Lansing Child Neglect Attorney
Protect Your Family with Help from Cronkright Law
Children’s Protective Services (CPS) is in charge of investigating allegations of child neglect. When their investigation is complete, CPS makes a decision as to whether to file a Petition in the family court. This is different than a criminal case and cannot result in jail time.
Instead, a Petition is a civil case that can result in your child becoming a ward of the court. Some petitions go further and ask the court to terminate parental rights of one or both parents. It is common for one parent to be accused of directly abusing and child and the other to be accused of failing to protect the child. In this way, CPS is often successful in dividing the parents and breaking up a family.
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There are many types of child neglect that CPS can investigate:
- Negligent supervision, which involves placing a child in a situation that has a high risk of causing bodily harm.
- Failure to protect, which occurs when someone knows or has reason to know that the child is being abused but allows the abuse to continue.
- Domestic violence in the home, especially when the acts of domestic violence have some impact on the children in the home.
- Educational neglect, which means not requiring your child to attend school on a regular basis.
- Medical Neglect, which is failing to provide necessary medical care.
CPS can begin an investigation based on an allegation from anyone. Under Michigan law, if a doctor, counselor, daycare worker or teacher has reasonable cause to suspect abuse or neglect, they must report it. Licensed professionals tend to take a CYA approach and file reports without real or substantial evidence in order to protect themselves from liability under the statute. Neighbors, family members, and even acquaintances can also call CPS to report suspected abuse.
Unfortunately, many reports are made by people who have ill will toward the parent being reported. This is often the other parent or a grandparent unhappy with the parent. CPS is legally obligated to look into any and all accusations which indicate the possibility of neglect or abuse of children in the home.
When we are representing parents, our mission is always the same: we want to get CPS out of your home and keep your children in it. We partner with our clients to figure out the best way to do that.
We recommend that you:
- Talk to us before you talk to CPS.
- Talk to us before you talk to the police.
- Get an attorney helping you as quickly as possible once you know that CPS is investigating your home.
Early Intervention by a Michigan Child Neglect Attorney
If possible, it is better to avoid going to court. Therefore, we often get involved early in order to bring the investigation to an end before it gets to court. An early intervention calls upon us to bring our extensive knowledge of Michigan child protection law and our courtroom experience to guide you through the investigative process. The intervention is designed to keep you out of court if possible. Some parents insist that they have nothing to hide, so they want to talk with the police or CPS investigators. We understand that most parents are trying to make the best decisions that they can. Our experience tells us that many of those parents change their minds when they discover that CPS and other investigators are not really helping their families. Our best advice, based on our experience helping many hundreds of families is that if CPS is coming to your home, you should consult a child neglect defense attorney quickly.
An investigation by CPS is not the final word on your family or your children. Protect your rights with a free consultation from Cronkright Law.
Defenses Against Child Neglect Charges
There are a variety of ways to defend against neglect charges during a CPS investigation or criminal case. Parents who are under investigation should not try to go it alone. Having an experienced Michigan child neglect defense lawyer is essential. CPS workers and law enforcement investigators may suggest that you only need an attorney if you are guilty of something. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The real truth is that investigators want access to the people they are investigating and attorneys get in the way. At Cronkright Law, our attorneys have helped many parents throughout Michigan defend allegations from CPS and Police. Parents who retain attorneys early tend to fare better in our system of justice.
If you are being investigated, act now. Call (517) 325-0441 for an evaluation of your case. Initial phone consultations are free.