Mesa Child Abuse Lawyer

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Mesa Child Abuse Attorney

The law defines child abuse as purposeful behavior that puts a minor’s physical or mental health or development at risk. The state has strict legislation in place that criminalizes any form of child abuse by any caregiver or adult in contact with the minor. Unfortunately, child abuse accusations are not uncommon in an ugly divorce or some other form of a domestic dispute.

If you are facing charges of child abuse, you need representation from an experienced domestic violence attorney to protect against severe repercussions. A Mesa child abuse lawyer at the Grand Canyon Law Group may be your best bet for mitigating the allegations against you and effectively defending your case.

In Arizona, child abuse commonly understood as actively causing harm to a child. However, a person could also face these charges for allowing a child to be put in a situation where they were at a high risk of being harmed. Those with diminished mental capacity, such as vulnerable adults or elderly people, also fall under similar statutes regarding abuse.

If you are under investigation or are facing child abuse charges in Mesa, you need strong legal representation as soon as possible. Some of the most important moments in a case happen during the investigation phase.

FORMS OF CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT

Child abuse and neglect charges could be brought for various alleged offenses. These include:

  • The physical abuse or injury of a minor
  • The sexual abuse of a child
  • The mental abuse of a minor
  • Abandonment of a minor
  • Neglecting to provide care for a child under the age of 18

It is important to tailor a defense strategy to the specific allegations of the case. Anyone accused of any form of child abuse should consult a well-practiced attorney at our Mesa office.

SEVERITY OF CHILD ABUSE CHARGES

There are multiple levels of severity regarding charges of abuse. The most serious charges involve intentionally causing harm to a child, or knowingly putting them in a scenario where they could expect to be harmed. This offense is a class two felony.

Another level of child abuse charges involves harming a child or putting a child at risk of harm due to recklessness, rather than intention. This constitutes a class three felony, which is still a high-level offense.

Finally, a class four felony involves actions that are far below the standard of reasonable care for a child. Negligence that puts a child’s health or well-being at risk is also considered a type of abuse. Our knowledgeable attorneys could further explain the levels of child abuse charges in Mesa, their accompanying penalties, and how to defend against them.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER CHILD ABUSE IS REPORTED?

A report of child abuse will typically begin two types of investigations. For one, there will likely be a criminal investigation to determine the credibility of the accusations. Additionally, the Department of Child Services (DCS) or Child Protective Services (CPS) will also conduct an investigation focused on the child’s well-being and their living situation. If they feel that there is any ongoing or current danger, they will remove the child from the home.

It can be difficult to correctly navigate these two ongoing investigations. Generally, seasoned criminal defense attorneys will advise people not to talk to police or law enforcement. However, even if remaining quiet is the best thing for a criminal case, the DCS may interpret certain scenarios as dangerous and remove the child without the proper context.

As such, it is crucial to work with legal counsel that understands both criminal defense and juvenile law. An attorney can communicate important information or guide you through the process to put you in the best position to keep your family together and minimize the damage or exposure to any potential future criminal charges. At the Grand Canyon Law Group, our lawyers have experience dealing with DCS and CPS, and we can help Mesa residents accused of child abuse to navigate both the DCS/CPS and criminal sides of their case.

EVIDENCE TO PROVE CHILD ABUSE IN MESA COURT

To remove a child from their home, the DCS only must have clear and convincing evidence of child abuse, rather than definitive proof. However, for any criminal charge, the prosecution must provide proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Physical markings on a child’s body often serve as evidence for these charges. However, there do not have to be markings for a person to be accused or convicted of child abuse in criminal court. The prosecution may also conduct a forensic interview with the child. However, this controversial tactic could result in inaccurate or false information given to the police or DCS workers.

In these cases, there is often a lack of objective evidence, such as accounts from third-party witnesses. Usually, only the alleged victim and the defendant know what occurred. As such, the state is typically willing to charge and move forward with limited evidence in these cases. However, there are many potential defenses that a skilled local attorney could use against child abuse charges.

