If you are involved in such a case, you will hear the case is civil and everyone is looking out for the best interests of the children. The awful truth is that this type of case can have far greater consequences to you and your family than many criminal cases. And the opposition’s so called protection of the children will often care nothing about the truth. The guardian-ad litem (GAL) or attorney for the children will often stop at nothing to keep you away from your family, regardless of the truth. (One of these attorneys even admitted that she did not care what the truth was.)
In these cases, you may have little to lose by going to trial. These do not affect your record the same way a criminal conviction does. And the consequences to you and your family may be the same whether you take the County Attorney’s so called deal or have a bad verdict at trial. And if you have a good verdict at trial, you can get the government out of your family’s business.
These cases may also be brought at the same time as criminal charges. As the dependency and neglect case will normally move faster, trial here may help in preparing for the criminal case, especially if you cannot otherwise interview the accuser.
You will normally be offered a court appointed attorney. No matter who you choose to represent you, make sure that you are comfortable with that person. Don’t be bullied into a decision.