CPS Is Investigating Me. Do I Need A Lawyer?

Yes.  Child Protective Services (CPS, now called the Department of Family and Protective Services or DFPS) has the power to remove your children from your home and place them with another parent (even one who does not have custody), another relative or in foster care without a court order.  Much like in a criminal case, anything you say to a DFPS investigator can and almost certainly will be used against you.  If you are charged with a crime related to your children (physical or sexual abuse, for example), any statements you make during the course of the DFPS investigation will be turned over to prosecutors and the police.  You could very easily say something that could incriminate you.  Once your children have been removed, the case goes to court and MUST be resolved one way or another in 12 months from the date of removal (with a possible one-time extension of up to 6 months).  This means that in a very short period of time, you could be facing a trial where your parental rights could be terminated forever and your children placed out for adoption.  Unlike any other Family Law court order, a termination order is permanent and can never modified or overturned, except on appeal.  A DFPS case is a very serious matter and you should consult an attorney as soon as you discover you or a family member are under investigation–BEFORE you make any statements or attend any meetings or “group conferences” and certainly before you go to court.

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