Defending Against a DCF Investigation in Rowayton

Whether it stems from a criminal charge you are facing for an alleged “family violence” offense or a report from a concerned third party, having the Department of Children and Families (“DCF”) open an investigation into you can be an intimidating experience. On top of that, DCF investigators do not necessarily need to find concrete and direct evidence of abuse or neglect to make a recommendation for further court action, and even a seemingly innocuous statement from you or someone else in your household could have surprisingly significant consequences.

All that being said, defending against a DCF investigation in Rowayton is certainly not impossible if you are careful and proactive about it. It can be made even less intimidating if you have help from knowledgeable legal counsel. From beginning to end of the investigation process and potentially beyond as well, your DCF defense lawyer can help you structure your answers to questions from investigators, enforce your rights under state law, and improve your chances of a favorable final result to your case.

What Kinds of Things Will DCF Investigators Look For?

DCF investigations in Rowayton usually last for 45 days following the Department’s receipt of a complaint or allegation of family violence, and investigators will typically conduct several rounds of interviews with household members and stop by for surprise home inspections. Generally speaking, investigators will be looking for inconsistencies in what different household members say about life in the home and changes in the answers people give to the same question across multiple interviews.

They will also look for things like unsanitary living conditions, how various family members interact with each other, what neighbors and community members say about the household members, and even whether children in the household are eating well and getting good grades in school. It is worth emphasizing that the DCF is not a state prosecuting authority, and therefore does not need to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that abuse or neglect is occurring in order to recommend further action. Their lower burden of proof means that it is easier for them to substantiate abuse or neglect than it would be to find a person guilty of a crime.

Possible Outcomes of a DCF Investigation

At the end of the 45-day investigation period, the DCF will send a Notification of Investigation Results to everyone they were investigating on suspicion of abusing or neglecting a child. If the DCF finds that the allegations against you were “unsubstantiated” by the evidence, they will generally close the case without any further action. In some situations where there is some evidence of neglect or abuse but not enough evidence to “substantiate” the original allegation(s), the DCF may recommend support services or other options for resolving the underlying issues without filing a neglect petition.

A substantiation finding, on the other hand, may lead to the DCF filing a neglect petition against you, seeking to have your name and information put in their publicly accessible Central Registry, or even pursue an Order of Temporary Custody to remove your children from your household. Our Rowayton legal counsel can go into further detail about exactly what the DCF might do in a particular scenario and offer guidance about possibly appealing their conclusions after an investigation.

Discuss Options for Defending Against a DCF Investigation With a Rowayton Attorney

The process of defending against a DCF investigation in Rowayton can be long and taxing, and anything you do or say while the investigation is ongoing could be held as evidence against you. Needless to say, this is a high-stakes and uniquely stressful situation to find yourself dealing with, and it is not one you want to go through alone.

A DCF defense attorney from Mark Sherman Law could be the ally you need to effectively protect your rights and best interests during a DCF investigation. Call today to schedule a consultation, or read reviews from hundreds of satisfied past clients on our Avvo profile by clicking here.

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