Fairfield DCF Investigations
Finding out you are under investigation by the Department of Children and Families (“DCF”) for any reason can be a uniquely unnerving and potentially life-altering experience. If you are dealing with Fairfield DCF investigations, you should prioritize retaining an experienced DCF attorney to improve your chances of attaining the best possible legal outcome.
What Prompts a DCF Investigation?
Most commonly, the Connecticut DCF opens investigations into Fairfield residents who have been arrested for crimes that may indicate a child in their household is being abused, neglected, or otherwise mistreated. Notably, this does not necessarily have to be an offense labeled as “family violence” based on the defendant allegedly targeting a family or household member with their actions. For instance, someone who drives drunk while their minor child is in the vehicle with them may be charged with risk of injury to a minor. This subjects them to a DCF investigation based on the type of charge rather than any allegation of intentional violence toward their children.
Alternatively, DCF investigations may stem from reports filed without direct involvement from law enforcement, usually from legally established “mandatory reporters” such as teachers and pediatricians. It should be emphasized that mandatory reporters can face serious legal repercussions if they fail to report something they suspect may indicate child abuse or neglect. Because of this, it is not unheard of for such individuals to contact DCF over something that, upon further review, is just a misunderstanding or is not serious enough to warrant action from the state.
What Are the Different Types of DCF Investigations?
DCF may undertake two different types of investigations based on allegations of child neglect or abuse in Fairfield. One is much more serious and in-depth than the other. In less severe situations, the Department may conduct a Family Assessment Response (“FAR”) that will still involve a home inspection and a few interviews with the person under investigation and their household members. However, this investigation generally does not result in serious repercussions, even if some form of mistreatment is found.
On the other hand, full investigations are extremely serious matters that can lead to life-altering consequences if DCF finds evidence to substantiate allegations of serious neglect or abuse. Additionally, while a FAR can be upgraded to a full investigation if DCF feels it is appropriate to do so, a full investigation cannot be downgraded to an FAR.
The most important thing for anyone facing an investigation of any kind from the Connecticut DCF to do is to remain as calm and cooperative as possible. That does not mean it is always wise to volunteer information and extra details that are not explicitly asked for. Instead, it means that individuals should not try to talk their way out of an investigation once it begins or try to figure out who filed a report against them. Anything that is said or done during the 45-day investigatory period may be held against accused parties as evidence of abusive or neglectful tendencies.
Handle Your Fairfield DCF Investigation with Help from Our Attorneys
Guidance from a capable legal representative is absolutely essential to avoiding preventable mistakes and effectively enforcing your rights during Fairfield DCF investigations. If you are the subject of one of these actions, reach out to the Law Offices of Mark Sherman today to learn more about how we can help protect your future, and click here to view our Avvo profile with over 300 certified client reviews.