Category Archives: FAQ
How long does a DYFS case last?
Every DYFS case is different and how your case will last will be based on a number of factors. These include the people in your case (judge, lawyers, case worker, etc) as well as the facts (or allegations). Some cases are quick while other cases take long time. So while we can’t tell you how long your case will last (without talking to you at least) there are a number of ways to shorten the case.
The best way to shorten the case is to get a good lawyer right way. Too many people wait to see how things go. This is a bad move. The moves made at the first court appearance often set the tone of the rest of the case. If you make the wrong move, you could dig yourself a hole that it tough to dig out of. You can also otherwise delay things. We’ve seen this happen so many times because after several months, the client finally decided to hire us because things weren’t going well. Quite often, the reason for this was because of the mistake made in the beginning of the case. Had we been on the case from the start, the case may have been over by now.
You also need a clear plan and you must follow that plan 100%. You cannot make up your own plan as you go along. For example, if you decide to go to drug treatment, you must do it perfectly. Blowing off several dates will not only delay the case but can get you kicked out of the program.
If you’d like our help to speed up your DYFS cases, call us at 1-855-9-JEFLAW anytime.
Should I do a DYFS hair follicle test?
If DYFS wants you to do a hair follicle test, your case is probably not going well. This is because this test is not easily done and thus, it is rarely used. It is reserved for those cases where there are suspicions about the validity of a urine test or if there are other issues that require closer scrutiny. This test is preferred in those circumstances because the test cannot be adulterated and it goes back much farther than urine. This is also causes a bigger problem because it may not capture current usage but instead reveal prior usage that has since stopped.
If you accept it, you can be putting yourself at great danger. If you refuse, DYFS can take you to court. As a result, your best option is to seek the advice of a DYFS defense lawyer before doing anything. If you are facing a hair follicle test that was requested by DYFS, call us at 1-855-9-JEFLAW anytime.
Should I give DYFS a urine test?
This is a tough one because you rarely have a lot of time to really think about it. If DYFS calls you to take one and you refuse, they will likely use it against you. Of course, if you take one and you fail, you’ll likely be in court. See the dilemma?
But you have nothing to hide right? Well the problem here is that with the DYFS providers you will go to, there seems to be a high chance of false positives. We’ve seen too many people test positive for heroin, cocaine and other drugs when there is no way they ever touched these drugs in their lives. Nevertheless, these false tests caused a lot of problems for them.
Don’t less this happen to you. If you can safely call a lawyer before you make any decision to give a urine test, you should do so. Call us at 1-855-9-JEFLAW anytime.
Will DYFS talk to my kids at school?
DYFS will often seek to talk to your children at school. What’s worse is that they won’t give you notice that they are doing this. It’s not until your children come home from school that you learn that someone (the caseworker) pulled them out of class to pump them for information about you. This interview will not be recorded and who is to say if the case worker’s notes are correct?
There are a number of ways you can help prevent this. The best way to prevent this is to hire an experienced DYFS defense lawyer right away. Often times, your lawyer can negotiate with their lawyer to either prevent the children from being interviewed or doing so in a controlled environment.
Call us at 1-855-9-JEFLAW anytime.
How do I prevent DYFS from talking to my children?
You can prevent DYFS from talking to your children outside of your presence by hiring a lawyer ASAP to help manage the case. A DYFS defense lawyer can negotiate with their lawyer to come up with a plan to close the case. In some cases, DYFS will just go away without requiring any further involvement. In other cases, much more is needed.
If DYFS can be assured through other means that the children are fine, they may forego an interview. Call us at 1-855-9-JEFLAW anytime. We can help you prevent the DYFS case worker from talking to your children.
Should I complain about my DYFS case worker?
This is another tough situation. You don’t want to let your case worker run all over you, but you don’t want to make things worse. I often tell my clients that I am the complaint department. Let me decide what to complain about and what not to complain about.
