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How to Defend Child Abuse and Neglect Charges

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by: watson23
Word Count: 481
Date: Mon, 9 May 2011 Time: 6:23 AM

Criminal charges, whether misdemeanors or felonies, come with the risk of conviction, and associated penalties. However, if the charges include abuse and neglect of children, the laws provide stricter penalties for the offender. You need a legal practitioner if there is such a charge against you immediately.

Any physical and psychological abuse or gross neglect of a child is a serious offense in the eyes of the law. The legal statutes are applicable on the parents of the child or any individual in the role of a caregiver. This would include legal guardians, family members, foster parents, baby-sitters, and teachers.

The law also makes it the duty of certain individuals to report such incidents of abuse. Teachers, physicians, healthcare professionals, and such others fall within the scope of this law. If you are facing child abuse and neglect charges, chances are the law enforcement are working on a report from an individual.

The common defense in such a case is outright negating the charge – where you claim you did not do anything of that sort. If your criminal attorney is capable of investigating the matter, accumulate adequate evidence, get witnesses, and argue properly, it may be possible to establish this defense and raise a reasonable doubt with regard to your guilt.

This defense also helps to penalize any individual who falsely reports against you. It is a felony of the third degree to report falsely about something of such a serious nature. If proved, this may lead to jail term and fines for the individual. Proving it as a false allegation also helps your defense.

If the child’s injuries were due to some other reason than abuse or neglect, this could also work as your defense. Suppose your child suffers injuries falling off a slide. If it was just an accident, the law may not regard you as an offender. If you were not paying attention to the child and this led to injuries, however, this strategy may not work.

Another possible defense is to claim that you were trying to discipline the child. If it just a bruise or a scolding that forms the basis of the complaint, this may be acceptable. However, if it is of a serious nature, and the child needs medical care for it, this defense would not hold ground.

Whatever the situation, if it is a mistake or misunderstanding on the law enforcement officers’ part to arrest you for child abuse or neglect, you need to get legal help immediately. Without a criminal defense attorney, it is difficult to prove your point, especially because judges/jury is sure to see you in a bad light from the very beginning. 

About the Author

Dave Watson, a legal journalist, offers tips and suggestions regarding legal issues concerning criminal law matters. If you are looking for a Criminal Attorney for consultation, she suggests you to visit .

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