Child Abuse Attorney Las Vegas - Criminal Defense
The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) is a federal law that requires the states to institute laws protecting children from child abuse and neglect. If you are being accused of child abuse, then it is critical that you seek legal advice immediately. When arrested or accused of child abuse in Las Vegas or Clark County, Nevada, a criminal defense attorney can explain and protect your rights in these cases.
Often hiring an attorney at the earliest stage of the case can prevent an unjust prosecution. Your attorney can provide exculpatory evidence to the investigating officers before they make a determination. Also in the early stages of the case, your attorney can contact the prosecutor to discuss the case before any filing decision has been made. Make sure all avenues of fighting the charges are available in your case.
Las Vegas Child Abuse Defense Attorney
Child abuse allegations can rip a family apart. Law enforcement officers who investigate claims of child abuse often make mistakes in distinguishing the genuine victims of child abuse from children with a false or exaggerated claim of being disciplined by an adult. The determination is made more difficult when a child has been coached by another adult to make the false or exaggerated claims.
Consequences of Child Abuse Allegations
Of course there is damage done to the victim of child abuse, the family unit and the general community at large, but there are also monetary and administrative costs in dealing with child abuse.
The cost of child abuse and neglect is staggering across the country. Between law enforcement costs, hospitalization costs, child welfare services system costs and mental health care system costs, over $155,000,000 is spent as a result of child abuse and neglect each year in the state of Nevada.
Child abuse is defined as “any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in:
- Serious physical harm;
- Serious emotional harm;
- Sexual abuse;
- Exploitation; or
Child Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse is defined as exploiting a child for sexual purposes. Sexual abuse of a child also includes inappropriate touching, fondling, intercourse and rape and sexual exploitation involves forcing a child to perform prostitution acts or be involved in child pornography.
There are many laws in Nevada that deal with the issue of child sexual abuse, lewdness with a minor, sexual assault on a minor, child pornography, etc. All these laws impose significant prison time if a person is convicted, most of them life sentences. In addition to those laws stated above, a person can be charged with child abuse and neglect.
Physical Abuse of a Child
Physical Abuse is defined as any non-accidental physical injury to a child. Examples of the causes of physical injury to a child include:
All of the above actions done to a child can be considered physical abuse.
*Spanking falls into a special category. It is possible for child abuse charges to result after a spanking especially if the spanking left bruises or marks. Parents do have the authority to discipline their children in the manner that they see fit. Generally spanking is allowable, but if authorities find that the spanking is excessive and unreasonable then child abuse charges may result. Some of the things that investigators may look at to determine whether a spanking is reasonable are:
- The child’s age
- The number of times the child was spanked
- The manner in which the spanking occurred (i.e.: with the hands, belt, switch, paddle etc)
- The history of child abuse and neglect charges brought against parents
- Parents’ criminal history or lack of criminal history
If you feel that the physical abuse charges are not accurate, then you need to retain a lawyer to defend you right away.
Child Neglect Definition
Child Neglect is defined as the deprivation of:
- Medical care
- Failure to educate the child as required by law
A parent’s failure to act to protect their child is considered child neglect and carries many of the same penalties as if the parent committed the physical act of abuse themselves. Many times a mother is charged with failing to stop a boyfriend or father from abusing her own children. It is important that you speak with an attorney immediately to know your rights and how to defend yourself against false accusations.
How a Child Abuse Lawyer Can Help
A criminal defense lawyer can help the parents defend themselves against baseless child abuse charges. A Las Vegas child abuse and neglect attorney can help a person arrested and charged with child abuse in one or more of the following ways:
- Dealing with law enforcement and prosecutors on your behalf
- Come into a case at any stage and prepare for the trial representation
- Make every effort to resolve your case without a trial through dismissal
- Find a way to have the charges reduced through plea bargaining
- Find any alternative to sentencing medium
The penalties for child abuse are severe. You can get a criminal record, incur fines, and lose custody of your children. The importance of obtaining legal counsel to defend you against child abuse allegations cannot be stated enough.
Child Abuse Reporting
If you suspect that your child is being abused or someone else’s child is a victim of abuse, there are a number of people and agencies you can contact:
- Local police stations
- Courts of law
- Children’s parents (unless the parents are the abusers)
- Local child abuse advocacy centers (see resources below)
It is vital for you to report child abuse especially if you realize that your child is being abused. Remember that Nevada law also holds people that knew about the child abuse and failed to act responsible for child abuse. A common case is in a domestic relationship where one parent or step-parent is abusing a child and the other parent does nothing. If you are in an abusive relationship, or your child is being abused in your current relationship, seek legal help immediately. Make sure you protect your legal rights and the health and safety of the children involved.
Child Abuse Resources
National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-4-A-CHILD
Nevada Department of Health and Human Services – The Nevada DHHS promotes the health and well-being of Nevadans and our visitors through the delivery and facilitation of essential services.
Division of Child and Family Services – Provides support and services to assist Nevada’s children and families in reaching their full human potential.
Nevada Child Protective Services – Nevada CPS is dedicated to ensuring the safety and permanency of children who are reported as being abused or neglected..
Las Vegas Children’s Advocacy Center – The CAC program provides a neutral, child-friendly setting for children where they can be interviewed about reports of child abuse, particularly sexual abuse, have forensic medical examinations and receive appropriate therapeutic services.
701 N Pecos Rd BLDG K.
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Child Abuse Hotline: (702) 399-0081
LMVPD Sexual Abuse Hotline: (702) 828-3421
National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center – The NCADRC is a non-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to preserving the rights of those falsely accused of child abuse through education.
Contact to Las Vegas Child Abuse Defense Attorney
Contact our offices for a free legal consultation on how to resolve your child abuse case. Joel Mann’s goal is to reduce the stress and pain that you and your family feel from being prosecuted for child abuse. Joel Mann is an experienced Las Vegas domestic violence lawyer who is committed to defending you against child abuse charges.