Michigan CPS – Child Abuse Charges
How Your Family Can Be Torn Apart By A Child Abuse Accusation
In Michigan, it is possible to be investigated for and “charged with” child abuse, child neglect, or both. This page examines child abuse in Michigan, but you can read about child neglect on our Michigan Child Neglect page.
It is also worth noting that it is possible for the very same allegations to be used for a case of criminal child abuse and for a child abuse petition in family court. Although a number of people could file a petition in a child neglect case in Michigan’s family courts, it is often filed by a Children’s Protective Services (CPS) worker. If a child abuse petition is filed against you, your parental rights could be in jeopardy.
The Kronzek Firm has a respected team of experienced CPS defense attorneys who will aggressively work to keep families together, defending you against child abuse and child neglect allegations. We work extensively in Grand Rapids, Metro Detroit, Lansing, Traverse City, Ann Arbor, The Thumb, Saginaw and throughout the lower peninsula of Michigan.
What is Child Abuse?
The statutory definition of Child Abuse in Michigan is:
“harm or threatened harm to a child’s health or welfare that occurs from non-accidental physical or mental injury, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or maltreatment by a parent, legal guardian, or any other person responsible for the child’s health or welfare.”
This definition serves as an umbrella for many different acts, so let’s simplify it. “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 (sexual intercourse or any other kind of penetration into the private parts of someone’s body) and sexual contact (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 entity that primarily investigates child abuse allegations in Michigan. CPS has various ways to involve themselves in your life and in your case. For instance, certain people that are regularly 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.
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 already see, a CPS investigation can rapidly and dramatically impact your family life.
On top of 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 are 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 isn’t rare that CPS even asks for your parental rights to be completely and immediately revoked.
Get an Experienced Michigan Attorney on Your Side
CPS can quickly control and destroy your entire family forever. To prevent this, you need an aggressive and experienced CPS defense lawyer on your side. The Kronzek Firm regularly protects clients against an invasive and often unwarranted CPS investigation. Our first step is often to put our attorneys between CPS and our clients. In other words, we run interference for you. 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 trusted CPS defense attorneys for a free consultation and confidential discussion of your case. Call us at 1 866-766-5245.