Maryland Child Abuse Lawyer
Child abuse under Maryland law is the assault of any child, usually by an adult. Child abuse can be just minor contact, but is considered a very severe crime. It is a matter of interpretation and discretion in how and when a police officer or a prosecutor decides to charge a person.
If you are facing such a charge, it is important that you consult with an experienced Maryland abuse attorney as soon as possible. A knowledgeable child abuse attorney in Maryland can mount a defense to help lessen or dismiss any penalties you may be facing.
After a Report of Abuse
Usually, after an incident of child abuse is reported, detectives contact Child Protective Services (CPS). CPS begins their investigation by interviewing the child and adults involved in the child’s life. They often interview the person alleged to have committed the abuse as well. These kinds of investigations involve very detailed questions that could be used in court against the person.
A person should be very careful when they are questioned by Child Protective Services. They should ask a Maryland child abuse attorney to advise them before going into questioning to make sure that they do not volunteer information that could have consequences later.
The immediate criminal consequence of child abuse charges could be a period of significant incarceration. Child abuse is considered a felony offense in Maryland which means it is seen as one of the most serious types of criminal cases in the court system. A person could get incarceration and lengthy periods of probation with a conviction.
Long term consequences of a child abuse conviction could be a permanent criminal record that could influence many facets of a person’s life. Consequences could affect employment including potential visas needed to visit certain countries.
Perhaps the most significant impact a child abuse conviction might have is a person’s ability to have custody of their children. Child abuse charges could deem them inappropriate to have unsupervised contact with minors. To properly combat these charges, an individual should not hesitate before contacting a child abuse attorney in Maryland.
Impact on a Civil vs. a Court Case
Other civil cases can come from a child abuse case. One is a custody issue; whether a parent is considered fit to have custody of their child. If somebody is convicted of child abuse, that goes against them in a custody hearing in civil court.
They could be financially responsible for medical bills or pain and suffering that another party, perhaps the other parent, seeks to recover when the person is convicted of child abuse. The consequences to a civil case can be significant.
A civil case involving child abuse has less of an impact on a criminal case than when somebody is convicted of child abuse and then goes to court for a civil case.
Nonetheless, a finding in a civil situation could be used to persuade a prosecutor to move forward with the criminal case or to persuade a judge in sentencing, depending on the findings in a civil scenario. Testimony taken through a civil proceeding can be used in the criminal proceeding as well. Such a process can be effectively explained by a Maryland child abuse lawyer.
Benefit of a Lawyer
The most significant aspect of child abuse is that it is a complex felony charge. Prosecutors and police investigate the charges. Child Protective Services also conducts an investigation to determine a person’s fitness to be a parent and the person’s ability to care for the child.
If the individual does not take the situation seriously and contact a Maryland child abuse attorney as soon as possible, they could forfeit important rights. Further, they might give up an opportunity for their defense attorney to employ the most diligent strategies to present the strongest defense possible, if and when the case goes to court.