Your children are the most important parts of your life, and you will do anything you can to protect them from harm. Sometimes, a problem occurs, and you find that you are charged with child abuse. Child abuse charges are serious, and if convicted, you will face severe penalties. You may also lose your right to spend time with your children, and you might even end up behind bars. If you were charged with child abuse, you must vigorously defend the charges and protect your rights. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney will help you through the legal process and defend against the charges brought against you.
What is Abuse?
Child abuse and neglect are serious charges. The definition of child abuse encompasses more than just physical harm. In addition to physical harm, child abuse also occurs when you put a child at risk of physical harm. It also includes sexual assault, emotional abuse, and acts that involve moral turpitude. Child neglect may occur when a parent, guardian, or caregiver fails to provide adequate care or supervision. A person who is in charge of caring for a child must ensure the safety of the child and keep the child out of harm’s way. They must also provide proper discipline when needed.
Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Do I need to hire an attorney if I have been falsely accused?”
Child Abuse Charges in North Carolina
Various charges could be brought against a parent or caregiver. Child abuse may be a misdemeanor or felony charge. It is a Class 1 misdemeanor for an adult to “knowingly or intentionally cause, encourage, or aid a juvenile to be determined delinquent, undisciplined, abused, or neglected.”
For instance, N.C. General Statutes 14-316-1 makes it illegal to provide a child with a firearm.
The person does not need to be a parent or caregiver to be charged with this child abuse or neglect. A specific law applies to a parent or caregiver who inflicts injury or allows a child to get hurt. Under North Carolina General Statutes 14-318.2, anyone supervising or caring for a child may be charged with child abuse.
Felony Child Abuse Charges
Felony child abuse charges are more serious than misdemeanors, and they come with increased penalties if convicted. Felony charges may apply in several circumstances. If the child sustained serious physical injuries due to intentional harm, the charge might be a Class D felony. A charge of Class B2 felony applies when a child suffers serious bodily injury or permanent mental or emotional impairment due to an intentional act. A willful or grossly negligent act may be charged as a Class G felony or a Class E felony if the child was seriously hurt. A Class D felony occurs when the defendant allegedly permitted or encouraged a child to participate in prostitution.
Defending Child Abuse Charges
Child abuse charges are quite serious, and it is imperative that you provide a vigorous defense. Charges of this type most often have circumstantial evidence and hearsay. The person reporting the incident may not be reliable or may have an ulterior motive to make the charges against you. A skilled attorney will review the case and assist you in protecting your rights and defending the charges. You will likely need to seek legal guidance as soon as possible. If you were charged with child abuse or neglect, do not delay. Contact our office today at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 for a consultation.
The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may face include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights and stand at the ready to fight in defense of those facing criminal charges.
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