ACS Investigation Lawyers
New York ACS Attorneys
What is the Administration for Children’s Services?
What Is Needed to Trigger an ACS Investigation?
Given the seriousness of such an investigation, you may be wondering what sort of evidence or information the ACS requires to start the process. The truth of the matter is that the ACS is required by law to investigate all reports they receive, even if there is no substantial evidence to support the allegation. This is why it is so easy for a good, upstanding, responsible parent to become very suddenly involved in an ACS investigation.
In some cases, such accusations are borne out of malicious intent, in order to cause you and your family pain. In other cases, a mandatory reporter, such as a healthcare provider, educational instructor, or law enforcement official, may have misunderstood something they heard or witnessed, compelling them to place a call to ACS in an attempt to obey the law. Regardless of the motivations behind the call, they will proceed with the investigation.
Overview of ACS Investigation Process in NYC
In the event that an allegation of child abuse or mistreatment is made, the ACS will respond by opening an investigation and involving the Child Protective Service Agency (CPS). CPS will follow up by contacting the individual that placed the call, after which they will make an unannounced visit, all of which occurs within 24-48 hours of the report being filed.
The purpose of the short time frame is to ensure that parents responsible for neglecting their children aren’t given the opportunity to hide their behavior. Unfortunately, this can be an extremely jarring experience to a family with no reason to expect such a visit. During the visit, CPS will speak directly to the children, as well as any adults who reside at the house. They will inspect the premises for any apparent hazards or potential evidence of neglect. At this juncture, the accused parent is finally informed of the ongoing investigation and given a Notice of Existence.
Outside of the home, CPS will investigate the various other parts of your family’s life by following up with peers and teachers at school, extended family members, and any other individuals that might regularly interact with your child. In addition to confirming whether the accusation was true or unfounded, the ACS will also determine whether any services, such as preventive services, aimed to stabilize families thought to be in crisis.
CPS has up to 60 days to make their final decision in regard to the nature of the call, at which point they’ll announce that the report was “indicated,” meaning it was truthful, or “unfounded.” If the report is found to be “indicated,” CPS will then send a letter called a Notice of Indication, at which point the Family Court may become involved.
How New York City ACS Attorneys From Tsigler Law Can Help
At every juncture of the investigation, there are opportunities for a knowledgeable lawyer to advocate for you and your family. It’s easy for parents accused of neglect or abuse to become overwhelmed with fear or uncertainty, despite having done nothing wrong, but you still have rights. At Tsigler Law, we have years of experience handling these sorts of cases. Not only can we guide you through the process as quickly and painlessly as possible, we can also address any questions or concerns that you might have along the way.
If the report is found to be “indicated,” doesn’t mean that you’ve actually been found guilty of any crimes, nor does it mean that your child will be removed from your home. All it means is that a bare minimum amount of evidence supporting the allegations made against you has been found. A skilled attorney can help you appeal the decision, in addition to helping build your case should a judge eventually become involved.
Even in situations where the report is determined to be “unfounded,” it remains on your official record. An attorney from the Law Offices of Robert Tsigler can help you ensure that any such records are expunged. For further information on ACS investigations and what we can do to assist, please call the offices of Robert Tsigler at 718-878-3781; our team is standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The ACS Investigation Law firm of Robert Tsigler, PLLC is Ready to Help You!
Getting representation as soon as possible following any ACS Investigation-related case is the best way to promote a positive result from a subsequent trial. Only an experienced New York ACS Investigation lawyer can successfully defend your case.