Greenwich Mandated Reporter Lawyer

Under Connecticut law, certain people are required to immediately report to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) any reasonable suspicion they have that a child is being abused or neglected. These “mandated reporters” face punishment as both a criminal offense and grounds for civil litigation against them if they fail to do so. If you are facing legal action over an allegation that you failed to fulfill the requirements incumbent upon you as a mandatory reporter, reach out to a Greenwich mandated reporter lawyer sooner rather than later to discuss your legal options and start constructing a strong defense strategy.

How State Law Addresses “Mandatory Reporters”

In Connecticut, any person who works and/or interacts regularly with minor children in the course of their professional duties is considered a “mandatory reporter,” including but not limited to:

  • Teachers and other school employees
  • Pediatricians and other licensed physicians
  • Day care workers
  • Youth camp directors, counselors, and other employees
  • Clergy members
  • Psychiatrists and other mental healthcare professionals
  • DCF employees
  • Intramural and/or interscholastic athletic coaches
  • Social workers
  • Police and parole officers

Any mandatory reporter who reasonably suspects a child under 18, or a child under 21 who is already a DCF client, has been abused or neglected—meaning they have been injured by accidental means, are experiencing malnutrition or some other failure to meet their basic physical and/or psychological needs, are being sexually abused, or are living in conditions “injurious to [their] wellbeing—must report their suspicions to the DCF as quickly as reasonably possible but in any event within twelve hours.

More specifically, mandatory reporters must make a report within 12 hours through the DCF Careline or through law enforcement. As a Greenwich mandatory reporter attorney can further explain, mandatory reporters are legally required to provide their name when making a report, but they can request that their identity be withheld from anyone who does not have lawful authority to view it.

Potential Penalties for a Failure to Report

As per Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §17a-101a, any mandatory reporter who fails to report suspected child abuse or neglect within the time periods prescribed by state law may be prosecuted for a Class A misdemeanor offense and punished upon conviction with a maximum one-year jail term and $2,000 in fines. However, this offense becomes a Class E felony carrying maximum sanctions upon conviction of three years in prison and $3,500 in fines if any of the following aggravating conditions apply:

  • They have been convicted of failure to report under the aforementioned statute at least once before
  • They intentionally and/or willfully failed to report
  • Their failure to report constituted “gross negligence”
  • They had “actual knowledge” of a child being abused or neglected, which usually means they personally witnessed the abuse or neglect occurring
  • As a school employee, they failed to report suspected sexual abuse of a minor by another school employee

Additionally, a mandated reporter who allows a child to sustain physical and/or psychological harm by failing to report suspected abuse or neglect may face civil liability for the child’s injuries and subsequent losses. A mandated reporter lawyer in Greenwich can provide irreplaceable assistance preparing for and effectively contesting both types of cases.

Work With a Greenwich Mandated Reporter Attorney

Both law enforcement and DCF authorities in Connecticut take the obligations imposed upon mandatory reporters very seriously, and courts tend to prosecute people convicted of failing to meet those obligations harshly. That said, you still have rights in a situation like this just like anyone accused of any other type of criminal offense, and assistance from a seasoned Greenwich mandatory reporter lawyer can be key to enforcing and protecting those rights. Call today for a confidential consultation.

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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...

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