Fenton, MI asked in Criminal Law and Family Law for Michigan

Q: Hello I would thoughts on a investigation being done on me and if I would need to have help?

Was investigated by CPS for someone calling in alleging that I molest my child. My child is not biologically mine I believe that the biological father had something to do with the call. but at the end of the investigation they found no evidence of abuse happened. Especially with interview with my child and him saying that it did not ever happen. CPS then closed the case. I then get a call by the police for their investigation of it. They wanted to talk to me about it. I went in and told them who I believed would make the faults allegations and why.that was it besides telling them that it did not occur and declined to give them a written statement. They said they would give it to the prosecuting attorney. I just don't know what could possibly happen with this when they're is no evidence of it happening. Can they still charge me for something with no evidence? Just on hearsay?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Can they criminally charge you? Yes. Will they, with the child victim saying it didn't happen? Unlikely (assuming a forensic interview was conducted).

CPS investigations are civil in nature. While it all may appear similar, it is legally two different legal matters: civil and criminal. Burdens of proof are different. In a criminal proceeding, the prosecutor would need to prove this happened beyond a reasonable doubt; in a CPS matter, they just need "clear and convincing evidence". There are cases where criminal charges are dropped or never filed, and a person still loses parental rights.

In criminal sexual conduct cases, there is a jury instruction that says the victim's testimony is enough for a conviction, even if uncorroborated. From that standpoint, if the child were to say you molested him or her, and a jury believed them, that's the only evidence a prosecutor needs to not only charge you, but to convict you.

It sounds like you are doing all the right things: cooperating without making a statement. More people should realize that the right to remain silent is the most important right we have, and should be exercised more frequently.

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