Is Child Abuse Punishable by Law?

Allegations of child abuse can have a lasting impact on a family. It can be difficult to overcome such allegations, especially considering the stigma associated with child abuse. A criminal attorney Fairfax, VA trusts will be important in helping strategize a defense and discuss with the defendant their options. The ramifications of child abuse can have a devastating impact on a family, and, depending on the evidence, could result in removal of the children from their home.

The Difference Between Child Abuse and Discipline

Managing child abuse allegations can weigh on the accused. It can feel like a whirlwind. For parents today, there can be a fine line between abuse and discipline. Parents have the right to discipline their child as long as they do not cause bodily harm to them. Child abuse is when a parent or caregiver causes harm to a child. Some forms of child abuse include:

  • Emotional Abuse
  • Physical Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Child Neglect

You could also be held responsible if you did not act where child abuse was present. Depending on the situation, a parent could even lose custody of their child amidst child abuse allegations.

Child Protection Agencies

There are a number of ways that child abuse is reported including, through organizations such as the school system or community service providers. In some cases, allegations of abuse have come from another parent. This can further complicate things, especially if you are in the midst of a divorce or child custody battle. When child abuse is involves, it’s likely that you will have to contend with the child protection system in your area. An attorney can represent you throughout this process to ensure that you do not say anything to incriminate yourself further. When working with the child protection agency, it is important to note that your response and reaction to this system and the person assigned to your case will weigh heavily in decisions that are made surrounding the case. Failing to ignore requests to work with child protection could result in an unfavorable depiction of you.

Defense Strategies and Consequences of Child Abuse

An attorney can work with you to develop a legal strategy to use in the event that your case goes to trial. They will evaluate the case and go over any evidence that is being used against you. When faced with child abuse allegations, there will be a number of arenas to contend with: child protection systems, the court system, law enforcement and your family and friends. It can be quite overwhelming, an attorney will be important in keeping you focused on your case and helping you manage the unexpected. Your attorney will also be paramount in building a defense for your case.  If you were falsely accused, the best defense is to say that the defendant didn’t do it or was falsely accused of the crime. Child abuse is a horrific thing for a child and their family. It’s important to note that families can be complicated and it is not uncommon for false accusations to occur. Throughout a trial, an attorney can work to prove that the allegations against you were not true by weakening the prosecution’s case. The consequences of child abuse can be far reaching and could result in:

  • Jail time
  • Probation
  • Criminal Record
  • Losing the Rights of your child
  • Inability to see your child
  • Loss of trust within the family

When children are involved, the stakes are high. To ensure that the best possible outcome is obtained, retaining an attorney will be the best way to ensure that your rights are represented and protected throughout. The legal system is complicated, when coupled with the child protection system in your area the complexities only double. Attorneys well versed in criminal defense and child protection may work to your benefit should you find yourself facing allegations of child abuse.

 

Thank you to our contributor Dave Albo – Attorney for his insight into child abuse and criminal law.