Virginia Beach Child Abuse and Neglect Defense Attorney
Virginia Code (§ 18.2-371.1) deals with child abuse and neglect. If you are charged and convicted with crimes related to child abuse and neglect, you could be facing severe criminal penalties. Even after you have finished serving out your sentence, the consequences of a criminal conviction can follow you around for years to come, impacting your home life, professional career, and your personal reputation.
If you have been accused of child abuse and neglect in Virginia Beach, it is crucial to hire a skilled criminal defense lawyer to handle your case and represent you in court. An experienced Virginia Beach child abuse and neglect defense lawyer from Pincus Goodman, P.C., may be able to mitigate the possible penalties you could face by successfully getting your charges reduced or even thrown out. Child abuse is a felony in Virginia, so you will need a robust legal defense if you want to avoid fines, jail time, and other severe consequences.
Contact Pincus Goodman, P.C., today by calling (757) 301-9634 to schedule a confidential consultation.
What Constitutes Child Abuse?
In Virginia, child abuse occurs when someone who is charged with the care of a person under the age of 18 fails to provide proper care for the child (whether intentionally or unintentionally) or, due to purposeful misconduct or neglect, allows the child to become seriously injured. Serious injuries may include fractures, serious burns and cuts, disfigurement, bodily mutilation, life-threatening internal injuries, maiming, and forced consumption of hazardous substances.
Penalties for Child Abuse
In Virginia, child abuse can be charged as a Class 4 felony. Class 4 felonies are punishable by two to ten years in prison and a fine not exceeding $100,000. In addition to the court-imposed consequences of a felony conviction, individuals who are convicted of child abuse and neglect may deal with social stigma for years after serving their sentence. Having a criminal conviction can also make it challenging to apply for jobs, secure loans, and find housing.
A parent or guardian can be charged with a Class 6 felony for child neglect if their actions or failure to act to care for a child demonstrates an extreme disregard for the child’s safety and wellbeing. Although a Class 6 felony is a lesser charge than Class 4 felony child abuse, the penalties for a Class 6 felony conviction still include one to five years behind bars or (at the judge or jury’s discretion) up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
Defenses Against Child Abuse
Given the serious nature of the penalties for a child abuse conviction, you will need a reputable legal defense team to help you fight the charges. Some arguments that we have used to defend clients against child abuse charges in the past include:
- False allegations – Sometimes, allegations of child abuse turn out to be false. For instance, if someone else has been abusing your child, they may accuse you to avoid being charged with a crime.
- No injuries – If a child was not injured in a manner outlined by the law, then you can’t legally be convicted of child abuse.
- Lack of intent – If you can demonstrate that your child’s injuries were sustained in an accident or that you did not willfully neglect or injure them, your charges could be reduced or dismissed.
- Faith-based practices – You can’t be charged with child abuse or neglect in Virginia if you treat a child who is under your care through spiritual means (such as prayer), as long as you can demonstrate that you did so in good faith and in accordance with your religion’s beliefs.
Unfortunately, sometimes individuals who report child abuse or neglect don’t have the full story. At Pincus Goodman. P.C., our Virginia Beach criminal defense lawyers will discuss your possible defense strategies with you, gather evidence to support your argument, and aggressively fight back against the charges you are facing.
Contact a Virginia Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you have been accused of child abuse or neglect in Virginia Beach, contact the child abuse and neglect defense lawyers of Pincus Goodman, P.C., today for a case evaluation. You can reach us by phone at (757) 301-9634.