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A CPS or ACS Investigator has Contacted You:

Investigator has Contacted

What do you do now?

There are two (2) ways that you can be contacted by an ACS or CPS investigator. They can call you on the phone or they can come to your house or apartment. The first thing you should do upon being contacted by the investigator is to ask the investigator exactly what the complaint against you is. When you ask them this questions your should write down exactly what they say. If they say they don’t have to tell you what the allegations against you are, tell them they are wrong, don’t back down. Advise them you will not meet or discuss any situation with them unless you know the nature and circumstances of the complaint against you. Ask for the investigator’s name. If the investigator is there with a police officer, take down the police officer’s information and badge number.

Keep them at the Door

If the CPS or ACS investigator seeks to come into your house to investigate, advise them you would like to speak to them at the door. They may insist or claim there will be consequences if you do not let them into your house. Stand your ground! If they are persistent in demanding to come into your home, ask them if they have a search warrant or court order. They may claim they don’t need one. Both police officers and CPS and ACS investigators will often say this. At that point advise them if they have a court order or warrant you will be happy to cooperate with them and allow them into your house and if they don’t, you are not allowing them into your home. If it is a police officer and he is being extremely forceful, do not fight with or get into a big argument with the police officer. Let them in and you will be able to deal with this illegal intrusion into your home at a later point in time

Going to the Police Station or CPS or ACS

If a police officer or CPS or ACS worker requests you come and meet with them at their location, it is extremely important that you do not show up without an attorney. If they ask you to bring your children to CPS to be interrogated, hire an attorney. Do not bring your children to meet with CPS or ACS without having an attorney present. CPS and ACS workers often ask for these interrogations for the sole purpose of building a case against you. They present that they are seeking to get to the facts of the case and your cooperation will resolve the issue when instead they are seeking to build a case against you and obtain evidence against you.

Interviews with CPS Workers

Our law firm has extensive experience in dealing with CPS cases. We have found on numerous occasions CPS workers misstate the information provided to them.

If you are alone with the CPS worker who requested an interview you can tape your conversation with them. You can also tape a conversation with the CPS worker on the telephone. The law in the State of New York allows you to tape record or take a photograph to make a record of any communication you have with an investigator while you are present at the time of the interview. The interview is a fact finding process that can be used to obtain information from you that can lead to your arrest and prosecution.

Police Interviews

If the police seek to interview you do not be interviewed by them without having an attorney present. The interview may result in your being arrested and you should have someone there to deal with this problem should this happen. They can also intimidate you and put words in your mouth if you are not properly represented. It is important to understand police usually are interviewing individuals with regard to ascertaining whether they should be arrested and charged with a crime.

Conclusion

CPS and ACS investigators sometimes deal with circumstances of extreme abuse and neglect of children. In these cases they often do an excellent job in protecting children. However, a large portion of the complaints made to CPS and ACS are false complaints. The fact that the allegations against you are false does not mean legal action won’t be taken against you. It is always better to be careful when you are subject to any type of investigation.

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Elliot S. Schlissel is an attorney with 30 years of experience representing individuals investigated and/or charged with child abuse and child neglect throughout the Metropolitan New York area. He can be reached at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at Elliot@sdnylaw.com.

Valley Stream, Lynbrook, Baldwin, Malverne, Freeport, Oceanside, Long Beach, Elmont, Lakeview, West Hempstead, Hempstead, Merrick, Bellmore

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