In most cases, the case worker’s supervisors will stick up for them. If the case worker has done anything wrong, you may run into denials unless you have concrete proof of them doing anything wrong.
The other problem you have is that you are going to be way too emotional about the situation and as a result, they may not listen to you. In fact, you’ll probably make things much worse. If you have a problem with a case worker, call us at 1-855-9-JEFLAW anytime.
How can I get my kids out of foster care?
There are several ways to get your kids out of foster care. In some cases, the children are in foster care due to the allegations against you. If the allegations are disproven, then they should be returned to you.
More often than not, however, the kids are in foster care because of services that need to be completed such as drug treatment. Complete those services and you should be able to get them back. Of course, that’s easier said than done and it take a lot of time.
Your best bet to get them out quicker is to find a family member or friend that can take them. However, you can’t always rely on DYFS to come up with these solutions. You need an experienced defense attorney to come up with a good solution to get the kids out of foster care. If you need help with this, call us at 1-855-9-JEFLAW anytime.
Should I let the DYFS case worker into my house?
This is a tough question because you don’t usually have the time to research the issue when it is presented to you. In other words, if you get a knock on the door from the case worker, you don’t really have the ability to tell them no, let me go research this issue first.
Hopefully, you got some other indication that DYFS is investigating you so you are trying to determine what to do if they come to your house. Like many other issues, we can’t tell you what to do but we can discuss why your lawyer may have concerns with how you handle this.
The concern here is that you don’t know what will happen when they get in there. Will they see something that can cause a problem? Will they count your medication? Will they take an issue with the alcohol you have? Will they talk to your children?
Before you make any big mistakes, call us at 1-855-9-JEFLAW anytime.
Should I hire a private lawyer for my DYFS case?
As a private lawyer, you’d think we’d tell you that yes, you should always hire a private lawyer. However, you’d be surprised to learn that this is not always the case. If you have enough money to afford a private lawyer, you don’t really have a choice. The court will not just give you a public defender; you have qualify for one.
However, some people have family members that can pay for their lawyers and as a result, there is a choice involved. You should not assume that all private lawyers are good and all public defender’s are bad. Some public defenders are really great and they help us create the law that we use every day. There are also many private lawyers that are horrible.
The big issue here is that with a public defender, you are stuck with who you get. With a private lawyer, you get to choose the person in advance to make sure that they are qualified. In addition, you can fire that person at anytime if they do not perform to your satisfaction.
To discuss your case, call us at 1-855-9-JEFLAW anytime.
Will hiring a lawyer for DYFS make things worse?
I hear this question all of the time and the answer is no, not even close. If you handle any situation without a lawyer, things can go very bad. A DYFS investigation is a very serious legal situation and you should never handle one without a lawyer. Unfortunately, too many people do and these people often wind up in court. These people usually don’t hire a NJ DYFS lawyer because they assume 1) everything will be alright, 2) if they hire a lawyer things will get worse and 3) the case worker is telling the truth when they say that the case will be closed quickly.
Do some people handle a DYFS investigation without a lawyer and turn out OK? Sure. But this is a huge gamble. There are far too many people that wind up having to go to court. It may take months to get their children out of foster care and for some, they lose their children forever. So why risk it? It doesn’t cost much to hire a lawyer for a DYFS investigation so there is no reason to gamble with your family. Some lawyers, such as us, have free consultations so there is no reason not to pick up the phone and discuss your case with one of our lawyers.
Call our team of NJ DYFS lawyers today on our 24/7 toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529).
Do I have to sign the HIPPA form from DYFS?
Quite often, DYFS will be investigating you for one thing, but then their investigation will go into other areas. This is not always obvious. However, the most obvious sign that they are doing this is when they ask you to sign a HIPPA release especially when the case has nothing to do with medical issues. Consider this common scenario. A DYFS case worker comes to your house to investigate a report of you hitting your child. Your child is old enough to be interviewed and he or she says that nothing like that has ever happened yet. Case closed right? The case worker leads you to believe that this is the case but she wants you to sign a HIPPA release form to talk to your doctor. What does your doctor have to do with alleged child abuse? Nothing of course!
