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CRIMINAL DEFENSE • DISCIPLINARY INVESTIGATIONS & HEARINGS

What should you do if you are suspected of child abuse?

If you are suspected of child abuse, you should keep notes of any lawsuit or legal procedure in which you are involved. In this way, your notes can refresh your recollection when it becomes necessary to speak to someone from social services or an attorney. Your notes will help bolster your version of events.

Make an assessment of the sources of the allegations of child abuse. There are some situations that can create false accusations. For instance, in a divorce, one parent may wish to falsely accuse the other parent of child abuse. Baseless allegations of child abuse can also arise in cases of foster care and adoption.

If someone from social services contacts you, it is recommended that you be cooperative, and not alienate the social worker. Permit an investigator to enter your home and respond truthfully to any questions. Refrain from insulting the child or possible accuser. If you are being questioned by police, you should first ask whether you are under arrest. If the answer is affirmative, you should invoke your right to speak with an attorney. If the answer is negative, you should consider speaking with a lawyer prior to talking with police.

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