A very difficult decision is in a DCF case that is going before a judge whether a parent should testify or not, or if there is criminal case investigation. Parents do have a 5th Amendment right to prevent testifying if they could potentially incriminate themselves. Criminal defense attorney would strongly recommend that the parents do so in most cases.

In a criminal case, the court cannot draw an adverse inference from a party exercising their 5th Amendment right. However, in a Care and Protection case or a DCF case, that adverse inference can be taken and on a practical level and many times it can be extremely difficult to be successful in a 72 hr hearing if you do take the 5th Amendment.

It is a very important decision to make and should be coordinated between your criminal defense attorney and your DCF attorney that is representing you in your case.