Being Falsely Accused
False allegations of child abuse actually happen quite frequently. They are more common whenever children are involved in a custody dispute between the mother and father. In order to uncover false accusations, the testimony of all witnesses should be examined very closely to uncover ulterior motives that may not be obvious on the surface.
In Texas, parents are authorized to discipline their children in any way they see fit, so long as it is “reasonable” and does not result in injury, to include normal spanking. In many cases, spanking that result in minor bruising will not be considered a serious injury, which means that disciplinary action can sometimes be used as a defense against child abuse accusations.
An Accident Occurred
Parents are generally not at fault for accidents, unless the incident was the result of negligence. According to the Texas Penal Code, Scrapes, cuts and even broken bones that occur as a result of normal play are not considered child abuse unless the parent failed to provide proper supervision. The amount of supervision required will depend upon the child’s age, activity and circumstances.
If the child has a medical condition that contributes to injuries, this condition could be used as a defense against child abuse charges. For example, if the child has difficulty walking due to a disability, and that disability causes him to fall, the parent or caregiver would not be liable for any injuries.
Although child abuse charges are difficult to deal with, that doesn’t mean that affirmative defenses are not available. Those who are being falsely accused of abusing a child should know their legal rights.
If you have been accused of child abuse, you can seek legal counsel with Brett A. Podolsky by calling 713-227-0087.