Ridgefield Child Abuse Lawyer
If you’ve been accused of child abuse or neglect, a Ridgefield child abuse lawyer can help you understand the ramifications. You may face criminal charges, you may be contacted by the Department of Children and Families, or both. No matter what specific form of abuse or neglect you have been accused of, guidance from a qualified domestic violence attorney could make a huge difference in your odds of achieving a positive case resolution.
What Qualifies as Child Abuse in Ridgefield?
Connecticut state law provides little in the way of specific and explicit definitions of child abuse. According to Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §46b-120, state authorities may considered a child “abused” if it is determined that they sustained physical harm in any non-accidental way, have injuries that are inconsistent with claims about what treatment they received and how their injuries came about, or if they suffer harm through any of the following means:
- Denial of basic necessities, like clothing or shelter
- Emotional mistreatment
- Sexual exploitation or molestation
- “Cruel punishment”
Additionally, a child may be considered “neglected” or “uncared for”—which could, like allegations of abuse, lead to child abuse proceedings against a parent. This occurs if the child has been abandoned or is otherwise homeless, has been denied proper physical and/or psychological care, lives under conditions deemed “injurious to [the child’s] wellbeing,” or has become a victim of human trafficking. An attorney in Ridgefield could further detail what behaviors or circumstances might bring an allegation of child abuse in a particular situation.
What Criminal Charges Could Accompany Child Abuse Allegations?
Accusations of child abuse can lead to charges of Risk of Injury to a Minor under C.G.S. § 53-21. This is a felony charge and can carry hefty criminal sanctions if you are found guilty. Click here to learn more about the implications a Risk of Injury Charge can have.
What Are Some Possible Outcomes of Child Abuse Allegations?
Any suspicion that a parent in Connecticut has abused, neglected, or otherwise mistreated their child will almost always prompt the Department of Children and Families to open an investigation into them. Over the course of the next 45 days, DCF investigators will conduct numerous interviews, as well as home inspections to determine the validity of the allegations. If this investigation ends with a finding of “substantiated,” DCF may recommend further action, possibly including removal of the children from the home. Follow this link to learn more about the investigation process with DCF cases.
Additionally, certain actions that may give rise to a child abuse investigation may also constitute criminal acts under the Connecticut Penal Code. For example, a parent who knowingly allows their child to be put in a situation posing an imminent threat to their physical and/or moral health may incur felony risk of injury charges under C.G.S. §53-21. As a knowledgeable child abuse lawyer in Ridgefield could affirm, these kinds of charges would proceed regardless of any DCF investigations for the same alleged actions. The outcome of one proceeding would have no direct impact on that of the other.
Learn How a Ridgefield Child Abuse Attorney Could Help
Child abuse allegations can feel impossible to overcome in the moment, especially if the DCF has already begun an investigation into you. However, you have rights that should be enforced in situations like this, for your sake and your family’s.
A capable Ridgefield child abuse lawyer could tirelessly advocate on your behalf from beginning to end of your legal proceedings. Call Mark Sherman Law today for a private consultation. Check out his five-star ratings on his Avvo profile.