FAQs about DCPP and Child Neglect and Abuse Charges [Part 3]

What is the Legal Service’s Family Representation Project?

Legal Services of New Jersey (LSNJ) sponsors this project, which connects low income parents with legal assistance for dealing with DCP&P cases involving accusations of neglect and abuse.

What is the DAG?

The DAG, also known as Deputy Attorney General, is an attorney who represents the DCP&P in Court.

What is a Law Guardian?

This is an attorney who will represent the interests of your child. The Law Guardian is appointed by the Court from a special section of the Office of Public Defender — the Law Guardian’s Section.

What are the judge’s responsibilities in your case?

Judges, obviously, strive to shield children from harm caused by neglectful or abusive parents. At the same time, they also want to protect the rights of parents and try to keep families intact. The judge will try to assess, objectively, the facts of your case in light of applicable New Jersey law and form an equitable decision. However, when in doubt, most judges err on the side of DCP&P. For this reason, it is imperative that you have a skilled attorney at your side to ensure you have every opportunity to successfully defeat specious requests made by DCP&P.

What is a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)?

The CASA worker is an agent of the court who is tasked to get to know you and your child and collect information for the court to evaluate.

What’s the difference between a DCP&P action and a criminal case?

The kind of action we’ve been discussing in this book is known as a civil action. As we touched on earlier, there are several critical distinctions between civil and criminal cases. In a criminal case, for instance, the prosecuting side must prove its case “beyond a reasonable doubt”; whereas in a civil case, the prosecution needs to prove its case by a “preponderance of the evidence” – basically, 50% plus a little more. Evidence that would be strong enough to achieve victory in a civil case, for instance, could fall short in a criminal case.

On the other hand, criminal convictions come with criminal penalties, such as jail time. If you lose your civil case, you will not be subjected to criminal penalties. Even if you are found culpable of child abuse or neglect in a DCP&P action, most cases are eligible for reunification between parent and child.

For skillful, experienced assistance battling back against untrue allegations of child abuse or neglect, call the Williams Law Group, LLC immediately at (908) 810-1083.

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