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One of my 20 month old twins drowned in our swimming pool. We have costody of our other children & there are no criminal charges

Joliet, IL |

My dcfs caseworker is trying to close the case, however we just were informed we are being charged with death by neglect from dcfs. My case worker says we will appeal it.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. I'm so sorry both for your loss and the ordeal.

    Please protect yourself and consult a good criminal defense lawyer immediately.

    Stephen L. Hoffman
    Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
    Chicago, IL

    This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship created or formed and you should not rely on this as legal advice. The suggestion is made that if you wish to protect your rights, you consult with an attorney immediately.

  2. My Lord. I am so sorry to read of this. I can't even imagine your pain. My prayers -- and I am sure the prayers of my colleagues -- are with you.

    Sadly, you are going to need an attorney, as your future with your other children is being challenged. Look for someone in Chicago that deals with dependency and neglect cases and be prepared to fight for your rights. This will not be an easy road but keep your heads up.

    Good luck!

    In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.

  3. I am very sorry for your loss. Attorney Hoffman is corrrect. You should retain the services of a good criminal defense attorney ASAP. In the meantime, refrain from speaking further with DCFS or anyone - in person or online without first clearing it with your lawyer. You are lucky that there are many good attorneys in your area.

    By the way - It does not make sense that DCFS is charging you, and your caseworker (presumably from DCFS) tells you that "we" will appeal it.

  4. The duplicity of a DCFS investigation and a criminal investigation can be challenging. Most criminal lawyers, like myself, will tell you not to talk to anyone, including the DCFS, however, then you are faced with the DCFS investigation and without your cooperation they will "indicate" you as a perpetrator. This catch 22 situation is tricky, because obviously the DCFS indicating you will have consequences, especially if you have other children, but your non-talking will be in your best interest in the criminal investigation. The safety plan that the DCFS has put in place is an appealable issue, along with any indication that you were at fault.
    I am truly sorry for your loss, as that must be an unimaginable pain, however, you need to get a criminal lawyer involved, and make sure that the criminal lawyer has working knowledge of the intricacies of the DCFS investigation process, if not then hire an additional separate lawyer who specializes in DCFS work.

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