Child Protective Investigations

For allegations of child abuse and neglect, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) uses investigators from the Child Protective Investigations (CPI) Division.

The Child Protection Investigators (CPIs)  of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office investigate claims of abuse and determine whether a case needs to be referred for further action to ensure the safety of the child.

When a Sheriff’s CPID is called to investigate a report of abuse, the investigator interview the reported victims, as well as all family members and other residents in the home. Each family member is interviewed separately.

Sometimes the investigator with CPID will go to the child’s school to interview the child. The parents might not find out about the interview until after it is completed.

Parents should be careful not to interfere with the investigation in any way.

When a child abuse allegation is made, the parents can hire a criminal defense attorney to represent them through the entire process. The attorney can help the parent cooperate with the investigation fully while still making sure their rights are protected.

Attorney for CPI Investigations in Pinellas County, FL

The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm represent parents and caregivers after a false report of abuse or neglect in Pinellas County, FL.

You are allowed to hire an attorney to be present for any interview during the protective investigation.

Although you should act quickly because state law authorizes court action if a child is hidden or made unavailable for the purpose of delaying or avoiding the protective investigation.

We can help you present your side of the story to show why there is no indication of child abuse or neglect so that the investigation can be closed with no further action. In other cases, we can help you comply with any safety plan intended to protect the child.

When appropriate, we can help you comply with the services and assistance offered by the investigator.

The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm represent parents accused of child abuse or neglect. We can help you protect your rights as you protect your family against a false accusation.

Our office is located at 14010 Roosevelt Blvd Suite 701, Clearwater, FL 33762-3820. 

Call 727-210-7004.


“False Abuse Report” Against a Parent or Caregiver

If someone knowingly makes a false report about abuse or neglect, law enforcement may be notified. Although making a false report is a crime, it is rarely prosecuted because such allegations are difficult to prove in court.

Your best defense against a false allegation of child abuse or neglect is retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you at each stage of the case.

Learn more about child abuse crimes in Pinellas County, FL.


Dependency Court Intervention in Pinellas County, FL

If you respond appropriately, you can avoid any chance of dependency court intervention reserved for the most serious allegations. If the investigator pursues court intervention, a petition will be filed that triggers a court hearing.

In the most serious cases, the protective investigator might remove the child from the home or place the child in the home of a relative or a close family friend.

Then a hearing will be scheduled within 24 hours so the court can determine whether the child should be returned to the home or temporarily placed with alternate caregivers.


Additional Resources

Pinellas Child Protection Investigation Division – The CPID of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) is located at 8550 Ulmerton Road, Suite 255 in Largo, FL 33771. The head of the Child Protection Investigations Division is Lieutenant Scott Matthews with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.


This article was last updated on Friday, June 17, 2022.