Wilton Child Abuse Lawyer
What Criminal Charges Stem from Child Abuse Allegations?
Individuals accused of child abuse may be charged with one or more crimes. Although the specific statutes involved vary according to the circumstances, some possible options include:
- Risk of injury to a child
- Impairing the morals of a minor
- Sexual assault
- Enticing a minor
- Reckless endangerment
- Unlawful restraint
As a top Wilton child abuse lawyer may advise, these offenses are treated as felonies with the potential for multiple years of imprisonment. Accordingly, it is wise to collect and preserve evidence as soon as possible for use in building a defense. An experienced defense attorney could prove instrumental in the process.
Risk of injury is the most commonly charged offense, in part because the crime covers many types of conduct. Connecticut General Statutes (“C.G.S.”) §53-21 specifies that an individual may be found guilty of this crime if they allow a child under the age of 16 to be put in a situation likely to impair the child’s health or morals. Contact with a child’s intimate body parts may also be treated as risk of injury to a minor, or it could be treated as a form of sexual assault.
What Happens During an Investigation by the Department of Children and Families (DCF)?
DCF has a duty to investigate reported cases of child abuse. Investigations by the DCF often include interviews with family members, neighbors, physicians, and teachers.
Families being investigated have the right to consult a Wilton child abuse attorney before answering questions or signing agreements. Statements made to the DCF can be used as evidence of wrongdoing, so it is wise to seek legal advice before speaking to DCF investigators, if possible.
How is Child Abuse Defined in Wilton?
C.G.S. §46b-120 defines child abuse to include situations involving injuries as well as other signs of “maltreatment.” Examples of maltreatment include sexual exploitation or molestation, cruel punishment, malnutrition, and deprivation of necessities. If an injury happens in a manner that is not accidental, or if it occurs in a way otherwise than initially described, then that may also be considered a sign of child abuse.
However, reasonable parents and “experts” often disagree about certain practices, such as how much freedom to allow a child. What one person considers wise parenting, another may consider neglect or abuse. A Wilton child abuse attorney may be able to use this disagreement to your advantage by arguing that the conduct at issue did not constitute abuse.
Consult a Top Wilton Child Abuse Attorney Today
Even when accusations of child abuse are shown to be false, the negative effects can linger far into the future. A knowledgeable Wilton child abuse lawyer could help you address allegations in a manner most likely to minimize the harmful consequences.
A dedicated defense attorney can also work to protect your rights and build a sound defense strategy tailored to your unique situation. For more information about the advantages an experienced legal advocate can provide, call Mark Sherman Law for a consultation.