Norwalk Child Abuse and Neglect Lawyer
Are you suspected of child neglect or abuse? Contact a top Norwalk Child abuse and neglect lawyer today to discuss your case and begin working towards the best outcome possible.
What is Child Neglect?
Under Connecticut General Statutes (“C.G.S.”) §46b-120, a child may be considered neglected if they have been “abandoned” or allowed to live in conditions believed to be harmful to their well-being. A child could also be treated as neglected if authorities determine that the child is not receiving proper attention and care either physically, morally, educationally, or emotionally.
Neglect is not black and white; a skilled Norwalk child abuse lawyer could argue that allegations do not constitute actual neglect.
What is Considered Abuse?
C.G.S. §46b-120 defines child abuse as any situation in which a child shows signs of “maltreatment” or injuries that are not appropriately explained. Signs of abuse include:
- Sexual molestation
- Someone lying about the cause of an injury
- Injuries inflicted intentionally
- Deprivation of necessities
- Emotional mistreatment
- Punishment deemed “cruel”
- Sexual exploitation
Additionally, in situations where parents or caregivers cannot provide a home for a child or cannot meet a child’s special needs, the law may consider that child “uncared for” under the statute.
What is Risk of Injury to a Minor?
After a child abuse allegation, police could charge the accused person with a crime like risk of injury to a minor. Under C.G.S. §53-21, risk of injury to a minor is either a B, C, or D felony depending on the conduct involved and the age of the minor.
The most serious violations of this statute involve an adult making contact with the intimate parts of a minor under age 16 or allowing that minor to touch the intimate body parts of the adult. This is treated as a Class B felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a fine as high as $15,000, and / or up to five years probation. If the minor involved is under the age of 13, then five years of the sentence are mandatory, meaning they may not be suspended or reduced.
Risk of injury to a minor is treated as a Class C felony if someone deliberately causes or allows a child under age 16 to be placed in a situation likely to endanger their health or injure their morals. This provision is subject to interpretation and a seasoned child abuse attorney in Norwalk could argue that the conduct at issue was not serious enough to constitute a violation of this statute.
Will DCF Get Involved?
Virtually all cases connected with child abuse include some measure of involvement by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF). This agency investigates child abuse allegations and can remove children from the home and have them placed in foster care.
Although DCF investigators may approach your family in a friendly and informal manner, any statements made to investigators may be taken out of context and used against you.
Contact an Experienced Norwalk Child Abuse and Neglect Attorney Today
If you are suspected of child abuse or neglect, is wise to talk with a Norwalk child abuse lawyer familiar with Connecticut Law and DCF practices. A knowledgeable attorney can help protect your family’s rights while you work toward a positive resolution. To get started, call Mark Sherman Law today and schedule a consultation.