Stamford Child Abuse Lawyer
If you were accused of child abuse, you should seek advice from an experienced Stamford child abuse lawyer. Whether a case involves allegations of abuse of your own child or another child, a skilled defense attorney can work to protect the rights of everyone involved and help minimize the damaging consequences.
What Happens After a Report of Suspected Child Abuse?
When a teacher, doctor, or other individual reports suspected child abuse, the report usually goes to the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, known in Stamford as the DCF. After receiving a report, the DCF investigates to determine whether the child is at a significant risk of harm.
What Action Can DCF Take in Court?
If the DCF believes there is a need for government intervention, the agency generally will file a petition in court alleging abuse or neglect. The agency may also obtain temporary custody to remove the child from a situation until the court is able to determine what should be done next.
Parents have the right to contest the agency’s determination in a hearing. The DCF will be represented by a seasoned Assistant Attorney General, so it is in the best interests of parents to seek equally experienced legal representation from a Stamford child abuse attorney.
What Can the Court Order Following a DCF Hearing?
The court may issue an order stating one of the following outcomes:
- The child should remain with or return to the parent
- The child should remain with or return to the parent but under DCF supervision
- Custody or guardianship of the child should be transferred to a relative or other caregiver
- Guardianship of the child should be removed from the parents and placed with DCF
- Dismissal of the petition
Once a child protection case is initiated, it may continue for many years. DCF may exercise a supervisory role or retain custody of a child for a lengthy period. The agency may also decide to file a petition to terminate parental rights if it believes the problems cannot be resolved.
What is Considered Child Abuse in CT?
Child abuse is defined in Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §46b-120 as a situation in which a minor has injuries that are non-accidental or that occurred in a way other than originally described. Abuse also includes situations in which a child suffers from sexual molestation, malnutrition, deprivation of necessities, or emotional mistreatment.
In addition, state criminal statutes define many offenses that may be charged in connection with minors, including reckless endangerment, risk of injury to a minor, and different forms of assault. These are often charged as felony offenses, so representation from an experienced Stamford child abuse lawyer is highly advisable to defend against the charges.
Should I Work with a Dedicated Stamford Child Abuse Attorney?
Absolutely. If you were accused of any form of child abuse, it is important to take the allegations seriously and prepare a multi-faceted defense strategy. A knowledgeable Stamford child abuse lawyer could provide a vigorous defense to protect the future of yourself and your family. To learn how a seasoned defense attorney could assist with the unique needs of your situation, call Mark Sherman Law for a consultation.