PENALTIES FOR CHILD ABUSE IN MESA

A child abuse conviction on a one’s permanent record could lead to tremendous financial strain, loss of employment, and reputation damage. Additionally, these are serious criminal charges with harsh penalties—an accused person could be facing time in jail as well as steep fines and the loss of certain rights. Any person who faces charges of child abuse or neglect should take the accusations seriously and contact a nearby lawyer as soon as possible to begin building their defense.

The criminal justice system is complex and deals with countless laws and statutes that most people find hard to interpret. A Mesa child abuse arrest attorney at our firm is here to guide accused individuals through the legal process and provide trustworthy counsel during a stressful time.

Following a child abuse conviction, a person may face major restrictions on their freedom as well as various criminal consequences. These could include:

  • Prison
  • Probation
  • Mandatory classes and treatment
  • Fines and fees
  • Restriction from being with their family and/or children
  • Removal from their home

LONG-TERM CONSEQUENCES OF A CHILD ABUSE CONVICTION IN MESA

Beyond the immediate criminal penalties, a conviction for child abuse can impact a person’s life and future prospects in many ways. Having child abuse charges on one’s criminal record can have severe ramifications, such as:

  • Inability to find housing
  • Decreased employment opportunities
  • Inability to gain professional licensing for certain careers
  • Potential ban on firearm possession
  • Inability to be around children

Because the stakes are so high, accused individuals should work with our experienced local attorneys on a well-tailored strategy to avoid a child abuse conviction or mitigate the potential consequences and damage to their family and their life.

Allegations of child abuse are prosecuted harshly and can lead to steep penalties. They can be devastating to a person’s family and every other aspect of their life. There are many potential short-term and long-term consequences that accompany a conviction, and these charges can impact a person’s freedom, reputation, relationships, and way of life.

Additionally, child abuse accusations can lead to both criminal and civil investigations, which can be difficult to navigate simultaneously.

CRIMINAL AND CIVIL CONSEQUENCES OF CHILD ABUSE CHARGES

In some cases, there may be a civil lawsuit brought against an accused individual by the family of the alleged victim. This civil case could happen at the same time as a criminal investigation or trial. If a person is convicted for child abuse in a criminal case, this could serve as the basis for a successful civil lawsuit.

More commonly, though, the accused needs to work with DCS (Department of Child Services) or CPS (Child Protective Services), depending on the County to avoid the loss of contact with their children and other family. This is an incredibly complex area full of all kinds of dangers of creating evidence for the charges and can even lead to additional charges.

Accused Mesa residents who are navigating civil and criminal trials for child abuse should consult a knowledgeable attorney to explain the potential consequences of both cases.

CAN THE OUTCOME OF A CIVIL CASE AFFECT A CRIMINAL CASE FOR CHILD ABUSE?

If a person has been found civilly liable for child abuse or had the DCS or CPS allegations found to be “substantiated”, the prosecutor will consider this fact. In many of the cases our attorneys have handled, there are already findings of child abuse by the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) or Child Protective Services (CPS).

However, criminal trials require a higher standard of proof than civil cases—there can be no room for reasonable doubt. Even if a person is found civilly liable for child abuse in Mesa, a skilled lawyer could successfully defend them against criminal charges and more serious consequences.

It is critical to remember that everything you say throughout an investigation or trial for child abuse can affect the outcome of your case. If you say the wrong things, you are more likely to be charged and face serious penalties. The consequences of child abuse charges in Mesa are severe and should not be taken lightly.

CONSULT A SKILLED CHILD ABUSE ATTORNEY IN MESA FOR YOUR DEFENSE

Child abuse is a severe allegation with life-changing consequences. If the court of law does find you guilty, you will have a conviction on your permanent record that could affect you for years to come. When your liberty and way of life are at stake, you need the best possible representation from a Mesa child abuse lawyer.

If you face these charges, you should immediately contact a seasoned attorney at the Grand Canyon Law Group to go over your case. We are here to help you prepare for trial and advocate on your behalf at every step of the way, so call us today to set up a consultation.

Schedule A Consultation With The Grand Canyon Attorney Who Can Help