These are the feelings commonly felt by parents who find themselves at odds with Child Protective Services (CPS) in Michigan. There is one more feeling, a feeling that we share with you during this difficult time: determined.
At Schwartz Law Firm, we are determined to help you resolve your issues and put your family back together. We believe strongly that children are better off with their parents in almost all circumstances. You can rely on us to take on CPS and protect your interests and the wellbeing of your children.
Contact us today for a free initial consultation to speak directly with an attorney about your situation.
Why am I being investigated?
Teachers, doctors, and other professionals are legally required to report anything they perceive to be possible evidence of abuse or neglect. They mean well, but this obligation can lead to misunderstandings that break families apart.
Something as simple as a bruise, scratch, or even a comment taken out of context could get the ball rolling toward the worst possible outcome: the loss of your children. With your family at stake, you cannot afford to roll the dice on taking on CPS without an experienced, proven attorney looking out for you.
Can they really take my kids?
Unfortunately, yes. Not only that, but you can face additional consequences such as a criminal conviction for child abuse or neglect, as well as damage to your personal reputation. If convicted of abuse or neglect, you could be looking at as many as 15 years in prison. You need to take the accusations against you extremely seriously.
I'm under investigation. What next?
If you have reason to believe you are being investigated by CPS, you need to act quickly to hire an attorney. It is generally advised to cooperate with CPS during the investigation process. However, you can expect that CPS will not be looking to give you the benefit of the doubt (despite whatever you may be told). It is important to know that a CPS case is technically a civil matter and many of the constitutional protections that apply to criminal cases regarding collecting evidence and how it is used against you do not apply in a CPS investigation. Just one example is that you are not issued Miranda Warnings by a CPS investigator but all of the evidence obtained can be used against you criminally. It is critical to have an experienced attorney on your side to help guide you through the investigative process in a manner that lets you cooperate with the CPS Investigator while at the same time looking out for your best interests and the best interests of your family.
How will CPS determine whether to take my kids?
In most cases, an investigation will stem from accusations or a conviction of child abuse, neglect, or sex crimes. If the investigators determine that a child has in fact been abused or neglected, they can remove the child from the home to be placed in temporary custody or foster care, and recommend the termination of parental rights. Having an experienced attorney help you make sure that the facts of your case are fully and accurately evaluated in an unbiased way can have a significant impact in the outcome of your CPS investigation.
What should I do now?
Whether you have been accused, charged, or CPS has already taken your children, you need to contact us immediately. CPS cases move very quickly in their early stages and there are important rights that are frequently not fully explained in preliminary proceedings which can be permanently waived if they are not asserted. Proper investigation and aggressive advocacy are crucial when taking on CPS cases. The sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner we can begin tailoring a legal strategy to your situation.