If you’ve been charged with child abuse, then you likely realize that you’re facing some serious time in jail if you’re convicted. You may be wondering what types of specific offenses can be considered child abuse. Abandonment, neglect, emotional or physical harm, sexual abuse and endangerment all fall under the umbrella of child abuse. Many cases are reported to police by mandated reporters.
In North Carolina, individuals who work as teachers, day care or social workers, therapists, nurses, pastors and doctors are all mandated reporters. They’re required to report any cases of suspected child abuse to the appropriate authorities.
Child protective services agencies are often the recipients of these hotline calls. Their social workers perform risk assessments right away after being contacted.
If they determine that a child is at risk of being hurt or killed, then they may remove them from their home. If they do, then they’ll likely be placed into foster care until they that determine that their residence is safe once again. A parent’s rights may be terminated resulting in a child being placed for adoption in some of the most serious cases.
If a social worker determines that child abuse was intentional, then they’ll generally refer the case to police to make an arrest.
There are many different defense strategies that defendants can pursue when they’re facing child abuse charges. They often argue that the injury that their child suffered was accidental or that they acted within their right as a parent in disciplining their child.
If you’ve been charged with a crime as serious of an offense as child abuse, an experienced criminal defense attorney to present your case and protect your rights.