Child Abuse Allegations Defense Lawyers NJ
DCPP/DYFS Defense in Hackensack, New Jersey
Failure to supervise your children properly is a serious allegation and can lead to an investigation by the DCP&P (formerly known as “DYFS”) in New Jersey. No one wants the State of NJ telling them how to properly raise their children. The attorneys at our offices know how important protecting your family is to you. Brent DiMarco, prior to joining the law firm, worked for two of the largest DCP&P defense firms in the State of NJ handling all aspects of child abuse and neglect litigation including many fact-finding and termination hearings as well as administrative hearings in order to reunite parents with their children as soon as possible. In addition, Travis J. Tormey, our managing partner, has a perfect 10.0 rating on AVVO, an attorney rating service, and he has received the client’s choice award for four straight years.
Let our experienced attorneys handle these allegations (whether it be a DYFS investigation or a criminal investigation or both). Contact our offices anytime for immediate assistance at (908)-356-6900. Our attorneys handle DCP&P cases throughout Bergen County including Lodi, Lyndhurst, Teaneck, and Mahwah. The initial consultation is always provided free of charge.
What constitutes inadequate supervision in NJ?
FAQ: Can I leave my child home alone?
As with all questions of abuse and neglect, there is no clear-cut answer to this question.
Leaving a child home alone or unattended in a car is potentially child abuse or neglect – it all depends on the situation. But New Jersey child abuse and neglect law does not have a bright line rule as to when a child is too young to be left home alone or for how long a child need be home alone or unattended in a car before it is considered child abuse or neglect. If you are accused of child abuse or neglect you should consult with an experienced DCP&P defense lawyer to discuss the facts of your case.
There are numerous Appellate Division cases that analyze when leaving a child unattended constitutes abuse or neglect. For example, a mother left her four-year-old sleeping child home alone for two hours because the mother saw the grandmother’s car in the driveway and assumed the grandmother, who also lived in the home, was there to watch the child when he awoke. But, when the child awoke and no one was home, he then left the house and was found wandering across the street. Here, the Appellate Division determined that the mother was certainly negligent but the Court did not find that mother had acted recklessly because of the surrounding circumstances. N.J. Dep’t of Children & Families v. T.B., 207 N.J. 294 (2011)
In another case, a mother allowed her four-year-old and six-year-old sons walk home from a park in a condominium complex – the mother could see the boys as they walked home. When the boys did not return ten minutes later, the mother began to walk home but the boys, who accidentally locked themselves in their home called 911 and the police responded to the home. The Appellate Division decided that the mother did not commit abuse or neglect because, although some possible harm could have befallen the boys, the mother did not ignore an inherent dangerous risk or recklessly create a risk of serious injury. N.J. Div. of Youth and Family Servs. v. J.L., 410 N.J. Super. 159 (App. Div. 2009).
Leaving a child alone in a car is also potentially abuse or neglect – again, it all depends on the totality of the circumstances. N.J. Dep’t of Children and Families v. R.R., 436 N.J. Super. 53 (App. Div. 2014). The Appellate Division points to numerous factors to be considered in evaluating a parent’s conduct and the particular circumstances: the distance between the car and the parent, keeping the car in sight or if the car is not insight, the length of time the car is out of sight, how long the parent is away from the car, the weather on the particular day, the ability of a third party to access the child, and any extenuating circumstances. Perhaps the parent of a sick, young child who is finally asleep in her car seat on a cool, overcast day decides to run into a pharmacy to fill a prescription for the child and the parent leaves the car windows cracked and all the while the car is visible through the pharmacy window, and then returns to the undisturbed child in four minutes. But change one fact and the entire situation is different and potentially dangerous: the temperature is soaring, or there are no windows looking into the parking lot, or there is a long line and the parent is gone for half-an-hour.
Inadequate Supervision DCP&P Investigation – Contact Us Now For Help
All of the circumstances are important and every case is different. If you left your child home alone or alone in your car and have been accused of abusing or neglecting your child, you should consider contacting a seasoned DCP&P defense attorney who is familiar with the Appellate case law and all of the factors to be considered in developing your defense.
Our DYFS defense lawyers are available immediately to assist you at (908)-356-6900. The initial consultation is provided at no cost to you.