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Fighting DCF Investigations in Stamford, Connecticut (Part 3 of 3)

Fighting DCF Investigations in Stamford, Connecticut
(Part 3 of 3)

Click here for Part 1
Click here for Part 2

Hold it! Don’t Sign a DCF Safety Plan Without Consulting an Attorney

Another staple of Stamford Connecticut DCF investigators is their demand that you sign a “DCF Safety Plan” or “DCF Service Agreement” during their first visit. It’s typically a pink or yellow handwritten sheet, listing rules and requirements that your family must follow or else DCF can take you to court. The best Stamford Connecticut DCF attorneys and lawyers will usually insist that you do not sign this document until it’s reviewed and revised by an experienced Connecticut DCF attorney.

Connecticut DCF Safety Plans and Service Agreements are booby traps. They often contain conditions that are burdensome, heavy-handed, overbroad, and restrictive. Many times the conditions set you up to fail. Examples are DCF-mandated supervised visitation with your child, orders preventing you from returning home, substance abuse and alcohol evaluations, drug testing, parenting classes, and therapy. And what’s most irritating to the best DCF lawyers in Stamford Connecticut is that the investigator will never explain the legal ramifications of signing the Safety Plan or advise you of your legal rights. Instead, they will tell you what can (not what will) happen if you refuse to sign a Safety Plan. And when you hear that one of the worst-case (albeit unlikely) scenarios is that your children will be put in foster care…well, of course you’ll sign anything in front of you. It’s coercion.

A top Stamford Connecticut DCF lawyer attorney can help you here. They can explain that signing a DCF Safety Plan or Service Plan is equivalent to giving up your constitutional rights to due process and a fair trial against DCF. So before you sign ANYTHING from DCF, be sure to let them know you need to first run it by your top Stamford Connecticut DCF Investigation lawyer.

Can I Appeal My Case If Connecticut DCF Substantiates Abuse or Neglect?

Absolutely. In fact, the appeals process for a Connecticut DCF substantiation is the most transparent part of DCF. As the best Connecticut DCF investigation lawyers can tell you, the clock to begin your appeal begins ticking as soon as you receive a letter notifying you that DCF has substantiated allegations of neglect (moral, physical, or emotional) or abuse. The same goes for appealing a DCF decision to publish its abuse or neglect findings on the public DCF Central Registry.

The best Connecticut DCF appeal lawyers know the process – your appeal will first receive an internal review. After that, you have the option to take your appeal to a full-blown, contested hearing. This is like a criminal trial—you and your top Stamford DCF appeal attorney can subpoena witnesses, inspect medical records, police reports, DCF reports, and cross-examine the DCF investigator assigned to your case. This all takes place before an impartial hearing officer. Demanding a DCF appeal also sends a message to the prosecutor on any related criminal case that you are serious about fighting your accusations of child abuse or neglect. But be sure to talk to your top Stamford Connecticut criminal lawyer about the consequences of taking the stand versus asserting your Fifth Amendment right during your appeal hearing. You can also click here for more details on how to appeal a Stamford Connecticut DCF substantiation case.

Can I Get a Copy of My Stamford Connecticut DCF Investigation File?

Yes, but only after DCF has closed your case. Any of the top Stamford Connecticut DCF investigation attorneys can file the proper paperwork with the DCF legal department and obtain a complete copy of your file. This includes all police reports, interviews, witness statements, and summaries of evidence obtained during your investigation. These records can often be helpful to you in a parallel court proceeding (criminal, divorce, or otherwise) to clear your name – especially if a disgruntled spouse or family member has made false reports to DCF, which happens all the time. If you want a copy of your DCF file, then call a top Stamford DCF attorney lawyer today for assistance.

DCF Investigations Following a Stamford Connecticut Domestic Violence Arrest

The best DCF law firms and lawyers in Stamford understand that many DCF cases start with a referral from the Stamford Police Department. Stamford police are required by law to refer an investigation to DCF when any domestic violence incident occurs near children under 18, even if the children were not involved in the dispute. If you are arrested in Stamford for a domestic violence crime such as Disorderly Conduct, Risk of Injury, Assault, or Strangulation, then you need to be careful about what you disclose to your DCF investigator because it might be used against you in Stamford criminal court. It is not common knowledge, but DCF investigators participate in a weekly meeting with domestic violence court staff where they all share information and safety concerns about your case with the prosecutor and family relations officers. So if you’re the target of a DCF investigation in Stamford Connecticut as a result of an arrest for a domestic violence incident, then talk to any of the top DCF and criminal lawyers in Stamford Connecticut. You can also click here to learn more about fighting Connecticut DCF investigations that tag along with a Connecticut domestic violence arrest.

DCF Investigations Following a Stamford Unsupervised Child in Car Arrest

In that same vein, Stamford Police officers must refer you to DCF when they arrest you for Leaving a Child Unsupervised in a Motor Vehicle or Risk of Injury under CGS 53-21. The top Stamford Connecticut DCF criminal attorneys know that Stamford child in car arrests go hand in hand with DCF investigations due to how much the accusations overlap with child abuse and neglect concerns. Don’t forget – leaving a child under 16 alone in a car is against the law in Connecticut – even if it’s just for a few minutes to run into a store ( click here for more on fighting Unsupervised Child in Car arrests in Stamford Connecticut ). With dangerously high summer temperatures in Connecticut, hot car deaths in Connecticut are on everyone’s radar so make sure DCF does not substantiate abuse or neglect allegations against you. Click here for more on DCF investigations during Risk of Injury / Child Unsupervised in Car cases.

Contact a Stamford Connecticut DCF Investigation Attorney Today

So if you suddenly find yourself the target of a Stamford Connecticut DCF investigation, or you get an unexpected phone call or knock on your front door from Stamford DCF, contact any of the seasoned Stamford Connecticut DCF investigation lawyers at Mark Sherman Law. Our goals are to protect your reputation, your family’s privacy, and get your DCF closed as quickly as possible, with no substantiation findings from DCF. Check out our former client reviews on Avvo.com and give us a call today at (203) 358-4700. We are available 24/7 to take your call.

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