Scottsdale Child Abuse Lawyer

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Scottsdale Child Abuse Attorney

Child abuse charges can tear a family apart and lead to harsh criminal penalties. A child abuse charge could damage your reputation and affect your current and future employment. Anyone under investigation for child abuse should contact an experienced domestic violence attorney immediately.

A Scottsdale child abuse lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group can provide aggressive representation against the charges. A skilled legal professional from our firm can advise you throughout the entire investigation and challenge the prosecutor’s theories on every aspect of the case.

EXPLAINING CHILD ABUSE CHARGES

Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-3623 defines the crime of abuse. The law distinguishes between negligently putting a child in a dangerous situation, recklessly causing or permitting injury to a child, and intentionally harming a child. However, whether a person acted negligently, recklessly, or intentionally, child abuse is a felony. A well-practiced Scottsdale attorney could help an individual understand the various factors that go into child abuse charging decisions.

The severity of the charge depends on the alleged perpetrator’s state of mind and the impact the abuse had or could have had on the child. If the child did suffer or could have suffered severe injuries or death, an alleged perpetrator could face class 2 felony charges if they acted intentionally. If the child’s injury resulted from recklessness, the charge would be a class 3 felony. If criminal negligence allowed the injury to occur, the allegedly negligent person could face class 4 felony charges.

When the physical harm was unlikely to cause severe injury or death, the crime is a class 4 felony if the alleged perpetrator acted intentionally. If the acts were reckless, the crime is a class 5 felony. If the alleged perpetrator acted with criminal negligence, they could face class 6 felony charges.

DEFENSES TO A CHILD ABUSE CHARGE

Child abuse charges often rest on a flimsy foundation. Unless there were eyewitnesses to an act of child abuse, evidence is often circumstantial or dependent on testimony from people who could have an agenda.

For example, accusations of child abuse often occur when a separated couple is fighting for custody of their children. A parent might accuse the co-parent of abuse, or a child might accuse a parent—thinking it could help the other parent.

Whatever the situation, questioning the motives and credibility of accusers and witnesses can be an effective defense strategy.

If a child suffered injuries allegedly due to abuse, medical evidence is critical. Some childhood injuries are controversial and there is conflict in the medical community about whether certain injuries are always due to abuse. A seasoned child abuse lawyer in Scottsdale could challenge the assumptions of the prosecution’s medical experts and present medical evidence supporting a different explanation for the child’s injury.

POTENTIAL PENALTIES FOR CHILD ABUSE CONVICTIONS

Felony convictions carry significant penalties in the state, including potentially lengthy prison sentences. The sentencing scheme in Arizona depends on whether the offender has a prior history of felony convictions. In addition, each crime has a presumptive sentence, but a judge could deviate from the presumptive sentence if there were any aggravating or mitigating factors. A knowledgeable Scottsdale child abuse attorney could help a defendant understand the sentencing range applicable in their specific case.

For example, the presumptive sentence is five years for someone convicted of intentionally causing severe harm to a child, a class 2 felony. However, that sentence applies to someone with no prior felony convictions. The presumptive sentence goes up to nine years and three months for a person with one prior felony and 15 years, nine months for someone with two or more prior felony convictions.

If a first offender is convicted of negligently exposing a child to harm—a class 6 felony—the presumptive sentence is one year in prison, but mitigating factors could reduce it to four months. If aggravating factors are present, the sentence could be as long as two years. The presumptive sentence is one year and nine months if the offender has one prior felony conviction and three years and nine months if they have two or more convictions.

RELY ON A SCOTTSDALE CHILD ABUSE ATTORNEY FOR A VIGOROUS DEFENSE

Child abuse charges could wreak havoc on your family life, professional opportunities, and reputation in the community. If you are convicted, you could serve time in prison.

A Scottsdale child abuse lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group will use their skills to preserve your future. Call today to schedule a consultation with one of our former prosecutors, now dedicated criminal defense attorneys.

Schedule A Consultation With The Grand Canyon Attorney Who Can Help