FAQs about DCP&P and Child Neglect and Abuse Charges [Part 4]

Can you still get charged with a crime related to the abuse or neglect charges?

Yes. The prosecutor’s office can go after you for criminal charges related to abuse or neglect.

Will what happens in the criminal case affect what happens in the civil case and vice versa?

Yes. For instance, if you admit during the civil case that you did harm your child (even to a minor extent), that fact may then be used in the criminal case, although not directly. Likewise, if you plead guilty in the criminal case, that would have obvious implications for the civil case.

When might you be in danger of permanently being stripped of your parental rights?

After DCP&P removes your child from the home — and your child is in foster care for 15 of 22 consecutive months — the agency must file a court case to end your parental rights permanently.

Are there any exceptions to this?

There are three basic exceptions. First, if your child is living with a relative (such as a mother or brother) who can provide permanent care, DCP&P does not have to file a case. Second, DCP&P might determine that ending your parental rights would not be in the best interest of your child. Third, you can show that DCP&P has failed to provide the help it was supposed to give you, as determined by the court.

What is the New Jersey Child Abuse Registry?

Often also referred to as the Central Registry, the New Jersey Child Abuse Registry is a list of parents and caregivers whose rights are restricted. Even if ultimately you get your child back and your family intact, your name will still be included in the registry unless you win the Fact Finding hearing.

What are the downsides of being included in the Central Registry?

First of all, you may not be able to obtain or keep certain jobs in which you work with children or adults with disabilities. Second, you may be disallowed from adopting children or acting as a guardian for the children of relatives. On top of that, the DCP&P must disclose your name to the police and other agencies.

Can you get your name off of this registry?

Yes. It is possible to clear your name and your record using an administrative process.

For skillful, experienced assistance battling back against untrue allegations of child abuse or neglect, call the Williams Law Group, LLC immediately at 27

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