Child Protective Services
What kind of power do they have?
The mission of Child Protective Services (CPS) as a government agency is to ensure the welfare of children. However, it is required to investigate allegations of sexual abuse to a child and will work closely with the police. In Houston, those alleged child victims are taken to an assessment center where components of CPS and law enforcement share offices in the same building. It must be assumed that any statements made to a CPS worker will be provided to the police. CPS will attempt to talk to an accused even if he has been charged and has counsel. They are not considered law enforcement by the courts and are not subject to the same constitutional requirements.
CPS-Proposed Safety Plans
A safety plan does not end a criminal investigation. Unfortunately, many of our clients come to us after CPS has already done an investigation, taken statements from all members of the family, and proposed a child safety plan. They are surprised when a police officer shows up at their door.
As it turns out, many officers prefer to wait for CPS to finish their investigation before beginning theirs. Some police find it particularly helpful that many parents, fearful of losing their parental rights, will talk freely with CPS about allegations of sexual assault. CPS doesn’t have to tell an accused parent that the police are investigating him for a crime.
Don’t Talk to CPS Without Counsel
The best course of action is not to speak with any governmental agency accusing you of sexual assault until you have an attorney on your side. An attorney will know what to say and when to say it. You don’t want a misstep to cost you your freedom, so contact Chernoff Law today.