Many of my clients with in court cases are not brought to court for the initial allegation. Instead, they are being brought to court for something that DYFS discovered during the investigation for the initial allegation. To avoid this, you should call an attorney before you sign anything. Since you never know when a DYFS case worker will ask you to sign something, it is best to call a DYFS defense lawyer at the first sign of any possible DYFS involvement. Call our team of tough, smart lawyers today to discuss your case.
What is a safety protection plan?
A safety protection plan, sometimes called a case plan is simply an agreement between you and DYFS that you will or not do something. This give DYFS some time to decide what they are going to do with their investigation. Are they going to investigate further? Take you to court? Put the children in foster care? In my opinion, they seem to set up these safety protection plans just to see if you will violate them. They can then use this violation as a basis to bring you to court whereas before there was no basis to bring you to court. In addition, DYFS may ask you to make admissions in this safety protection plan that can be later used against you.
The best way to avoid these mistakes is to hire a lawyer before you say or do anything. Of course, you should never put your family in danger which may require you to sign something you’d later regret. Use your best judgment but hire a DYFS defense lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can help you fix any mistakes you’ve made such as making admissions on the case plan. Call us today to discuss your case.
The School Called DYFS on Me
Your kid’s school is one of DYFS’ greatest allies. They work hand in hand with DYFS to report on you and to give the case worker access to your kids so that they can be interviewed without your knowledge or consent. Its no wonder so many people home school their children. If the school calls DYFS on you, it is important that you take this matter very seriously. Unlike other situations where a neighbor or an anonymous person calls DYFS on you, things get more serious when the school calls. First, if this matter goes to court, a judge is more likely be believe a school official than they would a neighbor. Second, your child will likely have to go back to this school. You can be sure that the school will be in regular contact with the DYFS case worker. This puts you in a very tough position.
Don’t fight these two powerful state agencies alone. Call our team of tough, smart lawyers today at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529) to discuss your case. We’ll help you fight back against DYFS and the school.
How to find out who called DYFS on me?
We often get asked by clients how to find out who called DYFS on them. First, this is not always possible because there is a child abuse hotline that allows callers to be anonymous. As a result, the case worker probably doesn’t even know who called so thus, they can’t tell you. Second, DYFS information is confidential, so it can be very difficult to obtain this information. However, there are ways to challenge the information provided by DYFS to and to find out who called. Knowing who called can allow you to take the appropriate measures to make sure that are better protected if they call again. For example, if it was a family member that you shared confidential information with, you may want to stop talking to that person.
If you are facing a DYFS investigation, call our team of tough, smart lawyers today at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529) to discuss your case.
My neighbor called DYFS on me
We hear a lot of complaints about neighbors calling DYFS on people. This is very common in apartment buildings but can happen in regular houses as well. The best way to respond to it is to make DYFS go away and go away quickly. This can be best done with the assistance of an attorney. In our experience if your neighbor sees that DYFS goes away quickly, they will realize that their efforts were pointless. Clients routinely report that before they hired us, DYFS has investigated them numerous times. However, it is very rare that these same clients ever have a problem after we are done with the case. Thankfully, once we help them clean up their DYFS situation, it never comes back.
Call our team today on our 24/7 toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529).
DYFS showed up to my house with the police
DYFS uses a lot of scare tactics to bully parents around. Most people are good people and they respect authority. So when DYFS comes to your house with the police, it gets the attention of the parents. Unless DYFS is there to take your children or the police are there to arrest you, there is very little that either DYFS or the police can do to you. I once received a call from a client that had the police at their door. The client put me on the phone with the police. I asked if they had a warrant and when they said no, I suggested they hit the road. Of course, there is not something you should try without a lawyer.
So if you think DYFS can show up to your house, call our team of tough, smart lawyers before they show up to your house with the police. This way you won’t have to figure out what to do you on your own.
