Role of a Greenwich DCF Investigation Lawyer
DCF is an arm of Connecticut law enforcement, but ironically, investigators will not advise a person that they have a right to an attorney, or even disclose that this agency has the right to impact that person’s parental rights.
However, an individual should consult with an experienced DCF lawyer as soon as possible if under investigation, as an individual does not want to say the wrong thing to the investigator, and they need to know what their rights and options are. DCF will not explain all of an individual’s legal rights. This is one of the roles that a Greenwich DCF investigation lawyer could play during this process.
Disclosing Potential Issues
An individual should be very careful about disclosing personal information to DCF. An accused person should never lie to any government agency, however, an individual has the right to remain silent if they do not want to disclose any potential issues, such as:
- Drug addiction
- Mental health history
- Medication regimen
- Prescription drug abuse
- Domestic violence
An individual should be very careful about getting into these subjects with DCF because such investigators will be fishing for information related to these topics. One of the roles that a Greenwich lawyer could play is as an advisor during a DCF investigation to help someone avoid disclosing personal information.
DCF Service Agreement
A DCF safety plan or service agreement is a handwritten sheet of paper that many investigators will want an individual to sign at the conclusion of the first meeting. Many lawyers will insist that their clients not sign the safety plans or service agreements until their attorney has had a chance to review and negotiate these documents with DCF.
These documents are negotiable and should not be signed without first talking to an experienced Greenwich attorney, who can take on the role of the client’s advocate throughout the DCF investigation.
During an investigation, DCF will want a person to sign a Safety Plan or Service Agreement so that the person will agree to certain restrictions with their child. It may require the person to attend counseling, get drug testing, refrain from drinking alcohol, or not allow their child to be alone with them.
These demands can be unreasonable and should not always be automatically agreed to. If the individual signs the Safety Plan or Service Agreement and violates that agreement, the court can take the person to court to enforce it and possibly impact their rights to their children. An individual is giving up substantial and significant critical rights by signing these documents.
Benefits of a Greenwich DCF Investigation Attorney
Having an attorney early on in a case can help an individual get their case closed quickly without a substantiation, without it being recorded, and without any permanent notations in a DCF Central Registry. It is the role of the Greenwich DCF investigation lawyer to be able to push back against investigators who are trying to make an individual’s family uncomfortable.
The lawyer is permitted to sit in the room with an individual’s child during a DCF interview rather than have them being interviewed alone, and they can stop the interview and ask DCF to leave at any time. A lawyer can also help in a FAR case by preventing a FAR case from escalating into a full investigation.
When parents are suspected of abuse or neglect, DCF does not allow the parent to sit in on the interviews with the children out of concern that the parent is exercising undue pressure on the children. However, a Lawyer will be able to insist on being present in the room when a child is being interviewed to make sure the child remains comfortable during the interview.
However, a role of a DCF investigation attorney is to act on the side of the child, which enables them to be present in the room when a child is being interviewed to make sure the child remains comfortable during the interview.
In these situations, individuals should consult with an attorney as soon as possible who has experience in these investigations and has battled against DCF before.