Denver Child Abuse Defense Attorney
Child Abuse Defense Denver
Some people see the phrase ‘child abuse’ and are immediately enraged at the thought. Many of those people wonder how you could possibly have a child abuse defense, but the facts of the matter are, things aren’t always what they seem. People have been wrongfully accused of committing child abuse for years. There are many circumstances that could present apparent signs of abuse while being completely unrelated to abuse altogether.
A wrongful conviction can jeopardize your ability to retain custody of your child(ren) and cause irreparable damage to your reputation. In order to formulate an effective child abuse defense in Denver, you need a child abuse defense attorney with experience in this field; someone who knows exactly what to look for to build your case.
The courts generally require the prosecution to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the defendant knowingly and willing harmed, or encouraged harm against the child in question. So what does this mean? This means that if you did not knowingly or willingly harm your child, you have a child abuse defense. Accidents do happen. Children fall, children get sick and sometimes injuries result from your actions as a parent (or guardian) although not intentionally.
Child abuse is often ‘discovered’ or suggested by physicians after treating a child for injuries. The problem with this is that it is not an exact science. Many doctors lean toward child abuse in situations where an injury is disproportionate to the explanation provided (although not implausible) of if the child’s symptoms cannot be medically explained – or are medically difficult to explain. In some cases, it is preferable for a doctor to cite child abuse than for them to admit they do not know what to make of a situation, injury or illness. Focusing on the medical professional testifying in the case is an important aspect of any good child abuse defense.
This being said, it’s important to acknowledge that child abuse does exist and in many cases medical practitioners are the ones to discover it – this does not, however, mean they are infallible. Another contributing factor to child abuse cases in Denver is that the statistics for confirmed cases are alarmingly high when compared to other States (approx. 9 in every 1000 as of 2011). Because of this, it is especially important to have a strong child abuse defense when facing charges in Denver.
Our child abuse defense lawyer at Albani Law understands how complicated a child abuse case can be, and all the factors that play a role in these cases – on both sides of the argument. It is important that you have qualified and experienced legal counsel to formulate you child abuse defense in these situations.
Common Child Injury Claims
Children are children and as parents we are very used to scrapes and bruises, and possibly even broken bones – depending on the age and activities of the child. But, as parents, we are also devastated by some of the more serious injuries our children suffer, particularly those that occur at times when we believed our children to be perfectly safe.
The playground is one area where many children get hurt. Sometimes it’s a simple cut but many times it’s much more than that. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that over 200,000 children under the age of 14 require medical treatment due to injuries sustained on playgrounds. These injuries often include broken bones, fractures, dislocations and head and eye traumas.
As we all know though, injuries can happen anywhere, not just on a playground. Sometimes an injury is no one’s fault, it is a simple accident, but other times there is someone at fault. Pets, daycares and other children can also be contributors to common child injury claims.
Is there anything you can do about it? Absolutely. Public playgrounds, roads, and parks are the responsibility of the property owner (municipality) to maintain. If they fall to disrepair and your child is injured because of it, you have a right to seek damages for your child’s injury due to the fact that the property has been neglected and as a result, injuries have occurred. Many common child injury claims stem from circumstances like these, but not all.
Common child injury claims often involve daycares. In a daycare a child can be easily injured if not supervised adequately. This can blow up into a much larger situation if an investigation of the daycare facility is warranted. Serious criminal charges may be laid against the facility, but as a parent you are still able to pursue a civil case to receive compensation if the injuries your child sustained resulted in medical bills, medication costs, loss of work, and prolonged pain and suffering for the child.
The tricky thing about common child injury claims are the insurers that often get involved. Most of the time when fault is apparent, insurers will want to settle outside of court. This helps them mitigate the cost of a trial that they foresee losing anyway. Don’t trust them. Any good attorney will tell you not to sign or accept any recompense from an insurance company without first discussing it with your lawyer. Insurers are looking to mitigate their costs as much as possible – this often means providing you with as little compensation as possible.
Although a check for a few thousand dollars may seem generous and tempting to jump at, an attorney will likely be able to negotiate much better compensation for common child injury claims made against organizations such as daycare facilities and cities. If your child does come home with an injury as a result of something beyond ‘a kid being a kid,’ investigate where it happened, how it happened and contact us here at Albani Law.
Felony Child Abuse
Felony child abuse carries with it serious prison time and a criminal record that will haunt you for the rest of your life. Since there are many classes of felonies possible, below is a quick reference guide to the felony ascribed to specific circumstances of child abuse.
