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Dependency


Dependency cases involve the alleged abuse, neglect and/or abandonment of a minor child and are governed by chapter 39 of the Florida statutes.  These reports are taken very seriously and normally the Department of Children and Families will conduct an investigation within 24 hours of receiving the report of abuse.    You have the right to have counsel with you and plan for your defense even before a Petition is filed.   After the investigation, the Department may find that there were no findings, some findings or significant findings.  They can also file a Shelter Petition, which would allow them to take the child into custody.  As you can imagine these cases are very serious and it in your best interest to have counsel as soon as possible.