Allegations of child abuse can change a person’s life, even if he or she is never found guilty. People are often judged harshly when they are accused of abuse.
In addition to losing contact with their children, many face criminal charges. At Suzuki Law Offices, our Phoenix violent crimes lawyers defend people against charges of child abuse in Arizona.
Our child abuse defense lawyers in Phoenix are dedicated to achieving the best possible results for clients, offering the support and guidance they need during this difficult time.
Defining Child Abuse in Arizona
Under Arizona’s child abuse law, several different actions can be categorized as child abuse. According to Arizona Revised Statutes § 13.3623, a person can face child abuse charges if they cause a child to suffer physical injury, cause or permit a child to be injured while under their care, or cause or permit a child to be placed in a situation where their well-being is endangered.
A criminal defense lawyer in Phoenix can help you understand what your specific charges mean and help you explore your legal options.
Under the law, any of the following actions would be considered abuse:
Neglect or Abandonment
Child neglect charges can stem from knowingly neglecting or abandoning a child. Neglect also included failing to provide needed food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or supervision that results in harm to a child’s well-being.
It is also considered neglect to bring a child to an area where illegal drugs are manufactured.
This involves inflicting injury or allowing a child to be injured, such as striking, biting, or other means. This also includes failing to prevent harm when responsible for a child.
Child molestation, sexual conduct with a minor, or sexual exploitation falls under this category. It refers to any sexual activity or exposure involving a minor, including pornography and human trafficking.
Causing the unreasonable confinement of a child refers to detaining or imprisoning a child against their will through improper restraint, locking them in a room, or other coercive means.
Causing serious emotional damage to a child involves inflicting severe and persistent mental or psychological harm through abuse, threats, intimidation, or other traumatic treatment.
Accusations of child abuse can impact your reputation, your job, and can result in the involvement of Child Protective Services. If you’ve been accused, it’s important to contact a criminal defense attorney.
Your lawyer can begin building a strong defense to help minimize the potential penalties you may face.
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Is Child Abuse a Felony or Misdemeanor?
In Arizona, child abuse is a felony; however, the charges can range from a class 6 felony to a class 2 felony, depending on the case. For example, if the abuse is likely to produce injury or death, the defendant will face more serious charges.
When child abuse is likely to produce death or serious physical injury:
- If the abuse was intentional, the offense is a class 2 felony
- If the abuse was reckless, the offense is a class 3 felony
- If the abuse was criminally negligent, it’s is a class 4 felony
When child abuse is not likely to produce death or serious physical injury:
- If the abuse was intentional, the offense is a class 4 felony
- If the abuse was reckless, the offense is a class 5 felony
- If the abuse was criminally negligent, it’s a class 6 felony
Phoenix Child Abuse Defense Lawyer Near Me 602-682-5270
What Are The Penalties for Child Abuse?
- Class 6 felony –up to 1.5 years in prison and $750 to $150,000 in fines
- Class 5 felony –up to 2 years in prison and $750 to $150,000 in fines
- Class 4 felony –up to 3 years in prison and $750 to $150,000 in fines
- Class 3 felony –up to 7 years in prison and $750 to $150,000 in fines
- Class 2 felony –up to 10 years in prison and $750 to $150,000 in fines
Child abuse convictions carry severe penalties. If you have been accused of crimes against children, you need an aggressive defense attorney. Our child abuse defense attorneys can work to minimize your penalties and ensure your rights are protected.
Suzuki Law Offices Is Ready to Defend Your Rights
Before entering private practice, Attorney Richard Suzuki gained valuable experience working as a Deputy Maricopa County Attorney and Assistant U.S. Attorney.
His experience in federal court and his insights into prosecution tactics provide an invaluable advantage to clients facing serious felony charges such as child abuse.
If you have been arrested, our Phoenix child abuse defense lawyers are ready to protect your rights. Contact Suzuki Law Offices today to get started.
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Potential Defense to Child Abuse Accusations
The moment you are accused of child abuse or neglect, hire an attorney immediately. Your attorney can begin investigating the details surrounding your accusations and building a defense that can weaken the prosecution’s case.
Some potential defenses for child abuse charges can include:
- False accusations: False claims are not uncommon, as children can be easily manipulated when they are under stress or being pressured by another adult. For instance, during custody battles, a parent may manipulate a child to claim abuse in order to win custody.
- Injury due to other circumstances: It’s a fact that children can get hurt in activities such as playing or riding a bike. Unless the injuries stem from extreme negligence, then you are not likely to face criminal charges.
- Parental discipline: As a parent, you have the right to reasonably discipline your children as long as the discipline doesn’t result in bodily injuries.
- Religious exemption: In Arizona, there is a limited exemption for certain religious groups. If you fall under this category, you may be able to use this exemption as a defense.
Contact a Child Abuse Defense Law Firm In Phoenix Today
A conviction for child abuse can jeopardize your future and reputation, which is why it is crucial to have a strong, experienced attorney on your side from start to finish.
We understand that allegations of child abuse are profoundly serious, both legally and personally. We have successfully defended many clients against even the most challenging of charges. From the beginning, our focus has been building the strongest possible defense.
You can feel confident placing your interests in our capable hands. With Suzuki Law Offices in your corner, you will have formidable representation in navigating this process. Contact us today for a free consultation.