Legal Defense Strategies When You Are Accused of Child Abuse
As a parent, one of the worst things you can face is an accusation of shaking your baby or other forms of child abuse. When you are accused of this type of offense, a lot is on the line, including substantial and possibly permanent changes to your parenting plan, potentially losing your parental rights to your child, and criminal penalties if you are convicted of child abuse. When you are facing this kind of accusation, it is best to be proactive and start working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to clear your name and ensure that you can keep your relationship with your child.
Get Legal Representation as Soon as Possible
Do not discuss the case with anybody without first securing legal representation, and do not take any legal action without working with your lawyer. Working with the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) can be complicated, so it is best to enlist an experienced lawyer to help you navigate its system.
Comply With All Court Orders
To protect your child, the court may temporarily remove him or her from your care. If this happens, follow the court’s orders. It can be painful and feel unfair to have your child removed based on an accusation, but refusing to cooperate with the court will only hurt your case.
Obtain Evidence to Prove that You Are Not an Abuser
How you defend your case depends on the circumstances surrounding it. Another adult might accuse you of child abuse in an effort to reduce your parenting time or by misunderstanding your discipline choices with your child. If you are merely accused of abusing your child, but your child has not actually been injured, your defense may include showing that there is a lack of evidence to support the charge.
If your child actually has been injured, your defense strategy may involve proving that you did not cause the injury by physically abusing your child. This might mean proving that your child was injured in an accident or because of a medical condition by providing copies of your child’s medical records and testimony from his or her pediatrician. Another important piece of evidence to support your case is testimony from a child psychologist who has spoken with your child about the alleged abuse.
The unfortunate reality is that sometimes, children do experience abuse at the hands of the adults who provide care for them. If this happens to your child, your defense strategy could mean proving that you were not the adult who inflicted the abuse. Ideally, the court will determine who abused your child, whether it was his or her other parent, a teacher, a relative, a babysitter, or someone else, but that is a separate case. Your case is focused on proving that you did not harm your child.
Work With an Experienced St. Charles Criminal Defense Attorney
When you are facing a child abuse charge, you need a solid legal defense strategy. Start developing that strategy today by scheduling an initial legal consultation with Donahue & Sowa. An experienced Naperville child abuse defense lawyer from our team will answer all of your questions and help you start developing a strong defense strategy. Call our office at 630-505-5200 to schedule your free consultation today.