Rowayton DCF Lawyer

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) in Connecticut is an administrative agency tasked with investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect, but they can also hail an individual into court alongside a State Prosecutor for the Juvenile Court for court hearings regarding child abuse and neglect. They have the power to remove children from their home in certain situations, and can seek for a more permanent removal or even termination of parental rights.

Needless to say, being investigated by DCF can be an unnerving and potentially life-changing experience, and it is not something you want to try handling without support from experienced legal counsel. With a skilled Rowayton DCF lawyer by your side, you will be able to more effectively enforce your rights, avoid common mistakes that could harm you and your family during an investigation, and give yourself the best chance possible of a favorable final case resolution.

Possible Grounds for a DCF Investigation

There are two main grounds on which DCF will open an investigation into a Rowayton resident. If police arrest someone on suspicion of committing a criminal act of “family violence” against a family or household member, DCF has the authority to investigate any reasonable suspicion that the defendant in question may have previously harmed or may harm in the future any minor children living at their primary residence with them. It is important to note that “family violence” or “domestic violence” isn’t an explicitly named crime. Arrests for charges like disorderly conduct, risk of injury to a minor, and assault in the third degree are regularly the basis for a DCF investigation starting.

Alternatively, DCF can begin an investigation into someone in Rowayton based on a third-party report, which can be done in writing or over the phone. As an attorney can further explain, certain types of people who often interact with young children—for example, teachers and pediatricians—are considered “mandatory reporters” and are required by state law to contact DCF if they have any reasonable suspicion that a child is being abused or neglected at home.

What Rights Do People Under DCF Investigation Have?

Once they open an investigation, DCF authorities can make unannounced home visits and will aim to interview everyone potentially involved in the home life of a child who may be in danger of mistreatment. Depending on the circumstances, this group could include the child themselves, the main subject of the investigation, and potentially various other relatives, neighbors, and community members. Importantly, though, people under DCF investigation are not required by law to speak with DCF investigators or sign releases allowing them to speak with their child and with other people in their child’s life.

That said, it is generally best to be as calm and cooperative with DCF investigators as possible without volunteering too much information, offering speculation, or trying to explain things in ways that could harm a legal defense strategy later on. A qualified DCF lawyer in Rowayton can provide crucial assistance with this, and may also be able to negotiate for investigators to only speak with minor children and other involved parties if legal counsel is present.

Get Help From a Rowayton DCF Attorney

Finding out you are being investigated by DCF can change the course of your life in a moment’s notice, as can a “substantiation” of the Department’s suspicions that you are mistreating children in your household. If you fail to handle this type of investigation effectively, you may wind up facing serious consequences in family court which could include a loss of visitation rights or the removal of your children from your home.

Fortunately, you have assistance available from a seasoned Rowayton DCF lawyer who knows exactly how to deal with DCF investigations in ways that protect the best interests of everyone involved. Call today to discuss your options.

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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...

- Robert E
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