Michigan CPS Child Abuse Charges
Petitions and Solutions
Child abuse accusations can destroy
your family in Michigan
In Michigan, you can be investigated for — and charged with — Child Abuse, Child Neglect, or both. This article discusses Child Abuse in Michigan. If you need information about Child Neglect, please read about Michigan Child Neglect.
We will aggressively defend clients against Child Abuse and Neglect allegations by CPS in Lansing, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Traverse City, and throughout Michigan
It is important to know that the same allegations can lead to both a criminal allegation of abuse and a neglect petition. The petition in a neglect case is generally filed by a Children’s Protective Services worker, although others can file as well. A neglect petition is an attack on your parental rights. If you need information about a criminal prosecution for the crime of child abuse, go to our criminal child abuse page.
What is Child Abuse?
In Michigan, the statutory definition of Child Abuse is:
“harm or threatened harm to a child’s health or welfare that occurs from non-accidental physical or mental injury, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or maltreatment by a parent, legal guardian, or any other person responsible for the child’s health or welfare.”
Let’s break that down. “Harm” to a child will likely be obvious, while “threatened harm” is when a child is placed in a situation where Child Abuse is likely to occur. A “non-accidental physical injury” is when a child is intentionally and severely hurt or temporarily disfigured, such as cuts, broken bones, poisoning, burns, and internal injuries. A “mental injury” is when a caregiver’s physical or verbal acts or omissions cause the child to become chronically anxious, depressed, psychotic, or fearful. “Sexual abuse” includes sexual penetration (sexual intercourse or any other insertion into the private parts of someone’s body) and sexual contact (the intentional touching of the child’s or abuser’s genitals or clothing covering the genitals for the purpose of sexual gratification or arousal). Finally, “sexual exploitation” occurs when a person responsible for a child encourages or allows child prostitution or child pornography. As you can see, the definition of Child Abuse includes many behaviors and actions.
Children’s Protective Services (“CPS”) is part of the Michigan Department of Human Services that investigates allegations of Child Abuse. There are many ways CPS can become involved with your case. Certain people, such as doctors, teachers, and counselors must make a report to CPS if they have “reasonable cause to suspect” that a child is being abused. These people are often referred to as mandatory reporters, however, anyone can make such a report to CPS. Once CPS receives a report of suspected abuse or neglect, they will open up an investigation. The first thing CPS usually does is talk with your child at school. This can be done without your knowledge or permission. In fact, school officials are required by law to cooperate with all CPS attempts to interview your children without your knowledge or consent, as long as CPS determines that the interview is a necessary part of their investigation (which of course, they always do). CPS investigations can quickly become a disruption to your family life. Investigators often stop by your home or work at inconvenient times and demand to speak to you. They will often threaten to take you to court if you don’t cooperate. Once in court, they often ask the court to impose burdensome requirements on parents already struggling to provide for their families. These may include attendance in parenting classes, meetings, and counseling. It is common for CPS to ask the court to take away your parental rights entirely!
The permanent loss of parental rights is most often sought by the Department of Human Services in cases where a parent or other responsible person in the home is accused of sexual abuse of severe physical abuse, such as cases involving fractures in babies, medical neglect, severe unhealthy conditions in the home and drug abuse by the parents.
Experienced attorneys fighting
child abuse allegations in Michigan
If you let them, CPS will take control of your family. You need to hire an aggressive defense lawyer who will keep CPS at bay. At Kronzek & Cronkright, PLLC, we regularly defend our clients against CPS intrusions. We have years of experience fighting allegations of Child Abuse. Let us put that experience to work for you! Call today to meet with one of our very experienced CPS defense attorneys for your free initial consultation! We will meet with you to give you the chance to confidentially discuss your case and talk about your options. We can be reached at: 1-866-346-5879 during normal business hours. After hours, our on-call attorneys are available to deal with emergencies.