DC Child Abuse Penalties 

DC child abuse penalties can carry serious charges. In the event that a person faces DC child abuse penalties, it is beneficial to have the advice and counsel of a qualified attorney who can help a person understand the consequences of these prosecutions. A lawyer can assist through procedures of criminal charges of cruelty to children. Make sure that you are equipped with the right knowledge about DC child abuse law by contacting an experienced domestic violence lawyer.

Child Abuse Criminal Consequences

Criminal charges of cruelty to children can be extremely serious. In the immediate term, first-degree cruelty to children carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, a maximum fine of $10,000, or both. Second-degree cruelty to children carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. There is also the possibility of the prosecutor charging a person with a misdemeanor offense of attempted second-degree cruelty to children, which carries a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail. DC child abuse penalties are severe.

No matter what the charge is, DC child abuse penalties carry the possibility of serious prison time, jail time, probationary periods, fines, and other requirements imposed by the courts. They can also affect a person’s ability to maintain custody of their children. There is even the possibility of not being able to see their children at all. These are the collateral consequences for individuals facing cruelty to children prosecutions, which may occur even after they completed their sentence as part of the criminal case. Custody matters can have a long-term impact on a person’s ability to maintain contact with their child.

Impact of Abuse on Criminal and Civil Cases

In some situations, there may be criminal charges of cruelty to children that are pending at the same time as civil or domestic relations court cases. One can potentially have an effect on the other. As an example, there is a custody dispute where litigation is pending on the level of custody the parents will have, and the level of contact each will have with the child. If there is an allegation against one of the parents by a child that the parent engaged in criminally abusive conduct, the outcome of the criminal charge can have a serious impact on that parent’s ability to maintain their level of custody or level of contact with the child.

When the child makes an allegation that their father engaged in abusive conduct or neglect towards the child and the father is found guilty of that offense, the judge in the child custody domestic relations matter could decide that that parent is not fit to have any contact with the child. The judge could award full custody to the mother and deny the father visitation if the abusive conduct is deemed to be serious enough.

Defining Undue Influence

The same can happen in the reverse where a custody matter is pending and one of the children makes an accusation of cruelty or abuse against a parent and a criminal charge is initiated. One topic that must be explored and investigated is whether the other parent had any undue influence over the child and encouraged the child to make allegations against the parent to gain an advantage in a custody case.

These are not uncommon situations. It is essential that a child abuse lawyer representing a person accused of abuse or neglect of their child explores the possibility that the other parent had an undue influence and played a manipulating role in encouraging allegations to gain an advantage in the pending custody battle. There are many ways in which one parent can have an impact on allegations made against another parent and many motivations for doing so.

Hiring a Lawyer

DC child abuse penalties can affect or impact the way your family navigates their future, especially if the parents’ divorce status is pending. Anyone accused of violence towards their kids should speak with an attorney immediately about how to protect their rights during this time. Abuse accusations are tough on all members of the family and a lawyer can help you and you manage these charges while you fight the potential reputation from these charges.