The Cops Think I Hurt my Child! What Happens Now?

There are many reasons why the cops would show up at someone’s house and make the assumption a child is at risk of abuse or neglect. Perhaps the neighbors overheard an argument and called them. Or maybe a teacher saw a bruise on your child’s arm and made an assumption. It could even have been the result of a spiteful phone call by someone you’re involved in an argument with, engineered to make you look bad and cause drama in your family life. Whatever the reason, once the cops show up and decide your kids are at risk, the situation can get out of hand very quickly!

A close up of the top of a police car with the lights flashing

What are the cops going to do now?

Cops aren’t equipped to take a potentially at-risk child out of a home. They don’t have toys or diapers at the police station, and they don’t have the time to sit with a child who needs constant supervision. So what would an officer do if they believe a child might be the victim of abuse or neglect? They call Child Protective Services. CPS, unlike the cops, has the resources to take a child from their home and make sure that they’re placed into a foster home (or with the child’s relatives if that’s possible) where they can be properly cared for. We’re not saying every removal is justified – many definitely aren’t! But we know what the process usually involves: the cops show up, and then CPS gets called.

Once the cops call CPS, what happens next?

First, you need to know that just because the cops have handed off the issue of what to do with your children to CPS, doesn’t mean you’re done with them. They may still turn over the evidence they collect to the prosecutor, and you may still be charged with child abuse. Remember, CPS and the police are not the same thing. You may end up facing criminal charges filed by the prosecutor in your county, as well as having to battle CPS for the rights to keep your children. These are two separate fights, held on two separate fronts. One happens in the family court system (CPS) and the other takes place in the criminal courts (state charges). So having an attorney who can represent you on both fronts simultaneously is very important!

How do you navigate two fights against two different systems at once?

You don’t. If you’re battling CPS on one hand and the county prosecutor on the other, you have a major endeavor ahead of you, and you’re going to need some serious help. Help from attorneys who are experienced at handling both criminal cases, and CPS defense. It may sound overly dramatic, but you’d be amazed at how often one single encounter with the police (even if it doesn’t result in criminal charges) can lead to years of CPS poking around in your family’s business, and telling you how to parent your kids. So if there’s a piece of advice we’d like you to take away from this, it would be this: Always protect yourself! Call 866 766 5245 today and let our experienced CPS defense attorneys help you protect your family and your future!