New Haven Child Abuse Lawyer
When authorities investigate a report of child abuse or neglect, things can quickly escalate. Suddenly, you may be separated and alienated from your community and may be facing criminal charges. This situation can not only be stressful but life-changing as well.
If you face a child abuse allegation, an experienced New Haven child abuse lawyer could assist you before the court. Let an accomplished attorney aggressively represent your rights and advocate for you throughout the entire legal process.
Child Abuse Allegations
Under the Connecticut General Statutes § 46b-120, child abuse can occur in many situations, including when a child is:
- Physically injured
- Deprived of necessities
- Emotionally maltreated
- Cruelly punished
A child may allege the abuse themselves or it may be reported by a number of individuals who are mandated to report abuse, including medical professionals, social workers, and school employees. When a complaint is made, Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) will open an investigation into the alleged abuse. When an individual finds out that they are being investigated, they should reach out to a New Haven child abuse lawyer as soon as possible.
Actions Taken Following an Abuse Allegation
Abuse can take place in any situation where a child is being cared for. If a complaint submitted to the DCF is against a teacher, coach, daycare provider, or other temporary caretaker, the accused individual may first receive both verbal and written warnings to discontinue their behavior. If the behavior does not cease, the child may be removed from their care or supervision.
When there is a complaint of abuse against someone living in the same home as a child, the child may be immediately removed from the home and placed in protective custody for a period of up to 96 hours. The Commissioner of DCF decides on an emergency removal of a child from the home when they determine the child is at imminent risk of physical harm in their surroundings and removal is necessary to ensure their safety. This may occur when:
- The child suffers from a serious physical injury or illness
- The child faces immediate physical danger from their surroundings
At the end of the 96-hour hold, DCF must either return the child to the home, assist the family by voluntarily placing the child in a mutually acceptable place, or place the child in temporary custody if the parent or guardian refuses to place the child voluntarily.
Laws and Charges for Child Abuse
During or following a child abuse investigation by DCF, a teacher, coach, child care provider, parent or guardian, or other caretaker or supervisor could be charged with the offense of the risk of injury to a minor. The law prohibits an individual from placing a child under age 16 in a situation that endangers their health or impairs their morals.
A charge of child abuse could be as severe as a Class C felony, which could result in a term of imprisonment of up to 10 years and a $10,000 fine. A charged individual could also be placed on the DCF abuse registry. Therefore, it is essential for individuals facing charges to contact a child abuse attorney in New Haven.
Contact a New Haven Child Abuse Attorney
An allegation of child abuse can be frightening. An experienced New Haven child abuse lawyer who understands the system could provide you with the representation you need to resolve your case quickly.
By listening closely to your testimony and negotiating within the law, a local attorney could fight in your defense and help you keep your family, job, or community intact. Consult an attorney for assistance today.