Grand Canyon Law GroupN/a
Protecting children from harm is a fundamental value of our society. Prosecutors and law enforcement officials are aggressive in condemning people accused of harming children. When you face child abuse charges, you need a seasoned attorney who will listen to your side of the story and work to protect your rights.
Child abuse charges can be devastating to your personal and professional reputation as well as your family life. If you are under investigation or have been arrested, contact a Chandler child abuse lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group immediately.
Arizona law requires teachers, doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and others to report suspected child abuse to the police. They do not need proof; a suspicion triggers the requirement to report. Although these people have a professional duty to report, anyone could make an anonymous report of child abuse. Police must follow up promptly when they receive a child abuse allegation.
Child abuse allegations could result from a mandatory reporter’s misunderstanding of something they saw or heard. Sometimes, a child who is angry at a parent falsely claims abuse. When parents are involved in a custody dispute, one parent might make a false abuse report to gain an advantage. Police investigations sometimes weed out these unfounded reports. However, law enforcement and prosecutors often err on the side of caution to protect children and might bring charges with flimsy supporting evidence.
Police investigations often trigger parallel proceedings by the Arizona Department of Child Safety. These investigations could lead to a child being removed from their home and could eventually result in the termination of the parent’s rights. Working with a Chandler attorney experienced in child abuse cases is critically important to prevent this devastating outcome.
Arizona Statute §13-3623 contains the legal definition of child abuse. There are two categories for this offense: one for circumstances that could cause death or serious injury and one for situations that are not potentially deadly. In either case, it is illegal to cause physical injury to a child or put them in a position where they might suffer physical or emotional harm. The severity of the charges depends on the alleged conduct and the accused’s state of mind.
Child abuse is a Class 2 felony if the situation could cause death and the accused allegedly acted with intent. It is a Class 4 felony in other circumstances. If the accused’s conduct was reckless but not intentional, child abuse is a Class 3 felony when the situation could have caused death or serious injury and a Class 5 felony in less dangerous circumstances. When someone harms a child or puts them at risk due to criminal negligence, they could face Class 4 felony charges if the situation could have caused the child’s death or serious injury. Incidents involving a less severe risk of injury could lead to Class 6 felony charges.
The classification of child abuse crimes offers various opportunities for defense. Our skilled local attorneys can work to demonstrate that the circumstances were not potentially deadly or that the accused had no intention of causing harm. In these situations, a prosecutor might reduce or drop a charge.
Every child abuse case requires a tailored defense strategy. The goal is to convince the prosecutor to dismiss or reduce the charge. Prosecutors are often willing to dismiss or reduce charges when a child did not suffer significant physical harm.
The child abuse lawyers at our Chandler office can provide an alternative explanation for the situation that does not involve intent to harm, recklessness, or criminal negligence. We could question the reporter’s motives or show that the reporter was mistaken or made a false assumption. Our legal team could challenge the methods police used to gather evidence. Faced with these questions, a prosecutor might decide not to go forward or allow the accused to plea to a lesser charge.
Sometimes, it is appropriate to fight a charge at a trial. At Grand Canyon Law Group, our Chandler child abuse lawyers know how to raise doubt among the jurors and achieve an acquittal for someone wrongly accused.
A child abuse charge could upend your life and profoundly impact your future. When facing allegations this severe, you need an experienced attorney by your side to fight the allegations and minimize the damage to your way of life.
A Chandler child abuse lawyer at our firm will work to resolve the charges discretely and favorably. Reach out to Grand Canyon Law Group as soon as possible to discuss your case.