Michigan Child Abuse Defense Attorneys
Protect Your Reputation, Freedoms & Parental Rights
Call (517) 325-0441
In order to defend yourself from false allegations of child abuse, exaggerated claims, and biased prosecutions, you need to retain the services of a Michigan child abuse defense attorney with a high level of skill and legal knowledge. Child abuse is considered a serious criminal offense in Michigan that can be investigated by both law enforcement and Child Protective Services (CPS), especially when the accusations involve neglect or a parent’s failure to protect a child from harm. A parent may need to take on both forces and two separate defense cases at the same time.
At Cronkright Law, you can find a Michigan child abuse defense attorney you can trust with your case. Our law firm has helped countless parents defend themselves against accusations child abuse and child neglect, successfully allowing them to retain their parental rights in the face of powerful opposition. If you need our help, contact us online or call (517) 325-0441 as soon as possible. Our phones are answered 24/7 and we offer free initial case evaluation screenings to inquiring clients.
Defending Child Abuse Charges Brought by CPS
Having Child Protective Services accuse you of child abuse can come as a shock and leave you off-balance. Every day, as a direct result of CPS investigations, children are removed from homes and placed in foster care, parents are restricted from having unsupervised contact with their own children, and courts are asked to terminate parental rights. In many cases, such events could have been delayed or stopped entirely had the parent prepared a child abuse defense case.
How do you start your case? What should you include to protect your good name? The answers may not be clear if you are not well-versed in child abuse laws. Take the guesswork out of your case and give yourself the power to stand up to CPS agents by retaining the services of our Michigan child abuse defense lawyer.
Your Rights When Dealing with Michigan CPS
Michigan child abuse charges often start with a CPS investigation. However, CPS is required by law to bring law enforcement into the picture in the majority of case types. As a result, parents often find themselves defending a Termination Petition and a criminal charge at once. It is important to understand your rights if you really want to protect and uphold them. It is also important to have a well thought out plan on when and how to assert those rights.
In all instances, parents being accused of child abuse should immediately seek the help of an experienced Michigan child abuse defense team that also has a background in criminal defense. This is exactly the team you can find at Cronkright Law. We are experienced at handling child abuse accusations regardless of who is leading the investigation or making the allegations. We have legal professionals on call 24/7 for emergencies and offer free initial consultations to get our clients pointed in the right direction without first having to reach for their wallets.
During a consultation, we can explain your basic rights, which include:
- You have the right to seek the counsel, guidance, and representation of a child abuse defense lawyer to help you make critical decisions. CPS workers are notorious for intimidating parents and getting them into an interview without an attorney. Beware of this tactic. You always have the right to have the assistance of an attorney when dealing with CPS.
- You have the right to refuse CPS and Law Enforcement officials when they try to access your home without a warrant or court order, except when a child is in immediate danger. Remember to never resist arrest or detainment once an officer declares you are under arrest. Resisting arrest is a crime in and of itself, even if you are not committing any other crimes at the time.
- You have the right to refuse drug and alcohol testing unless there is a warrant or court order. Talk to your Michigan CPS defense attorney about what to do if asked to take a drug test.
- You have the right to remain silent. This means you do not have to talk to CPS, police, or any representative of CPS or third-party professional working with the CPS in an investigation against you.
Asserting Your Rights Against CPS
Deciding to assert your rights against CPS can be a precarious situation, especially if you do not fully understand your own rights. You should definitely get some help from a Michigan child abuse defense attorney first. Keep in mind that CPS may be inclined to take you to court at any time and without warning. The best thing to do before you start refusing anything is to politely tell them that you want to cooperate, but you need to get some legal advice first. Everything that CPS learns during their investigation will be shared with the police if there is a parallel criminal investigation. Proceeding with utmost carefulness is encouraged.
Criminal Child Abuse Charges in Michigan
Criminal child abuse charges in Michigan are serious and will be life-altering if you are convicted. When facing criminal charges of child abuse or a police investigation, you need legal help as quickly as you can arrange it.
Michigan has four degrees of child abuse; each with different penalties:
- First degree child abuse: A felony punishable by up to life in prison, or imprisonment for any term of years, as determined by the sentencing judge.
- Second degree child abuse: A felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison for a first offense and up to 20 years in prison for a second or subsequent offense.
- Third degree child abuse: A felony punishable by up to 2 years in prison. Some prosecutors and even defense attorneys have referred to third degree child abuse as a high court misdemeanor but that is not correct.
- Fourth degree child abuse: A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in county jail.
Michigan’s criminal child abuse law (MCL 750.136b) can be found online here if you would like to review it in full. The criminal code allows for the prosecution of acts that cause either physical or mental harm. It separates crimes by the seriousness of the injury, the intent of the accused, and the criminal history of the accused.
In general, people can be prosecuted for:
- Harm to a child’s health or welfare
- Placing a child in a situation where harm is likely to occur
- Intentional injury to a child
- Intentional mental injury to a child causing depression, anxiety, or fear
- Reckless acts that lead to injury
- Sexual misconduct
A convictions of any of the aforementioned offenses can easily affect your parental rights, custody of children in divorce and family law disputes, and your freedom. A Michigan child abuse defense lawyer from Cronkright Law considers all the potential consequences of a conviction and uses that as extra motivation to win your case.
Legal Help for Parents Accused of Child Abuse in Michigan
You do not have to face accusations of child abuse, neglect, or injury alone. Our experienced Michigan child abuse defense attorney and supporting legal team can help you stand up for yourself and your right to raise and live with your children. Our attorneys have successfully handled thousands of court cases, consultations, and charge-preventing interventions involving both CPS workers and law enforcement. If we are defending you in court, you have the benefit of working with attorneys who understand false allegations and have successfully defeated them in family law cases, in CPS initiated Petitions, and in criminal cases.
Do not let CPS tear your family apart. Contact Cronkright Law for a free consultation today! Just call (517) 325-0441 to begin.