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Child Abuse / Neglect

If Child Protective Services has contacted you about your child, you need to know your legal rights and options. The New York child abuse defense attorneys of Tilem & Associates, PC have vast experience in administrative law assisting people throughout the New York City area with accusations of child abuse and neglect or who are under investigation by Child Protective Services (CPS) or the Administration for Children Services (ACS). Sometimes, allegations of child abuse can result in a CPS (or ACS) investigation, a criminal case and a family case all at the same time.

Our lawyers have the experience, knowledge and skill to handle all aspects of your child abuse case or cases and can meet with you personally and provide a free initial consultation to discuss your situation. Our law offices are in White Plains, and we regularly help people throughout Westchester County, the 5 boroughs of New York, Rockland County, Nassau County, and Suffolk County.

What We do

Investigators working with CPS or ACS can be very intimidating. However, you have rights. Speak to a lawyer who can advise you and protect your rights.

In any case involving alleged child abuse or neglect in New York, our child abuse defense attorneys can act as intermediaries between our clients and Child Protective Services (CPS). We know how to present your case to the authorities in a way that will get results. We also know how to protect you from invasive investigations.

Our lawyers can analyze your situation and advise you on whether or not you should cooperate with the authorities. We can advise you as to your rights, and obligations and advise you of the exact definition of child abuse and neglect under the law.

The Process

Child Protective Services begins by investigating your home situation to see if child abuse or neglect has occurred. If the investigator feels the child is not in imminent danger but is still at risk, he or she may file an Article 10 petition in family court. This starts a process of reviewing whether the child should be removed from the home.

You always have the option of refusing to cooperate, but there can be consequences, as our defense lawyers at our New York law firm can advise you. Either way, an investigator can take a case to court.

If the investigator feels the child is in imminent risk, he or she will remove the child immediately. You are then entitled to a 1028 hearing in Family Court before a Family Court judge to make your case. The burden will be on CPS to establish that there will be an imminent risk to the child if that child is returned to the care of the parents.

Whether or not your case is brought to Family Court, CPS or ACS will make an administrative determination about whether or not there is evidence to establish that the accused person neglected or abused a child. Often, the investigator will indicate a report, meaning that they will claim that there is evidence to support the report even if there is little or know evidence to establish child abuse or neglect.

If the report is indicated by CPS or ACS there are at least three different opportunities to appeal that determination. The first level of appeal is a request to the Commissioner of New York State Office of Children and Family Services to amend the finding. In our experience, these requests are rarely granted. However, if that request is denied you make request a fair hearing before an Administrative Law Judge working for the Office of Children and Family Services. In our experience, the findings are often reversed at these hearings.

Lastly, in the event that the findings are not corrected after both appeals, you may appeal by bringing an Article 78. In an Article 78, you may go to New York State Supreme Court where a Supreme Court Justice will decide whether your appeal should have been granted.

Investigators are allowed to go to a school and interview a child without the parent knowing. If this has happened, do not take the child out of school. This may be considered child neglect or educational neglect.

Contact Tilem & Associates, PC

We have always maintained a client-first practice, working closely with each client. Speak with one of our New York domestic violence defense lawyers, free of charge, by calling us at 877-377-8666.

New York Criminal Attorney Blog - Child Abuse
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