Tempe Child Abuse Lawyer

Child abuse charges can involve physical injuries but can also result from alleged endangerment. Regardless of the situation, all child abuse charges are felonies ranging from Class 2 to Class 6. Your supposed intent and knowledge of the abuse will determine the severity of your charges.

The consequences of felony convictions extend beyond jail or prison time. The Department of Child Safety could remove your children from the home or closely monitor your family life. You will find it more challenging to get jobs, lease housing, and be granted loans. To prevent these severe repercussions, your best option is to work with a Tempe child abuse lawyer on an airtight defense. The dedicated attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group will listen to your side of the story and fight to protect your rights.

Child Abuse is a Felony in Arizona

Abuse charges can be lodged against a parent or any adult caring for or having custody of a child. According to Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-3623(A), anyone who places a child in a situation likely to cause death or serious bodily injury or permits the child’s injuries will face felony charges.

If the abuse is intentional, the accused will face a Class 2 felony, and the crime will fall under the Arizona Dangerous Crimes Against Children statutes. If the abuse is committed recklessly, the accused faces a Class 3 felony. Abuse amounting to criminal negligence is charged as a Class 4 felony.

Alleged child abuse that is unlikely to cause death or serious bodily injury is outlined under ARS § 13-3623(B). Endangering the health or well-being of a child is a Class 4, 5, or 6 felony, depending on whether the act is intentional, reckless, or negligent, respectively. Our Tempe attorneys can further explain specific classes of child abuse charges and the penalties a defendant faces.

Sentencing Guidelines for Child Abuse

Defendants convicted of child abuse crimes likely to cause severe injuries or death face the following penalties:

  • Class 2 felony: three to 12.5 years in prison for a first offense, up to seven years of probation, with fines up to $150,000. Increased mandatory prison time for prior felony convictions: 4.5 to 23 years for one prior felony and 10.5 to 35 years for two prior felonies
  • Class 3 felony: two to 8.75 years in prison, up to five years of probation, fines up to $150,000, and increased prison time for prior felony convictions
  • Class 4 felony: one to 3.75 years of prison time, up to four years of probation, fines up to $150,000, and increased prison time for prior felony convictions

Those charged with child endangerment face a Class 4 felony with penalties described above if the abuse was done knowingly. Class 5 felonies are based on recklessness, and Class 6 on criminal negligence. These penalties include:

  • Class 5 felony: six months to 2.5 years of incarceration, up to three years of probation, fines up to $150,000, and increased prison time for prior felony convictions
  • Class 6 felony: four months to two years of incarceration, up to three years of probation, fines up to $150,000, and increased prison time for prior felony convictions

Our skilled Tempe lawyers can present mitigating factors to reduce the potential penalties a defendant faces for child abuse charges. We will tailor a strong defense to the situation.

Defenses to Child Abuse Charges

A knowledgeable child abuse attorney at our firm will explore all defenses that might benefit an accused person. For instance, we could argue that the act was not intentional or reckless or did not amount to criminal negligence. Children can injure themselves during aggressive play, and accidents are not child abuse.

Sometimes, estranged spouses may falsely report child abuse out of retaliation or spite. In other situations, imaginative children dislike a stepparent and believe telling others they are being abused will get the stepparent removed from the household. All child abuse charges should be taken seriously, but if the charges turn out to be false after a thorough investigation, our Tempe attorneys will work to get them dropped.

Speak to a Tempe Child Abuse Attorney About Your Case

If you are charged with knowingly, recklessly, or negligently putting a child in danger or causing harm, you need immediate legal representation. The consequences you face will impact every part of your life upon conviction.

Working with a Tempe child abuse lawyer is your best shot at resolving the charges and moving forward with your life. The dedicated attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group have years of experience successfully defending these cases and can put that knowledge to work for you. Call us today to get started.

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