Michigan

Child Protective Services Cases

Child-rearing has its challenges, but being under investigation for your parenting skills can be a nightmare. As parents ourselves, we know that allegations of child abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect are as heart-breaking as they are terrifying.

That’s why you don’t need to go through this process alone. Hiring a defense attorney equipped to work on your Child Protective Services case and any potential criminal investigation is your best shot at keeping your children in your custody.

And our team at Smith Blythe is here for you.

Watch video

Child-rearing has its challenges, but being under investigation for your parenting skills can be a nightmare. As parents ourselves, we know that allegations of child abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect are as heart-breaking as they are terrifying.

That’s why you don’t need to go through this process alone. Hiring a defense attorney equipped to work on your Child Protective Services case and any potential criminal investigation is your best shot at keeping your children in your custody.

And our team at Smith Blythe is here for you.

What happens when you’re under investigation by Child Protective Services?

If a teacher, counselor, doctor, other family member, or someone else who knows your child accuses you of child abuse, Child Protective Services (CPS) and/or law enforcement will contact you to begin an investigation into these charges.

CPS is a government-run agency that investigates reports of child abuse or neglect. Their goal is always to do what they deem is in the child’s best interest – even if that conflicts with what the child’s parents say or want.

In some states, including Michigan, suspecting abuse and failing to report it can lead to criminal charges for the accuser, making them legally obligated to make the accusation.

Typically, an investigation begins 24 hours after the accusation is made and lasts for 30 days. It may begin with a CPS investigator coming to your house unannounced and requesting to interview you, your partner, and your child(ren) separately.

CPS can only remove your child from your home with an official court order, but it is possible for them to obtain such a court order even while the investigation is still pending if they believe it is necessary for the child’s safety.

Your rights as a parent

Often the suspected evidence used to make the accusation is merely a misunderstanding or something taken out of context. So what can you do if an investigation begins?

As an accused parent, you maintain the following rights during the investigation:

  • The right to know why you’re being investigated.
    You do not have the right to know who accused you, but you can ask for written records and reports of the investigation.
  • The right to deny access to your home.
    Under the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, you can deny the CPS investigator entry into your home until they get a court order to enter. It is important to get advice from a qualified lawyer, however, in deciding whether you should deny access.
  • The right to remain silent.
    This right is not just for criminal cases – it helps prevent you from incriminating yourself in any case. HOWEVER, refusing to cooperate with the CPS investigator’s questions entirely could present problems for you down the road. The best method is to respond to the investigator’s questions with questions of your own (i.e., “Why is my family being investigated?”) Trying to collect as much information as possible is critical.
  • The right to hire an attorney.
    Everyone’s situation is different, which is why you need to hire an attorney to help you tell your side of the story and work towards putting your family back together. Anything you say to your attorney will be held confidential under attorney-client privileges.

You will not be assigned a court-appointed attorney as a CPS investigation begins. If you cannot afford an attorney yourself and a petition is filed against you or involving your children, you may qualify for one when the matter goes to court.

Similarly, because the CPS investigation is a civil proceeding, it does not offer the same constitutional protections as a criminal charge does. For example, the investigator will not read you your Miranda rights, but everything that you say and do will be included in their report.

Types of allegations

Allegations that warrant CPS investigations include all kinds of physical, mental, emotional abuse and neglect.

Some common accusations include:

It is often the case that there is both a police investigation and a CPS investigation into your case going on at the same time.

It’s important to note that the burden of proof to terminate parental rights is far less than the burden of proof in a criminal case. So even if you are not found guilty in a criminal proceeding, your parental rights could still be terminated.

Because our firm also provides criminal defense, we can help you through both investigations at the same time.

"
I hired Shannon Smith to be my attorney on my CPS case. There were allegations of abuse from a close family member to one of my children. The case was a nightmare but Shannon helped me through it. She was aggressive and did not let CPS walk all over me. She fought long and hard for me and was very thorough. She saved me from losing my children. Shannon was always there to answer any questions I had any time I had them. I would highly recommend Shannon to anybody dealing with Child Protective Services. She makes everything understandable and walks you through it hand-in-hand. She's compassionate and has a passion for what she does. She is a fighter and the best attorney to have on your side.”
~ Prior Client

"

I hired Shannon Smith to be my attorney on my CPS case. There were allegations of abuse from a close family member to one of my children. The case was a nightmare but Shannon helped me through it. She was aggressive and did not let CPS walk all over me. She fought long and hard for me and was very thorough. She saved me from losing my children. Shannon was always there to answer any questions I had any time I had them. I would highly recommend Shannon to anybody dealing with Child Protective Services. She makes everything understandable and walks you through it hand-in-hand. She's compassionate and has a passion for what she does. She is a fighter and the best attorney to have on your side.”

~ Prior Client

Give Smith Blythe a call today

The most important step you can take to put your family back together is hiring a legal team with experience with CSC cases in Michigan. At Smith Blythe, we have that experience. Please give us a call at 248-636-2595 to get started working on your case today.

Fill out the form with the details of your situation to get started.

    Are you a new client? Yes, I am a potential new client.No, I am a current existing client.I'm neither

    Give Smith Blythe a call today

    The most important step you can take to put your family back together is hiring a legal team with experience with CSC cases in Michigan. At Smith Blythe, we have that experience. Please give us a call at 248-636-2595 to get started working on your case today.

    Fill out the form with the details of your situation to get started.

      Are you a new client? Yes, I am a potential new client.No, I am a current existing client.I'm neither