Michigan CPS – Child Abuse Charges
How Your Family Can Be Torn Apart By A Child Abuse Accusation
In Michigan, you can be investigated and charged with Child Abuse, Child Neglect, or both. This page examines Child Abuse in Michigan. You can read about Child Neglect on our Michigan Child Neglect page.
The same claims in a criminal child abuse case can also be brought again for a child abuse case in family court. Michigan family courts allow many people to file a petition in child neglect cases, but almost all child abuse cases in our family courts are filed by a Children’s Protective Services (CPS) worker. If a child abuse case is filed against you, your parental rights could be in jeopardy. Having a case in family court claiming you abused a child is serious business. Losing parental rights is the most serious outcome to the case. However, there are also other serious things that can occur once a case is filed against a parent. Depending on the particulars of the charge, kids are sometimes placed in foster care for a period of time. Often, the parents are listed on the CPS child abuse registry.
The Kronzek Firm has a well-respected team of experienced CPS defense attorneys who will aggressively work to keep families together. We defend parents against child abuse and child neglect allegations throughout the lower peninsula of Michigan. We work extensively in Grand Rapids, West Michigan, Metro Detroit, Southeast Michigan, Lansing, Mt. Pleasant, Central Michigan, Ann Arbor, The Thumb, Saginaw, and northern counties.
What is Child Abuse?
Michigan’s legal definition of child abuse is:
“Harm or threatened harm to a child’s health or welfare that occurs through nonaccidental physical or mental injury, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or maltreatment, by a parent, a legal guardian, or any other person responsible for the child’s health or welfare.” Child Protection Law Act 238; Sec. 722.622 (Sec. 2)(g)
This definition serves as an umbrella for many different acts.
- “Harm” means to hurt, while “threatened harm” occurs when a child is placed in a situation where the chance of child abuse is high. A “non-accidental physical injury” occurs when a caregiver purposefully and severely hurts a child, or even temporarily disfigures the child. This includes cuts, poisoning, broken bones, internal injuries, and burns.
- A “mental injury” occurs when a child becomes chronically anxious, depressed, fearful, or psychotic due to a caregiver’s physical or verbal acts or omissions.
- “Sexual abuse” is also broad, including sexual penetration. This includes sexual intercourse or any other kind of penetration into the private parts of someone’s body. Sexual contact is also included in this category. This includes intentionally touching a child’s or abuser’s genitals or clothing covering the genitals with the intent of sexual gratification or arousal. Lastly, “sexual exploitation” is when a child’s guardian allows the child to be molested, prostituted, or used for child pornography.
Children’s Protective Services (CPS) is the government agency that primarily investigates child abuse allegations in Michigan. They are a division of our Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). CPS has various ways to involve themselves in your life and in your case. For instance, certain people that may be in contact with your child, such as counselors, doctors, and teachers must contact CPS right away if they have “reasonable cause to suspect” that your child is experiencing abuse. Although these professionals are considered mandatory reporters, anyone can make this kind of report to CPS. This means that it may not be wise to have a conversation with a mandated reporter about child abuse issues, since they would be legally required to report any reasonable suspicion that abuse had occurred.
When CPS receives any kind of report of abuse or neglect, they immediately begin an investigation. First, CPS can go into your child’s school to speak with the child. They will not ask you for permission to do so. School officials are required by law to cooperate with CPS and to allow CPS investigators to speak with your child, without your permission. As you can see, a CPS investigation can rapidly and dramatically impact your family life.
In addition to disrupting your child at school, CPS investigators will find inconvenient times to come to your home or work and demand to interview you or inspect your home. If you do not speak to them, you will be threatened to be sent to court. If brought to court, parents face burdensome sanctions – compounded by the fact that these parents are often already struggling just to keep their families together. Some of these burdens include attending a parenting class, meetings, drug testing, random in-house visits, continued investigation, and counseling. It’s common that CPS ask the court to remove children from their home and place them with a relative or into foster care while the case is pending in court.
Contact a Michigan Child Protective Services Defense Attorney
Know Your Rights – Speak with an Experienced CPS Lawyer
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Get a tough CPS defense attorney on your side.
CPS can quickly overwhelm and destroy your entire family forever. To fight this, you need an aggressive and experienced CPS defense lawyer on your side. The Kronzek Firm regularly protects clients against invasive and unwarranted CPS bullying. Our first step is to put our attorneys between CPS and our clients. We stop the harassment from CPS. We have been fighting child abuse allegations for decades, and we can help you too! Call today and meet with one of our highly-respected CPS defense attorneys for a free consultation and confidential discussion of your case. Call us at 1 (866) 766 5245.