Darien DCF Investigations After a Risk of Injury to a Minor Arrest
While there is no way to prevent Darien DCF investigations after a risk of injury to a minor arrest, there are ways of handling this complex situation proactively in pursuit of a beneficial outcome. Consulting with an experienced DCF lawyer could provide you with the information and guidance you need to effectively preserve your rights and your family’s best interests no matter what DCF decides to do.
What Are DCF Investigators Looking for?
It is crucial to understand that Department of Children and Families and the Connecticut criminal justice system are two entirely separate bodies, and the outcome of proceedings undertaken by one entity have no direct bearing on those undertaken by the other. If DCF finds that family violence allegations in Darien against a particular individual are unfounded, that defendant may still be convicted of whatever criminal charge spurred that investigation in the first place. Likewise, an acquittal in criminal court does not necessarily mean that DCF will not recommend sanctions based on their own findings.
A DCF investigation typically takes at a minim 45-days to complete. During this time, DCF will primarily look to determine whether a child potentially impacted by their parent or guardian’s alleged criminal act is living in a safe, healthy, and supportive home environment. In practice, this typically means DCF will show up unannounced to conduct home inspections, conduct interviews with the children in the household and all other household members, and in many cases ask the person under investigation to sign a “Service Agreement” that constitutes a promise not to abuse or neglect their children in any way. This is a legal contract and a lawyer should be consulted if you are asked to sign one of these.
Potential Results of Risk of Injury Investigations
In the short term, any perceived violation of a Service Agreement may result in immediate sanctions through family court proceedings. In the long term, a finding by DCF that substantiates allegations of mistreatment can likewise lead to the loss of visitation and/or custody rights in court, and an investigation that results in indicated proof—meaning there was evidence found that abuse or neglect of low to moderate severity occurred, as opposed to the serious harm that may warrant a substantiated finding—may still have significant consequences in and out of court.
It is worth emphasizing that DCF investigators do not necessarily need to find overwhelming evidence of mistreatment to submit a substantiated finding and pursue court action accordingly. As a seasoned Darien lawyer could tell you, some DCF investigations after risk of injury to a minor arrests have outcomes like this based solely on speculation or hearsay rather than concrete proof of abuse due to the nature of administrative proceedings.
Learn More from a Darien Attorney About DCF Investigations Following Risk of Injury to a Minor Arrests
Risk of injury to a minor is a felony offense in Connecticut, so DCF investigations that occur based on allegations of this nature tend to have very high stakes. Even if you are confident that investigators will find nothing problematic in your home or in your relationship with your child, representation from experienced legal counsel could still be key to giving your family the best chances possible of getting through this experience without lasting repercussions.
A Darien DCF investigation after a risk of injury to a minor arrest is not something you should try to handle alone. Finding the right lawyer can be hard, head over to Avvo.com to read reviews for the attorneys at Mark Sherman Law and call today to see how we can help you.