Role of a Norwalk DCF Attorney
If you are under investigation by the Department of Children and Families (DCF), you have the right to have an attorney with you during the process. A Norwalk DCF attorney can review documents presented by the agency and advocate on your behalf at hearings or other proceedings.
What Should I Do if DCF Arrives at My Home?
DCF investigators often like to arrive unannounced to catch your family off-guard before you can prepare. They may threaten various negative consequences if your family does not allow them to interview family members and tour the home right away. However, you and your family have the right to ask the investigator to return at a time that is mutually convenient where your lawyer can be present.
It is advisable to consult an attorney before making any statements or answering any questions posed by DCF. A Norwalk DCF lawyer can explain what to expect and how statements may be used against your family. An attorney could help you decide how to answer questions and how to cooperate without forfeiting your rights.
If you answer questions or sign a DCF agreement before speaking with an attorney, the DCF is more likely to gain ammunition to use against you. Moreover, information acquired by DCF can also be used against your family in criminal proceedings.
Should I Sign a Safety Plan or Service Agreement?
DCF frequently asks parents or guardians under investigation to agree to the terms of a safety plan or service agreement. On the surface, the action may seem simple. After all, parents want to protect their children and provide a safe environment.
However, it is essential to understand the terms of these agreements or any documents before signing as they are legally binding contracts. A Norwalk DCF lawyer could review agreements with clients to ascertain whether it would make sense to agree to the terms. If someone who signs an agreement violates even one minor provision, that violation could give the agency grounds to take action against them.
What Happens at the Conclusion of a DCF Investigation?
After DCF concludes an investigation, the investigator will recommend that the allegations of child abuse or neglect be considered “substantiated” or “unsubstantiated.” When the findings substantiate accusations of neglect or abuse, the agency may also find that the parent or guardian poses a risk to the safety of the child and that the person accused should be listed on the Central Registry of Child Abuse and Neglect.
Substantiation findings only show that there is evidence to support allegations. However, if the findings are not challenged through an appeal, they can stand as evidence of guilt. A Norwalk DCF lawyer can help appeal substantiation findings to help protect your rights and reputation.
Learn More About the Role of a Norwalk DCF Attorney
Every family is different, and so is every DCF case. A skilled of a Norwalk DCF lawyer can analyze the facts of your case to provide you with advice on how to best protect your family.