyer
CT Magazine
Under 40 Trial Lawyers
Avvo 10.0

Connecticut DCF Substantiation Appeal Defense Lawyers

If DCF has substantiated allegations of abuse or neglect against you, it’s not the end of the road. With a Connecticut DCF attorney at your side, you can appeal the substantiations and work towards restoring your reputation and getting you off the DCF Central registry.

What Happens When DCF Completes an Investigation?

At the end of a DCF investigation, investigators will either substantiate or dismiss the allegations made against you. If they choose to dismiss the allegations, your involvement with DCF is likely complete. If they choose to substantiate the claim, this means DCF has a reasonable belief that abuse or neglect has occurred.

What Does a Substantiation Finding Mean for My Family?

A substantiation is not a finding of guilt like you see in a criminal trial. It is a determination that the alleged child abuse or neglect did happen. It cannot lead to jail or fines, but it can lead to placement on the DCF central registry or even removal of the child from the home. It’s important to note that families have the right to challenge the findings and recommendations.

During an appeal you can present evidence that rebuts the evidence put forth by DCF. Further, you can cross-examine DCF witnesses to reveal biases and flaws in their testimony and conclusions. Mounting a strong defense is important, and a Connecticut DCF Appeal Defense Attorney can help.

How Do I Appeal Substantiation Findings?

After a substantiation, you have a short 30-day window to request an internal review by DCF. This internal review is the first step of the appeals process. This must occur before you can have a hearing before an impartial hearing officer. Following the internal review, DCF either will uphold or reverse the substantiation.

Follow this link for the ins and outs of the DCF appeal process.

Can I Question and Cross-Examine Witnesses During a DCF Appeal?

Yes. If DCF upholds its substantiation determination, you have another 30-day window to request an administrative hearing. These hearings typically occur at DCF field offices in front of attorneys appointed by DCF as hearing officers. Administrative hearings are less formal than court hearings, and the rules of evidence are more relaxed. However, the process can still be intimidating, especially to someone who has not done this before. Having any of the best DCF appeal lawyers and attorneys by your side can make the situation far more comfortable.

How Does a DCF Investigation Begin?

Anyone can initiate a DCF investigation by making an anonymous complaint to the 24/7 DCF hotline. The most common complainants, however, are police officers and mandated reporters. A DCF investigation lasts 45 days and during this time investigators will speak with you, the child, and anyone else who may have information

Who is a Mandated Reporter?

Mandated reporters include teachers, social workers, athletic coaches, and mental health professionals. These individuals are subject to criminal penalties if they fail to report suspicions of child abuse or neglect.

Contact a Connecticut DCF Appeal Attorney Today

Protecting your family’s interest is priority #1 for any DCF Appeal Defense Attorney. A lawyer can help you interact with DCF, navigate the investigation, and work towards a positive resolution of your case. Check out our 5-star certified client reviews and call Mark Sherman Law today for a consultation at (203) 569-3599.

Client Reviews
I found Mark Sherman after doing an extensive search for DCF attorneys on the internet. He is without a doubt the most honest and straightforward attorney I have ever met. Rather than trying to push us towards an expensive engagement he quickly addressed our issue with a recommended course of action. My wife and I left his office feeling much better and confident in our situation. His fee was well worth the investment and I highly recommend his services. Robert E.