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Maryland Child Abuse Penalties

If you are facing charges, an experienced defense attorney can help explain the Maryland child abuse penalties as well as build a proper defense. Having a lawyer by your side when dealing with this type of allegation is crucial, because the consequences of a conviction are severe and long lasting. It is important to make absolutely sure that all the facts of the case are heard and considered before a judgment is passed.

What Consequences to Expect When Charged

If someone is charged, they should anticipate that their bond is probably going to be significant. The court is going to set a relatively high bond, because, in the court’s eyes, they want to ensure that the community is protected from someone who is allegedly committing a child abuse. They also want to protect anyone else in the public or the community. Therefore, likely the accused is going to have a high bond.

Next, if they are released on bond, they are going to have many conditions to their pre-trial release. Those would include a no-contact order with the alleged victim and probably several adults. These are usually the adults that have spent time with that child; the defendant would not be able to be around them if it is alleged that they committed a child abuse on a family member.

A person could be charged and have many other collateral things that they have to deal with, like finding other housing. If they were living in a home with a child, they are going to have to find a different place to live.

Long Term Consequences of a Conviction

If a person has been convicted, the first thing that they should expect is that, based on what the facts were, is that they could serve several years in prison. It is one of those types of charges that typically the judge is going to hand down a very significant, stern sentence. In addition, once the incarceration is completed, they would need to be prepared to have a period of probation where they would be supervised.

Additionally, there would likely be a number of collateral consequences as far as employment. If they have any sort of employment that involves or takes them around children, they are not going to be able to continue to work there. If it is a family member, it is going to cause a huge risk and there is going to be a large segment of the family that will want to have no contact with the person.

If the defendant was in any sort of custody or divorce proceeding, the consequences of those would be significant. The likelihood of them being able to maintain custody or maintain visitation is not very likely, even if it is not involving their own child.

Effect on Ongoing Cases

If a defendant was also dealing with a civil case at the time of the charges and it involved custody and visitation, the fact that they were charged can have a serious impact on the outcome of that civil case. If they are convicted, the consequences will be even more definitive.

If the Department of Social Services gets involved in a case, their investigation can have serious effects, because they can make a determination that causes the allegation of child abuse to be sustained.

That conclusion by child protective services can be incredibly detrimental in a civil case. If someone is pursuing a custody and visitation case involving their own children and they are charged with or convicted of child abuse, the likelihood of their winning the civil case practically disappears.

Criminal Cases

In a criminal case, however, what can come in as evidence can be very limited and has to meet a certain threshold before it will be allowed as evidence. The fact that a civil court had made a ruling as far as custody and visitation typically is not going to be allowed as evidence in a criminal case. The only potential exception to that is when child protective services investigations meld into a criminal investigation in criminal case.

How an Attorney Can Help

The courts and the prosecution take these types of allegations extremely seriously, and the Maryland child abuse penalties can be severe. Because of this, if you find yourself facing charges, it is important to contact an established lawyer as soon as possible. Such an attorney will be able to guide and advise you through what is sure to be a trying process.

Any offense where it is alleged that a child has been hurt or neglected, the court is going to take very seriously. That is the sort of thing that a court is looking at a defendant as someone who either abused or neglected a child. Judges can be very harsh in these cases and can hand out some very harsh sentences, so it is good to be in contact with an attorney.

It is one of those situations where the person wants to be speaking with an attorney right away. This is because if Child Protective Services gets involved in a case like that, and majority of the time, they will, they can be very aggressive. They want to interview everyone right away, they will insist upon the child being presented for an interview, and it is important for somebody to have an attorney so that they understand what is actually required of them.