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Constitutional Rights in ACS and CPS Cases

Constitutional Rights in ACS and CPS CasesThe United States Constitution as well as the New York Constitution allows those who are accused of crimes or under investigation for crimes to be represented by an attorney. If you were being questioned by a law enforcement official or an ACS or CPS worker it is in your interest to have an attorney do the talking for you. Be careful to not admit to anything. You have no obligation to help an ACS, CPS worker, or law enforcement individuals obtain evidence against you.

What Does it Mean When You Receive an Indicated Letter from ACS or CPS?

Indicated means that they believe you have committed child abuse or child neglect. It means they are engaging in an evidence gathering investigation against you. It means you may be labeled as a child abuser or individual involved in child neglect. Should you receive an indicated letter, the first thing you should do is to retain an experienced dedicated ACS and CPS defense lawyer. The investigator may go into Family Court and take legal action against you.

90 Days To Appeal

If you receive a letter that you’ve been indicated for child abuse and child neglect, you have 90 days to appeal. It is important you appeal those allegations against you to avoid being labeled as a child abuser or person involved in child neglect.

In the event there is a court case against you and you’ve actually committed the acts they allege involved with child abuse or child neglect, whether it was intentional or by accident that doesn’t mean you’re going to lose your children. A qualified CPS and ACS defense lawyer can obtain an adjournment in contemplation dismissal or what is often known as a 1051A under the Family Court Act. This usually means if you take services and do certain things within a of six months to a year the case against you will be dismissed.

A Trial

You have a right to fight cases brought by ACS and CPS against you. Fact finding hearings can be undertaken by a Family Court judge and ACS or CPS will have to prove their case by a preponderance of the evidence against you. This is different than a criminal trial where the standard the prosecution has to meet is beyond a reasonable doubt.

Fact Finding Hearing

If you were successful at the fact finding hearing the court will have no further no jurisdiction against you. Even if you lose the fact-finding hearing, that does not mean you will lose custody of your children. The Court will only remove children from the family home if they find they are in imminent danger. If the children are removed from your home, there will be a permanency hearing in approximately six months.

No parents want to be investigated by CPS or ACS. However, if they knock on your door and advise you you’re under investigation, the best way to protect yourself is to hire an experienced ACS and CPS defense lawyer.

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is the managing partner of Schlissel DeCorpo LLP. He has been practicing law for 42 years. Elliot, his partner Nathan DeCorpo, and their associates represent individuals in child abuse and child neglect investigations throughout the Metropolitan New York area. The law firm has been involved in handling these cases for more than 45 years. Elliot, Nathan and their associates have extensive experience dealing with scores of cases and successfully defending their clients regarding allegations of child abuse and child neglect. Elliot and Nathan can be reached at 800-344-6431 or e-mail Elliot at Elliot@sdnylaw.com or Nathan at Ndecorpo@sdnylaw.com.

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