Allegations of child abuse can have serious consequences. These allegations can ruin a person’s reputation, as well as have a major impact on someone’s home life and their professional life. With so much at stake, the help of a Fairfax child abuse lawyer is vital.
A skilled defense attorney can look through all of the evidence and use the facts of the case to help build a solid defense. The lawyer can also work to mitigate the penalties that you may face, which is especially important considering that in Virginia, child abuse is a felony charge. If you have been charged with child abuse, reach out to an attorney who can fight for you.
Under Virginia law, child abuse is defined as when somebody who is responsible for a child under the age of 18 fails to act for the child’s care, or permits some type of serious injury or something. At that point, they are going to be guilty of a felony charge in Fairfax.
When somebody who is legally responsible for a child—be it a parent, some other type of guardian, or other type of person who is responsible for a child on a temporary basis—when the child is under the age of 18, if they either act or fail to act in order to provide care for the child’s health or otherwise allow some serious injury to the life or health of the child, that is illegal.
After an instance of child abuse is reported, depending on who it is reported to, Child Protection Services is going to get involved in the state of Virginia and they are going to step in. Then, on the criminal side, usually, some investigation will be done.
Some officers will come and check the place out, interview people, and maybe take pictures depending on what the allegations are. At that point, they will probably make an arrest for the felony charge of child abuse or child neglect. Occasionally, there are also law enforcement officers that may seem like they are on the defendant’s side, but are talking to the individual to get them to incriminate themselves. It is a criminal situation so it is very important that they explain what happened, to their Fairfax child abuse lawyer, but people should be wary otherwise.
There have been many cases where individuals have unknowingly incriminated themselves, which is why it is important for the individual and their lawyer to be on the lookout for any statement that an individual makes that can be potentially be used against them.
The immediate consequence of a child abuse charge in Fairfax could be an arrest. Child Protective Services might also remove the child from the parent or guardian’s care. Child abuse charges carry long-term consequences. Child abuse is a felony charge so an individual would have to face every consequence that comes with being a convicted felon. That includes jail time, loss of certain rights under Virginia law, the loss of the right to vote, being unable to bear arms, and, losing out on job opportunities.
Furthermore, there is the social stigma attached to being a convicted felon, which is something that a person would carry with them and that would permanently remain on their record, preventing them from pursuing different avenues in life, which is why retaining the services of a Fairfax child abuse lawyer is so important.
In addition to that, there are family life issues that could go along with this that a person has to talk with a family law attorney about, but certainly there is a potential for a person’s children in their care to not be in their care anymore and it could negatively affect things like marriage and the ability to have custody over the kids in part as a result of this conviction.
If somebody has a child abuse conviction against them, certainly it will make their petition much weaker for things like custody. It could be potentially problematic in a divorce settlement. It might cause issues with those types of aspects of the person’s life or in any adverse situations like especially custody of a person’s children that could be up for debate.
As far as civil proceedings, in the criminal context, any time an individual is in a legal proceeding, they are going to be put under oath. There are times in a divorce for example or some custody situation, the person is making statements, perhaps, about the way that they interact with their child and they are not thinking about the criminal consequences that go along with that.
Especially if one is talking about spanking, that is a common situation in the state of Virginia and it is problematic because they will talk about how they discipline their kids and may open themselves up because they are talking about this under oath. They do open themselves up for criminal punishment with the state.
Somebody who is accused of child abuse should contact a skilled Fairfax child abuse lawyer, as soon as possible for child neglect because it is a felony charge. A person is facing time in jail or in prison depending on the severity of the charge on the person’s record. Not only must the person face the possibility of jail time, they must also face the loss of their rights if they are convicted of a felony. The individual would lose their liberty, their right to vote, their right to carry or purchase weapons, and they will lose job opportunities.
A felony is something that follows a person forever. They cannot undo a felony once they are convicted, and so that is something that that is life-changing and they do not want to put that at risk by attempting to defend themselves or by not involving an attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer will have the legal know-how to help you navigate any legal obstacles that come up, as well as providing you with a defense. They can help mitigate the circumstances even if the evidence is strong against them. They can let the individual know what the best possible outcome is for them, and a determined attorney can fight for that outcome.