Tucson, AZ asked in Criminal Law and Family Law for Arizona

Q: If my babys father was caught with a meth pipe and weed on him and i was charged for DV is CPS going to be invovled??

he was searched an they found drugs on him but only gave him citations and decided to take me to jail for a DV. I jist want to know if CPS will be trying to get invovled over this. Him and i are not together and havent been for a long time. I have her all days of the week except weekends when i work she stays with her grandma which is his mother and he stays there with her.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kai Michael Henderson
Kai Michael Henderson
  • Criminal Law Lawyer

A: This is a difficult issue.

The removal of a child in Arizona is governed under A.R.S. Sec. 8-822 which gives the Department the onus of making rules of when a child is removed from the home. CPS may become involved at some point, but might not. If it is a misdemeanor DV charge, then your ability to physically be around for the child will not be impaired. Having both parents in jail creates a precarious situation for parental rights. The Father will likely have to go to Court and will have to wait to see what his sentence is. If he has a lot of prior felonies he may have a higher likelihood of ending up in prison.

The grounds for permanently removing a child are found under A.R.S. Sec. 8-533. A person in that position is generally are a long way from that outcome at this time, but addiction or violence could continue to pave that road. DCS will often do what is known as an "in-home dependency" if they suspect abuse or neglect. Sometimes when drugs are found within reach of a child, or a child witnesses the domestic abuse, DCS will take some actions to monitor the situation or take temporary custody of the children. Oftentimes they do nothing. If drug addiction is suspected, they will often have parents engage in counseling and other services to help them overcome those challenges. Mandatory drug testing is often part of this, so parents who cannot kick the habit after several months (depending on the age of the child) and continue to have dirty drug tests multiple times often lose their kids.

Many parents in this situation are better off when they have a contingency plan in place. If there is a trusted relative who can help take care of the children and find a safe place for the children while a parent sobers up, obtains psychological treatment, or works on other aspects of improving themselves, like working, this can avoid or limit the involvement of DCS. If a parent cannot overcome their addiction or is facing a long felony prison sentence, they might think about guardianships or other mechanisms to make sure that their children go to the relative they prefer. DCS tries for reunification of the parent and child and if that is not possible they generally try for a kinship or close family friend placement.

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