While most people only think of child abuse as physical harm to a minor, the crime actually has many forms including neglect, child endangerment, leaving a child alone in a car or at home, and using drugs in front of a child or while pregnant. Each of these crimes can be charged in a different manner and “child abuse” is simply a blanket term to describe harm done to the minor.
Depending on the specifics, child abuse cases can involve felony or misdemeanor charges. No matter what the accusations, it is critical anyone facing these charges speak with Vista defense attorneys as soon as possible.
Prosecutors now can charge you with child abuse if you drive under the influence and have a child in the car. The DUI laws provide for mandatory 48 hours in jail if you are DUI and have a child under 14 in the car. You can also be charged with felony child endangerment if the child was likely to have suffered great bodily harm as a result of your intoxicated driving. A felony charge will require you to undergo a mandatory year-long parenting class.
Child abuse cases are extremely serious because aside from the potential penalties of fines and incarceration, you could also lose custody of your child. That is why it is so important that you contact a Vista defense lawyer immediately, so he can help you fight the charges every step of the way and help you maintain custody of your child.
While child abuse laws are intended to protect children from injury and harm, it is easy for people to misinterpret the signs of abuse. For example, if your child broke his or her arm and got a few bruises after falling from a tree he or she was climbing, a teacher or caretaker may report the injuries to the police, believing they were caused by abuse. Even if your son or daughter explains that the injuries were not caused by abuse, many people, even police officers, may not believe them because many children lie to protect their parents.
Even if you don’t think the accusations will turn into actual charges, it is always better to contact a Vista, CA criminal lawyer just in case things end up escalating.
If you have been accused of any form of child abuse or believe someone may suspect you of child abuse, please call Vista, California defense attorney Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free initial consultation.
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