Call our team of NJ DCPP lawyers today on our 24/7 toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529).
Do I have to let DYFS in my house?
This is another very common question that like most DYFS issues, is very difficult to answer. Without the police, DYFS cannot force their way into your house. However, if you fail to let them in your house, they could come back with the police and take your children. Of course, if you do let them in your house, you could give them enough evidence to take your children and/or bring you to court. See why this is a difficult issue? If you have any advance notice that DYFS will be coming to your house, call our team of tough, smart lawyers first. We almost always advise our clients to not let DYFS in their house. However, we only advise this to them because they have retained us. They are now protected by us. Hiring an attorney changes everything which is why we can tell our clients to not let DYFS in their house.
If you are concerned about allowing DYFS in your house, call our team of tough, smart lawyers first before you say or do anything. Our initial consultations are free.
Is DYFS allowed to speak to my kids?
DYFS always wants to speak to your children because they want to gather information against you. If you don’t allow them to speak to your kids, they can take you to court to force you to do this. Its not too often that this happens but I have seen it. One of the reasons why it is not too common is because DYFS can go to your kids’ school and take them right of class. New Jersey law permits this and there is not much you can really do about it. In other words, your children are sitting ducks at school
That’s why DYFS hates it when you home school your children. When you do, you cut off this easy access that they otherwise would have had. Like just about every issue involving DYFS, you shouldn’t make any decisions as to what to do or not to until you speak to a DYFS lawyer. In some cases, we advise our clients to not let DYFS have any access to their children. In other cases, we do authorize it but under the right circumstances.
Should I do a DYFS substance abuse evaluation
I get this question a lot but there is no real easy way to answer this except to say that you should not take any action without first seeking the advice of a qualified DYFS lawyer. Even if you think that you have nothing to hide, you may still wind up with a bad result from a DYFS substation abuser evaluation. False positives can be common. This test can then be used to take you to court which may lead to your children being put in foster care. Of course, if you refuse to do the test, DYFS can then use that to take you to court. If you have to choose between the two scenarios, it is probably better that they take you to force you to do the test.
However, going to court should be avoided at all costs. That’s where a lawyer comes in. DYFS goes after a lot of people that don’t have the money to protect themselves so hiring a lawyer to go to court isn’t always a viable option. Thus, before you agree or refuse to take any evaluation, call a NJ DYFS lawyer first. Only then can you make a proper decision.
Call our team of experienced and dedicated DYFS attorneys in New Jersey at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529), and we will be happy to help you.
Will hiring a lawyer make DYFS come after me?
This is a common question and I don’t know where it comes from. Regardless of people think that hiring a lawyer will cause problems for them with DYFS, I can assure you that in general, it is completely false. Of course, if you hire the wrong lawyer, you could make things worse. If you hire the right lawyer, you stand a much better chance of preventing your children from being placed in foster care.
Sometimes, the DYFS case worker will tell you that if you hire a lawyer, they will have to get their lawyer involved. They say this like its a threat but you actually want this to happen. You want their lawyer to review this case and take charge of the situation. Without that, there is no order to the case. The case worker may say that they will close the case if you do one more thing but then after that, it may be another thing and then another. When the attorney for DYFS is involved, your lawyer can work with them to figure out exactly what needs to be done to close out the case.
Being in compliance with DYFS (DCPP) is a tricky subject. DYFS will often ask you to sign a safety protection plan and then afterward use that to hold your feet to the fire. However, safety plan or not, DYFS wants you to be in compliance. In other words, they want you to do whatever they want you to do. By complying with DYFS, you are likely helping them build a case against you. Of course, if you don’t comply, they can bring you to court for your lack of compliance. Thus, this is a big catch-22. There is a way to avoid this. Instead of dealing with DYFS on your own, have a lawyer handle the DYFS investigation for you. Our track record has proven that a quality team of lawyers can help you fight DYFS and get your life back.
