Omaha takes allegations of child abuse seriously. If the alleged abuse results in an injury to the child, a person may face life in prison. Therefore, it is important to work with an Omaha child abuse lawyer who can help protect your rights. An experienced domestic violence lawyer can advocate on your behalf and work towards the best possible outcome.
What is Child Abuse?
Child abuse may involve striking children, placing them in fear of being struck, or putting them in a situation where harm could occur. It could also include maliciously confining them or cruelly punishing them, depriving them of necessary food, clothing, shelter or care, and placing them in a situation where they witness domestic violence.
In other words, child abuse may occur in a domestic violence case if the children are present during the alleged domestic violence. It is defined as placing a child in a situation that endangers their life or physical or mental health. Child abuse could affect a person criminally in a case filled in juvenile court.
Juvenile court handles delinquency cases concerning minors and child neglect cases involving adults when they intervene to assist the family or rehabilitate the children after child abuse occurs. Child abuse has different aspects and consequences. An individual charged with child abuse should find an attorney who understands the juvenile and criminal courts and who can work to minimize the damage to their life.
When Alleged Abuse is Reported
When child abuse is reported to the police, they then conduct an investigation. If it is reported to the hotline in the Health and Human Services Child Protective Services Office, they might send a staff member in addition to the police to investigate a situation.
Issues of neglect or an anonymous complaint are handled by the services staff of the Health and Human Services Child Protective Services Office. An attorney can further explain what happens after child abuse is reported.
Criminal Consequences in Omaha
The criminal consequences of child abuse depend on the severity of the offense. If, for example, the offense is committed negligently and does not result in serious bodily, it is considered placing a child in a situation that is dangerous to their life or physical health. This is a Class I misdemeanor in most cases. The charges could be more severe depending on the injury to the child or the severity of the potential injury.
The penalties may also increase quickly when child abuse is committed knowingly. If it is intentional, there may be a felony charge even if the child abuse did not result in serious bodily injury. When child abuse results in serious bodily injury, even if it is committed negligently, it is a Class A felony.
The penalties increase from there. For example, if a person acted negligently and their child is killed, they could be charged with a Class IIA felony with severe penalties and carries up to 20 years in prison. When one knowingly causes serious bodily injury, it is a Class II felony with penalties up to 50 years in prison. Child abuse that is committed intentionally and results in a death is a Class IB felony with a sentence of 20 years to life in prison. Finally, a child abuse accusation increases the risk in a criminal case of domestic violence because it can double the penalties.
Effects on a Person’s Career
A child abuse conviction can have an effect on one’s employment depending on their profession. For example, if someone is a schoolteacher, provides daycare, or works in the health care industry, child abuse convictions have a lasting impact. The person could be placed on a child abuse neglect registry and be excluded from working with children. An attorney can further explain the specific penalties.
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The Effect on Civil Cases
A criminal case could affect a civil case as the person could be taken back to court if there is a divorce or a custody agreement. If there is a conviction or accusation, the other parent may be able to change child support, custody, and visitation.
The person may also be sued civilly for damages caused by an assault. It is important to talk to a knowledgeable attorney who can help them avoid negative repercussions.
An Omaha Child Abuse Attorney Can Fight Back
An individual accused of abusing a child should contact an Omaha child abuse lawyer because it is important to act quickly to minimize the damage. The person needs to informed of all their rights early to ensure they are not taken advantage of by law enforcement officers or health and human services workers.
They want an experienced lawyer on their side who understands the terrain and is able to push back against the powers of the state or government. For the help you need, call Berry Law today for a confidential consultation.