Riverside Child Abuse and Child Endangerment Attorney
No parent or guardian wants to face child abuse accusations. Children are our most vulnerable citizens, and they deserve love and protection. However, these disputes can happen to the best parents and guardians. If such a claim happens to you, contact Graham Donath and the attorneys in our firm; we can help.
What Is Child Abuse and Endangerment?
Most of us like to think we have a good idea of what child abuse or endangerment is, but these charges cover more ground than most people understand. According to federal agencies, child abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, or any combination of these. Family violence or organized sexual violence may also be involved.
- Physical abuse involves physical harm and can include a number of injuries, ranging from cuts and bruises to broken bones, scratches, burns, black eyes, and concussions. Physical abuse sometimes results from discipline methods, such as using a belt, wooden spoon, or other implement as a spanking tool. Although many parents spank their kids, excessive spanking or spanking that leads to physical marks is considered abuse.
- Emotional or verbal abuse is not visible but can have side effects observable to friends, teachers, relatives, and others. This abuse can involve name-calling, constant criticism or belittling, shaming, frequent yelling or threats, and ignoring a child as punishment. Denying a child physical affection such as hugs or kisses could be emotional abuse, as could harming a parent, sibling, or pet in front of a child.
- Sexual abuse. This could involve raping a child, exposing a child to a private bodily area, fondling or touching a child’s private areas, or making other sexual overtures or suggestive comments.
- Psychological abuse. This occurs when the parent or caregiver abuses through intimidation or threats. It could include taking or destroying a child’s property, harming or threatening to harm a sibling, friend, or pet, denying a child food or drink, or locking the child in a room or closet. Threatening to do any of the above is also psychological abuse.
- Neglect. This involves ignoring the child and not providing for his or her basic needs. Neglected children may not have adequate food, water, or shelter and may have poor hygiene. Inadequately supervised children are also considered neglected.
Child endangerment is separate from child abuse; it is when a person engages in conduct that puts a child in imminent danger of death, bodily harm, or mental impairment. An example would be a parent who drives under the influence of alcohol with a child in the vehicle.
If you face child abuse or endangerment accusations, authorities may take your child or children from your home. This is part of an emergency attempt to get the child out of immediate danger. With a defense attorney’s help, you may be able to regain custody of your children. The court’s goal is family maintenance when and if possible. However, the penalties for child abuse or endangerment are severe and long lasting and can include:
- A ruined reputation
- A requirement to register as a lifetime sex offender
- Continual involvement with a social service agency
- Supervised visits with/limited access to the children
- Termination of parental rights
Sentencing can include probation and a prison term of up to five years. If you are guilty of severe abuse or endangerment, a longer incarceration may be part of your sentence.
Hire an Attorney Now
Graham Donath and the attorneys at his law offices have handled thousands of felony and misdemeanor cases, including child abuse disputes. Contact our law offices today for a consultation regarding your claim. Graham Donath is a highly skilled board-certified specialist in criminal defense law. We can handle your case with exceptional discretion.