It sounds crazy but its one of those things that you never really know is true. It turns out that the answer is “it depends”. Using a crude drug test, MythBusters proved that eating a poppy seed bagel or just poppy seeds in general can cause you to come up positive. See the mini-clip here. Not only did the test come up positive, but it came up so fast. Of course, MythBusters is more entertainment than science so looking at a 1998 study published in the Forensic Science International journal is better. The study found that eating two poppy-seed rolls with an average of about .76 grams of seeds each caused positive test results for up to six hours in one person, ranging from 47.9 ng/ml to 832 ng/ml, depending on a variety of factors. The same study found that eating a poppy-seed cake (which contained an average of 4.69 grams of seeds) caused all four people to screen positive for up to 24 hours—four times as long as the rolls—with one person’s results ranging between 83.8 ng/ml and 302.1 ng/ml.
Now I said it depends because most tests have cut off levels to account for this problem. Eating a bagel will not give you the same level as doing heroin. Unfortunately, DYFS of course may use tests that have no cut off levels! A friend of mine just failed a drug test because he ate a poppy seed bagel because there was no cut off level. As a result, eh was looking a having his parenting time suspended. The judge had issued a tentative decision doing just that. However, we were able to prove to the court that this positive drug test was bogus and as a result, his parenting time was not suspended. Don’t let a DYFS drug test ruin your life. Let our team of tough, smart DYFS Defense Attorneys help you.
Today’s public schools have DYFS on speed dial. DYFS knows that they can depend on the school to drop the dime on you at all times. Its one of the reasons that I believe that DYFS has a big problem with homeschooling your child. If you home school your child, there is no one to call DYFS on you. Another reason that DYFS loves schools is that it gives them unfettered access to your child. They can interview your child at just about anytime without any prior notice to you.
Because of this, I’ve actually had to suggest that some client’s keep their child out of school for a few days. That is because the answer to the above question is yes, they can and they often do. You need to keep this in mind when you are dealing with a DYFS case. Of course, you shouldn’t take any action without first consulting with a lawyer.
FAQ – do I need a lawyer to help me with my DYFS / DCPP case or investigation?
This is another question that gets asked all the time when people call me. My answer is always yes. I make it a point to emphasize that I’m not trying to twist their arm and tell them that they need to hire us but I always say they need to hire someone. Dealing with any legal situation on your own is crazy. Of course, many people have handled a wide variety of situations on their own and everything turned out great. Thus, some people think that they can handle everything without an attorney. This is like a game of Russian roulette. While some people may win, some people will lose and they will lose big. There is no reason to risk it. If all you have is an out of court DYFS investigation, the cost for the attorney will be minimal. Call us anytime, day or night to speak with one of our NJ DYFS defense lawyers.
FAQ – what are my rights with DYFS / DCPP?
One of the most asked questions I get is what are my rights when dealing with DYFS / DCPP? This is a tough question to answer since I don’t think that is the exact question the people are actually asking. If I answer the question directly, the answer is basically that you have the right to hire a lawyer or not hire a lawyer. I really don’t see any other “rights” that you have. Again, I think the actually question here is what are my options or how do I handle this case? The answer though is really the same. That is because it is crazy to handle a DYFS situation on your own, at least in my opinion. Anything you say can be used against you in a DYFS / DCPP complaint. Even if you don’t actually say something, the fact that you are talking to them allows the case worker to twist your words or put words in your mouth. In almost every DYFS case we have handled, we’ve had a client complain that DYFS is lying. I find it impossible to believe that every single client is making that up.
When you deal with DYFS by yourself, you are really in a catch-22 situation. If you don’t comply, DYFS could bring you to court for non-compliance. If you do comply, you may be giving DYFS all the information they need to build a case against you. Its a really tough position to be in. A tough and aggressive DYFS lawyer can come in and resolve the case for you. The lawyer is there to get information and give information without exposing you to danger. Our team of tough, smart lawyers can help you do that. We can work with DYFS’ lawyer to shut the case down and stop them from bullying you.