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St. Petersburg DCF Investigation Lawyer

Delivering Compassionate and Sound Legal Counsel

Any person believing that a child has been abused, abandoned, or neglected can make a report to the Florida Abuse Hotline. Staff at the Department of Children and Families (DCF) will review the claim and begin an investigation. If you have been alleged of harming or neglecting your child, you won't be aware that a child protective investigator (CPI) is investigating you until they come knocking at your door, as Florida law allows visits and interviews to be unannounced in most cases. In such matters, it's crucial that you speak with a family dependency attorney as soon as possible. What you do at the beginning of your case can have huge impacts on the outcome. With your family structure at risk, taking effective courses of action from the start is essential.

At Fleming Law Group, we have years of experience helping families through DCF investigations in and around St. Petersburg. We know how these matters can disrupt families and negatively affect the emotional well-being of all involved. That is why we provide compassionate guidance throughout the investigation process. When you turn to us, we will help you understand your rights, the stages your case may go through, and the possible outcomes. Recognizing the sensitive nature of these matters, we will be ready and available to answer your questions and address your concerns.

For a free and confidential consultation with our St. Petersburg DCF investigation attorney, contact us at (727) 202-4858 today.

What Happens During a DCF Investigation?

The purpose of the CPI's investigation is to determine whether or not the allegations of child abuse, neglect, or abandonment are substantiated. In other words, they are trying to see if your child has been harmed.

To make their determination, the CPI will:

  • Interview you, your child, your family members, and others who are close to you (note that because these interviews are often unannounced, the CPI might talk to your child even if you're not present)
  • Review any other relevant information concerning the alleged mistreatment
  • Assess your residence
  • Determine if the allegations are substantiated
  • Decide whether the child's safety is at immediate risk
  • Document any dangers to your child

When the investigation begins, the CPI must tell you why they have an open case against you, let you know your rights, and explain possible outcomes.

At Fleming Law Group, our St. Petersburg DCF investigation lawyer can stand by your side during this initial stage of your case. We can ensure that your rights and best interests are protected throughout.

What Are My Rights During a DCF Investigation?

The DCF is concerned with protecting the safety of children. But that doesn't mean CPIs can engage in conduct that goes beyond their legal authority while investigating alleged mistreatment. At all times, they must respect your rights and ensure they abide by the law when carrying out their duties.

A few of the rights you have during an investigation include the following:

  • Having a lawyer present
  • Refusing services offered by the CPI
  • Obtaining a copy of the investigative record

What Are the Possible Outcomes of the Investigation?

The CPI's investigation may lead to several different outcomes. If the claims of abuse, neglect, or abandonment are not substantiated, the case may be closed.

However, if the investigator determines that your child has been harmed, they may:

  • Refer you to a community agency
  • Offer in-home services
  • Request court-ordered supervision
  • Remove your child from your home

Additionally, they can notify the local law enforcement agency of an alleged offense, which may start a criminal case against you.

What to Do If DCF Is Investigating You

If a CPI is knocking at your door, you can take certain steps to protect your rights and prevent or minimize adverse outcomes.

Below are some tips for getting through this process:

  • Recognize the seriousness of the allegation: You might not have harmed your child, and you might believe that because you're innocent of any misconduct, your case isn't that serious and will resolve favorably. However, the DCF worker isn't coming at your case from your perspective. They might believe you're guilty and will do whatever they feel is lawfully necessary to protect your child. They are definitely taking your case seriously, and it’s vital that you do the same.
  • Ask for specifics about the allegations: You have the right to know what exactly you've been accused of. Make sure you get more information than just "abuse, neglect, or abandonment."
  • Hire legal help: As mentioned earlier, the actions you take and the things you say at the beginning of the investigation can steer the course of your case. To ensure that you don't say or do anything that would be detrimental to your case, discuss your situation with a lawyer and get the advice and guidance you need.

Contact Fleming Law Group Today

If you're being investigated for allegedly harming your child, allow our St. Petersburg DCF investigation attorney to help you through the process. We are committed to fighting for parents' rights and keeping family units intact.

Reach out to our firm by calling (727) 202-4858 or submitting an online contact form.

Why Choose Fleming Law Group?

  • 24/7 Accessibility

    There is always an attorney in the office and there is no time that we cannot be reached. We are always available via email or phone at
    any time.

  • Honest Guidance

    Our attorneys are not out for their best interest, but for yours. Our clients receive personalized care that is focused solely on them and their unique case.

  • Unique Backgrounds

    As former prosecutors, both Attorneys Fleming and Bettker have unique perspective in the courtroom and stay one step ahead of
    the opposition.

  • Decades of Experience

    Our attorneys have more than 40 decades of combined experience. Over the years, we have gained a renown in our field for our results and care for our clients.

“Mr. Fleming got me an incredible result for my case. I have worked with many other lawyers in the past and thought he represented me the best. He also stays in touch with me since my troubles to make sure everything is ok. He also has a great people working with him. They are always so nice to me when I call and I get return calls right away.”

- Kip
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