- (I) When a person acts knowingly or recklessly and the child abuse results in death to the child, it is a class 2 felony.
- (II) When a person acts with criminal negligence and the child abuse results in death to the child, it is a class 3 felony.
- (III) When a person acts knowingly or recklessly and the child abuse results in serious bodily injury to the child, it is a class 3 felony.
- (IV) When a person acts with criminal negligence and the child abuse results in serious bodily injury to the child, it is a class 4 felony.
- (V) When a person acts knowingly or recklessly and the child abuse results in any injury other than serious bodily injury, it is a class 1 misdemeanor.
A felony offense is handled by the district court, and is punishable by a maximum penalty of incarceration, as outlined herein.
- Class 1 Felony: Life imprisonment or death
- Class 2 Felony: 4 – 48 years in prison and/or a fine of $5,000-$1,000,000
- Class 3 Felony: 2 – 24 years in prison and/or a fine of $3,000- $750,000
- Class 4 Felony: 1 – 12 years in prison and/or a fine of $2,000-$500,000
- Class 4 Felony (extraordinary risk crime): 1 – 16 years in prison and/or $2,000- $500,000.00 fine
Although there are several further levels of felony crime and punishment, the above serves to emulate the sort of punishment that can be expected to correspond to the previously mentioned varieties of felony child abuse.Felony child abuse can result from both direct and indirect behavior on behalf of the parent or guardian. This means that ‘intention’ does not always come into play. If a child is placed unreasonably into circumstances that threaten injury or health, it is considered child abuse. Although it is possible to have a strong defense for a felony child abuse case, it is a difficult case to fight.
There have been numerous situations where children are left unattended in a vehicle for a short time that result in child abuse charges. Due to the fact that the child is left unattended in an environment that poses risk (particularly for older children), it can be argued that despite intentions, the child was knowingly and willingly left in a dangerous situation. This argument carries even more weight when extreme weather is involved.
Regardless of the circumstances, felony child abuse is a charge you definitely don’t want on your record. Aside from the lengthy penalties for those convicted, it carries a weighty stigma that often affects defendants, even if proven innocent.
If you need a strong defense against felony child abuse, turn to the experts at Albani Law. We strongly
consider all the facts of your case and present the strongest possible defense.
Misdemeanor Child Abuse
Child abuse is a very broad topic that encompasses many things and can be applied to many different scenarios. Many people wonder how it is possible to have a ‘misdemeanor’ where child abuse is involved, but it happens – perhaps not as you may imagine.
One example of misdemeanor child abuse that will probably make sense to many is in cases of domestic violence. In this scenario, the child is not the victim of the violence, at least not directly. Police may decide to charge a parent or parents with misdemeanor child abuse if the parents themselves are violent with one another in the presence of the child, or frequently subject the child to a volatile home environment. These situations have a mental impact on a child, although they may be completely healthy, perfectly nourished and not have a single scratch on them.
Misdemeanor child abuse charges may also be laid in situations where parents leave drugs (both prescription and illegal) in plain sight and reach of children – or any tools associated with said drugs, such as needles. Producing drugs in a place where a child resides will also result in child abuse charges, although these are likely to be considered more than a misdemeanor. As with any law, ignorance of the law itself is no excuse for breaking it. Participating in an act that would be considered abusive cannot be defended on the notion that the accused was unaware that what they were doing was considered abusive. Neglecting a child by denying them proper nourishment, medical care, safe housing, education, or putting them in a situation where one or more of these things may be denied is considered abusive.
Many people confuse the definition of child abuse, as simply referencing physical harm. The truth is, however, that felony or misdemeanor child abuse can occur without a child coming to any actual physical harm. The potential of them being harmed is often enough to result in some form of charges.
For the most part, charges of misdemeanor child abuse are entirely situational. Depending on the nature of the abuse in question, a first-time offense could easily warrant felony charges, particularly if death is a result. There have been reported cases where children have been reared in unhygienic quarters, malnourished and not taught how to communicate verbally that still resulted in only misdemeanor charges being filed. In those reported cases however, the children in question were removed for the care of their parents.
Child abuse cases, whether felony or misdemeanor, typically result in the child being removed from the care of the individual charged with abuse, if they are convicted on the crime. There are perhaps no crimes taken as seriously or felt as deeply by those of the justice system, than those that involve children.