When you are accused of child abuse, it has an immediate impact on your freedom, your career, and your family. Allegations of child abuse can lead to the government taking custody of your children, arresting you, and sending you to prison.
The prosecution can file criminal charges against you, or file a civil dependency and neglect case against you, or both. A civil dependency and neglect case can result in permanent termination of your parental rights, with your children being placed in foster care or put up for adoption.
You should not agree to answer anyone’s questions about the allegations. Instead, immediately contact the experienced attorneys at Peak Legal LLC for help.
What You Need to Know Now
- Child abuse allegations often require defending yourself against allegations in both criminal and civil cases.
- Such allegations frequently lead to criminal investigations and serious felony charges.
- Prison time is a very real — and often mandatory — consequence, depending on the severity of the allegations, the type of injuries, and whether law enforcement can prove that you knew you harmed or intended to harm a child.
- If you are contacted by social services, you should politely decline to cooperate without first consulting with an attorney.
- If you are contacted by police, you should: peacefully assert your Fourth Amendment right against unlawful search and seizure and your right to refuse to consent to a search of your person or property.
- You should immediately assert your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.
- You also should immediately assert your constitutional right to a lawyer and immediately contact the attorneys at Peak Legal LLC.
- It is best to avoid talking to anyone about the allegations — even if they are not government officials — because whatever you say, whether it be to police or others, can be used against you, even if you think telling your story will be helpful.
You could be under investigation without even knowing it. Detectives often attempt to get information about you by having other people call, text, email, or contact you on social media. They may also subpoena or obtain a warrant for social media, phone, and other records.
Urgency for Accused Parents and Caregivers
For a parent accused of child abuse, circumstances can quickly spin out of control.
A child abuse allegation can lead to a social services investigation, a criminal investigation, a civil dependency and neglect case filed by the county, or an emergency motion to restrict or modify your parenting time in a divorce case. This can result in:
- Your immediate arrest and loss of freedom, family, and job;
- Your child being immediately removed from your home and placed into the temporary legal custody of social services and physical custody of someone else;
- A judge placing someone else in charge of decisions regarding your kids, including schools, medical care, and visitation.
- Immediate restriction of parenting time in the context of a divorce, post-divorce, or custody case.
- Restriction on your ability to have any contact with any children — often including your own children — regardless of whether it is a family, social, or work setting.
- A civil dependency and neglect case also can result in permanent termination of your parental rights, with your child being placed in foster care or put up for adoption.
Protect Your Rights
When the stakes are this high, do not delay. Hiring the experienced attorneys at Peak Legal LLC is critical to preserving your freedom and rights.
- Attorneys Douglas T. Cohen and Todd Narum have years of experience litigating child abuse matters in criminal, civil dependency and neglect, and domestic relations courts.
- As a former felony prosecutor, Mr. Cohen served two terms in a special child abuse prosecution unit in Colorado. He has also represented parents accused of child abuse as a private attorney and as a state-appointed counsel. Mr. Cohen knows many of the forensic, medical, and other experts relied on by the government, as well as the methods and practices the government uses in pursuing child abuse charges, convictions, and civil remedies.
- Mr. Narum has more than 15 years of experience with child abuse allegations in both the criminal and civil areas, with an expertise in divorce, post-divorce, and related custody battles.
Together, attorneys Cohen and Narum have a combined 35 years of legal experience handling hundreds of child abuse cases in the criminal and civil context, in and out of court. Call Peak Legal LLC immediately upon learning you are, or may be, a suspect in a child abuse investigation.