An Attorney Helps With Navigating the Court Process
Video Transcribed: What can an attorney do for you that you can’t do for yourself in a deprived child action? Oklahoma Child Protective Services Attorney Ryan Cannonie, with CPS investigation defense. When you’re talking about a deprive case, there are certain things that an attorney can actually accomplish easier than you could yourself.
Namely, having an attorney with you is going to be helpful in navigating the court process. Being able to explain to the court what your feelings and your beliefs on something, get evidence before them that you may not know the method to get that in front of the judge.
One thing I saw as a prosecutor when I was doing these cases for years is that parents who didn’t have an attorney with them would come in and kind of have this almost diarrhea of the mouth, where they just opened to talk and everything came out. And after about the second sentence, most people weren’t really paying attention to what they were saying, because it was just so much that was irrelevant to what we were doing.
And it really hindered their ability to advocate on their own behalf, because they didn’t know. They’re asking questions about criminal cases and other counties and all this stuff that frankly is not part of what the judge is considering.
So having an attorney helps you narrow in your focus, be able to convey to the court exactly what you want to convey. Attorneys can go through your evidence with you to see if maybe whatever DHS is saying, there’s evidence against it and you have it. Well, that’s great.
But how do you put that evidence in front of the court? How do you prove that? Well, that’s what attorneys do. That’s what we help you with. Here’s what you need to get. Here’s the document you need to receive or go get. Here’s the person we need to get a subpoena to. These are the types of things that an attorney knows how to do that you probably don’t.
But the most important aspect, I would say, in deprived, is an attorney can actually go in and negotiate on your behalf. A lot of times prosecutors are busy. They’ve got a lot of stuff going on. They’ve got tons of cases and dockets.
It’s easier sometimes for an attorney to get in there and meet with a prosecutor than it is for a parent to get in there and try to meet with them. And when you meet with them, you can offer different compromises, offer negotiations, open negotiations.
In a case I had when I was a prosecutor, an attorney came to me and said, “Hey, look, these people are, they’re good people. We know that there’s a lot of evidence here that makes it look like they’re using all these drugs, but if they did a hair nail follicle test right now, it goes back months that shows all the substances that would or wouldn’t be in their body, would you agree if it comes back negative to dismiss?”
And I said, “Well, sure, because if it goes back six months, and we’re saying that they’ve been using meth every week, then there’s going to be something on their follicle test.” They went and got it. It came back negative.
Not really sure where the mix-up was in the investigation on it, but they ended up, their kid was taken from them for probably about two, three weeks maybe to get the results back.
But at that point, we, the state, I went in and I dismissed and said, “Hey, look, we’re good with them having their kids back. They need to work some service plans for some other issues, but this doesn’t need to be a court case.”
DHS is not always on board with that type of plan. In fact, DHS policy is once they make a recommendation, it’s very hard for them to step down. It’s easy for them to ask for something more restrictive, but going less restrictive is very difficult for them. For the district attorney’s office, it’s not. So these are things that an attorney could help you with that you might not necessarily think of yourself.
There’s a whole range of options when you have an attorney advocating on your behalf. So if you find yourself in a situation where you are involved with the deprived court system or even criminals, this kind of goes for both, please give us a call. Give us a call and we will have an Oklahoma CPS attorney reach you.