Defending Your Case Against a Child Abuse Charge
As a parent, being accused of child abuse can be disheartening and terrifying. Not only can a child abuse charge potentially change or even end your relationship with your child, it can land you in jail and subject you to other criminal penalties.
Child abuse comes in many forms. Physical abuse, like shaken baby syndrome, is typically the most apparent in a child because it leaves bruises, scars, and other physical symptoms. Often, the presence of physical symptoms is used to support a child abuse claim.
Using Evidence to Prove That You Did Not Abuse Your Child
To be convicted of child abuse, the court must prove your guilt. You can demonstrate your innocence through the lack of evidence to support the claim that you are abusing your child and if harm, but not abuse, occurred, evidence that supports this counterclaim. For example, if your child was injured in an accident, you can show how he or she was injured with documentation from his or her pediatrician discussing the injury and through the accident report, if one exists. Other evidence can include testimonies from individuals who are familiar with your relationship with your child.
It is important to understand that in certain scenarios the court may see a child’s accident as an act of negligence on the parent’s part. With the evidence you provide to show that your child was injured in an accident, include any evidence that shows that your own negligence did not cause the accident.
Dealing with a False Accusation
Sometimes, accusations of child abuse come from parents looking to hurt their former partners’ reputations in order to have their parental rights terminated. If you are falsely accused of hurting your child, discuss the accusation with your lawyer. You might face an investigation from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). If you do, comply with all of the investigator’s requests to show that your child is safe with you.
No Matter What, Keep Your Emotions Separate From the Case
If your child is being abused by another adult in his or her life, your instinct might be to take your child and keep him or her from spending time with any other adults. But when a child abuse charge is pending against you, it is important that you keep your emotions in check in all interactions with law enforcement, the court, DCFS, and your former partner. Do not discuss the case with parties other than your lawyer.
Work with an Experienced Naperville Criminal Defense Lawyer
When you are facing a child abuse charge, you need to be proactive and start working with an experienced Naperville criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to preserve your name, your reputation, and your relationship with your child. With this type of case, family law and criminal law intersect. Contact our team at Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC today to schedule your initial consultation in our office to discuss your case and its defense.