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Parental Guide to handling child abuse or child neglect investigations

Do not argue with the investigator

Parental Guide to handling child abuse or child neglect investigationsIt may be a natural reaction to tell the investigator where to go. Don’t do it. Be polite, courteous and strong. You may be correct in being angry. However, the investigator is just doing their job. Don’t abuse them.

Do not let the investigator into your home

If the investigator does not have a court order, it is highly recommended you speak to them in the doorway. Do not let them in your home. They may tell you they have a right to come into your home. They do not. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures in your home. Talk to the investigator in your doorway or in the hall.

The investigator may claim this is an emergency situation. They may be bluffing. If it is a real emergency they will have the police there and the police will be involved. Should the police be there and the police claim it is an emergency situation, they can take emergency action to come into your home. Otherwise unless it’s an emergency, they need a search warrant. Be advised, if you invite a CPS or ACS investigator into your home, you are waiving your rights under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution regarding searches and seizures. Remember the investigator is coming into your home to find some evidence which will support the allegations of child abuse or child neglect against you. The investigator may tell you the Fourth Amendment protections for unreasonable search and seizures only applies to police and doesn’t apply to CPS or ACS investigations. This is not true. Stand your ground. Tell them they cannot come into your home.

Bring your child to your pediatrician

Have the pediatrician examine your child if there are allegations of physical abuse. Have your doctor write a letter to CPS or ACS indicating there are no bruises, no marks, or health concerns found with regard to your child’s health which would lead him or her to believe, in their professional capacity, your child has been neglected or abused. Go to your own doctor. Do not go to a doctor recommended by CPS or ACS. Do not go to a doctor recommended by ACS or CPS.

Do not admit guilt under any circumstances

Events may have taken place which led to the child abuse and child neglect investigations. Portions of the allegations or the entire allegations may be true. In these situations you need to immediately hire an attorney familiar with child abuse and child neglect investigations. It is extremely important. Speak to your attorney, your attorney is subject to attorney/client privilege (about the truthful nature of the allegations). There are things the attorney can do to deal with truthful investigations to prevent you from being labeled as a child abuser.

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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