What Should I Do If I Am Accused of Causing Shaken Baby Syndrome?

St. Charles child abuse attorney Shaken Baby Syndrome

Being accused of causing an infant’s injury or death can be devastating. People may assume that just because a person was charged with a child-related offense, this means he or she actually committed the crime. Even if the accusation is unfounded, being accused of shaking a baby can result in life-changing consequences. You could endure years or even decades behind bars if convicted. If you are facing criminal charges because you allegedly caused an infant to suffer from Shaken Baby Syndrome, contact an experienced criminal law attorney to discuss your defense options.

Understanding Shaken Baby Syndrome

Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS), also called Shaken Impact Syndrome, refers to the damage caused when an infant or small child is violently shaken. It is estimated that between 1,200 and 1,400 incidences of Shaken Baby Syndrome occur in the United States every year. Babies who are shaken can suffer brain damage, internal bleeding, detached retina, and other severe injuries. These injuries often lead to the baby’s death or long-term disability. A doctor or medical examiner may conclude that Shaken Baby Syndrome caused an infant’s death or injury when the infant exhibits symptoms such as:

  • Brain swelling

  • Bleeding of the brain

  • Retinal hemorrhages

  • Concussion

  • Swelling of soft tissue that may indicate a skull fracture

  • Bruises on several areas of the body

When a baby is severely injured or dies, and he or she shows signs of Shaken Baby Syndrome, the baby’s parent or caretaker may be accused of causing the death or injury. However, medical professionals are not perfect, and they may reach false conclusions regarding the origin of an infant’s injuries.

Unreliable Evidence May Lead to False Accusations

In 2002, a daycare worker in Illinois was accused of shaking a 14-month-old so hard that the baby eventually died. The employee, a 31-year-old mother of two, claimed that the baby had suffered these injuries before arriving at the daycare facility. Nevertheless, she was eventually convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 20 years of incarceration for causing the baby’s death. After spending nearly 10 years in prison, evidence was uncovered that led to her conviction being reversed. She was released from prison and is now suing several parties for their roles in her wrongful conviction. A number of experts have questioned the science used to identify Shaken Baby Syndrome. Symptoms that are often seen as signs of Shaken Baby Syndrome may also be related to genetic disorders such as Osteogenesis Imperfecta, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and other medical conditions.

Contact a St. Charles Child Abuse Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been accused of causing a baby’s severe injury or death, contact the Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC right away. Our knowledgeable Illinois criminal defense attorneys understand how a false allegation of Shaken Baby Syndrome can destroy your personal and professional life. We will work diligently to prove your innocence while ensuring that your right to a fair trial is not violated. Call us today at 630-232-1780 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.