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What’s Going to Happen to Me If I’m Accused of Hurting Children?
August 20, 2014
Crimes involving children should be handled with care. Perhaps you’ve even been falsely accused of injuring a child. If so, you’re probably already aware of how difficult it can be to convince friends, coworkers and family members of your innocence. That’s just the way it is with a child injury case. Now it’s time to prepare a strong defense to prevent a criminal conviction.
Child Injury Accusations
A child injury conviction can ruin your reputation, family and future. The media is sure to portray you in a negative light, and your former supporters are nowhere to be found. Things can get tough, but it’s important to remember that the prosecution bears the responsibility of proving that a criminal defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. From a legal perspective, aggressively challenging the prosecution’s evidence and presenting new facts in the case can drastically alter the prospects of a criminal conviction.
Defenses for Injuring a Child
Although the unique facts and circumstances surrounding a child injury case will ultimately determine the design of an effective defense strategy, one of the following common defenses may prove useful:
Unfortunately, false allegations of child abuse are quite common. Nevertheless, an innocent criminal defendant can simply assert that they did not cause the injury as charged. False allegations of child abuse are often raised during divorce proceedings and custody disputes.
The injury may have resulted from an accident. The prosecution must prove that the defendant acted with recklessness or gross carelessness.
It may be possible to show that the child was injured due to some other circumstance such as a preexisting medical condition, neighborhood fight or sporting event.
Under certain circumstances, it may be possible to claim that the injury was the result of parental discipline. The discipline must be reasonable and may not cause bodily injury.
The practice of religious beliefs may be an allowable defense in a child injury case. There are instances when a court will allow a defendant to claim a religious exemption under the law. Failing to seek medical care in favor of prayer is one example.
Munchausen syndrome by proxy is a seldom used legal defense strategy. This defense is appropriate when a parent or caregiver creates or lies about child related illnesses to gain personal attention. This defense requires the development of a comprehensive psychological profile.
Child Injury Charges
If you have been charged with inflicting a child injury, you should never attempt to speak with your accuser. It’s best to allow the legal process to take its natural course. It is important that you take immediate possession of any and all evidence associated with the alleged incident, including physical objects, correspondence and computer records. You should also make a list of any evidence that is not in your possession but may be useful in the preparation of your defense. See how Brett A. Podolsky can help you by calling 713.227.0087.