Learning that CPS is investigating you or a loved one can be traumatic, especially if a social worker shows up at your door with questions for you and your children. The first thing you should do in this situation is contact a skilled defense attorney. He or she will walk you through every step of your case, providing wise legal counsel that will help you make decisions that will positively impact your future. The team at Grabel & Associates has over 15 years of experience defending the wrongfully accused, and is willing to step in at any stage of your case. The sooner you reach out to us, the better your chances are of receiving your desired outcome. After you’ve found a seasoned CPS lawyer in Michigan, there are several practical steps you can take to put yourself on track to reaching your desired verdict.
Take CPS accusations seriously.
CPS workers routinely receive seemingly absurd reports of child abuse and are required to pursue every lead as if it is true. Even if claims seem ridiculous to you, know that the social worker is serious and will approach the case assuming you are guilty.
Find out what charges you’re facing.
Caseworkers will attempt to keep you in the dark regarding the details of what you’ve been accused of. Don’t settle for categories of the offense, such as “abuse” or “neglect.” The caseworker is legally obligated to give you specifics about what accusations were raised. These details will help you and your attorney build a strong defense, protecting you from overzealous investigators.
Remember, you have the right to remain silent.
Caseworkers will make you feel like you need to talk to them. This simply isn’t true. You should never submit yourself to an interrogation before speaking with an attorney. He or she will prepare you for the questions you may face, helping you clearly communicate your innocence and protect yourself from agents that are eager to twist your words.
Treat CPS agents courteously.
If you respond with hostility towards the agent handling your case, he or she will assume you have something to hide. Always keep a level head and treat CPS agents courteously. Remember, you don’t have to speak with them before consulting with an attorney.
Never allow CPS agents into your home without a warrant.
Without a warrant or court order, a CPS agent cannot lawfully enter your home. The agent may try to convince you that it is an emergency, but don’t submit to his or her attempt to strong-arm you. Politely but firmly state that he or she will have to remain outside until he or she has obtained a warrant.
Have a trusted doctor examine your children.
If you’re facing accusations of child abuse, have a trust doctor examine your child. After the examination, ask for a letter that states that there are no bruises, marks, or health concerns that would lead to suspicion of abuse or neglect on your part.
Make sure that CPS records any interrogation of your child.
Any interrogation of your child needs to be recorded so you can review it later. Be sure to bring a recording device, just in case the CPS agent ‘”forgets” his or hers.
Compile a list of friends and family members who are able and willing to care for your child.
It’s always a good idea to be prepared for the worst. If CPS determines that your child needs to be removed from your home for a while, it’s much better that he or she be placed with someone you trust. Also have friends and family members write letters that support your good character and ability to care for your children. Their testimony is powerful, and could potentially sway the outcome of your case.
Never admit guilt.
The number one goal of a CPS agent is to prove your guilt. He or she will stop at nothing to obtain a guilty verdict, so it’s crucial that you never admit to anything. Some CPS agents are not above twisting your words, and may take anything you give them and use it against you as a way of landing you in jail and taking your kids from you. Always consult with a lawyer before you speak with a CPS agent.
Find the right defense attorney to handle your case.
Your attorney plays a large part in determining the outcome of your case. You want to hire someone who has ample experience defending clients in similar situations. He or she should believe in your cause and fight aggressively to protect you and your family. If you’re looking for a lawyer that will devote ample time and energy to defending you, give the Grabel & Associates team a call. We’re willing to step in at any stage of your case and will do everything in our power to ensure you have a fair shot at justice.
You can reach an experienced case analyst 24 hours a day, 7 days week at 1-800-342-7896 or contact us online. He or she will provide you with a free initial case consultation and advise you of the best course of action to protect yourself and your family from CPS.