Child abuse is defined as any action that causes a child to suffer physical or psychological harm. In addition to physical and verbal abuse, it can include neglect, a parent or caregiver’s failure to provide a child with adequate medical care, and actions that put a child at an unnecessary, unreasonable risk of harm.
When you are facing a child abuse charge, you have the right to defend your case. A child abuse conviction can come with steep fines and a long prison sentence. Even without a conviction, an accusation of abuse can permanently damage your relationship with your child and your social reputation. Below are a few potential defenses to a child abuse charge. Talk to your lawyer about the details of your case to determine which of these, if any, is the right defense strategy for you.
Your Child was Injured in an Accident
There are many scenarios that can result in a child’s injury. These include:
- Sports injuries;
- Falls; and
- Accidents involving bicycles and other objects.
Proof that your child was injured in an accident can include photographs of the accident and testimony from his or her pediatrician discussing the injury’s cause.
You Acted Within your Legal Rights as a Parent
Generally, you have the right to raise your children as you deem to be appropriate. This can mean using physical punishments within reason and choosing certain types of medical care over others. In certain circumstances, a parent can defend his or her case against a child abuse charge by citing his or her right to use physical discipline or make other parenting choices based on his or her personal or religious convictions.
Another Adult Harmed your Child
Your defense strategy could also involve demonstrating that although your child suffered abuse, you were not the party who abused him or her. This could involve pointing to the lack of evidence linking you to your child’s abuse or by making use of evidence that implicates another adult as the abuser.
The Charge is Based on a False Allegation
When there is a lack of proof to support the claim that your child is being abused, you cannot be found guilty of child abuse. Your legal defense strategy could hinge on demonstrating that you are facing a false allegation and that your child never suffered any type of abuse. Sometimes, parents make false allegations of child abuse against their former partners an effort to have the former partners’ parental rights terminated or their custodial time reduced.
Work with an Experienced Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney
Facing a child abuse charge can be the most painful experience you ever face as a parent. When you are in this position, it is necessary for you to remain calm and act in your own best interest. Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to start developing your legal defense strategy. Contact Michigan Defense Law today to schedule your initial legal consultation with our team.