Child Abuse - Criminal Lawyers
What Constitutes Child Abuse?
Child Abuse can take many forms and each can result in criminal prosecution and civil penalties. Common forms of child abuse include physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect.
A child is being physically abused when they are:
- Hit with a belt or paddle (spanking is generally not against the law)
- Pinched hard enough to leave a mark that doesn't go right away
- Burned (for example with cigarettes, a lighter, an iron or the stovetop burner)
- Bitten hard enough to leave a mark or break the skin
- Pushed into walls or knocked to the floor, choked, kicked or punched
A child is being sexually abused when a person:
- Improperly touches the child's private parts
- Shows a child improper nude pictures
- Takes pictures of the child without his or her clothes on
A child is being emotionally abused when the care taker:
- Calls the child names that are really mean
- Tells the child that they are worthless, stupid or "a mistake"
- Tells the child that they are never good enough or can't do anything right
- Tells the child they wish the child had never been born
A child is neglected when the care taker leaves the child:
- Hungry much of the time without enough food or water
- Without medicine or medical care
- Without warm clothes in winter, or cooler clothes in summer
- Home alone when the child is too young to take care of his/her self safely
- Locked in a room for hours or even days at a time
Accused of Child Abuse?
You can be arrested and convicted of the crime of child abuse. Criminal consequences for child abusers include:
- Probation or parole
- Loss of custody or visitation with your children
- It could be on your record for life
- Anger management or parenting classes
The likelihood of any of the above consequences depends on:
- The severity of the child abuse
- Similar prior convictions
- Whether you are currently on probation or parole
- The number of instances of child abuse
You can also be held civilly liable to the victim in a private lawsuit. You may be liable to pay the victim money for their:
- Pain and suffering
- Similar prior convictions
- Direct out-of-pocket medical expenses
Do I Need a Lawyer?
If you are accused of Child Abuse, you should speak to a criminal defense attorney immediately to learn more about your rights, your defenses and the complicated legal system.
If you are a victim of Child Abuse, you should call the police. If there is sufficient evidence, the police will then forward your case to the District Attorney's office to prosecute the person who committed the child abuse against you.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 12-05-2013 03:01 PM PST
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