It is illegal in the state of Arizona to physically, emotionally, or sexually abuse a minor. It is also against the law not to report knowledge of child abuse if you are certain a third party, such as a teacher or physician, committed abuse.
Our Scottsdale criminal defense lawyers can help if you’re fighting child abuse charges in Scottsdale, Arizona. Contact us to find out how we can improve your odds of a successful defense regardless of the circumstances of your case. Our compassionate Scottsdale child abuse attorneys want to assist you in any way we can during this trying time.
Upon the first reports of suspected child abuse, Arizona police will hand the case over to a special child abuse investigation team. The team might host interviews with the person reporting the crime, as well as with the child’s school and doctors. Investigators may also talk to the child involved in the case, with or without parents’ permission. You may find investigators at your door, asking questions and even searching and seizing evidence against you. Should the police find anything incriminating, you might face the loss of parental rights over your child and an official arrest.
It is up to Child Protective Services to determine whether or not it has enough evidence to prosecute the alleged abuser. The agency must look at all available evidence, decide if a criminal conviction is a realistic possibility, and determine if a prosecution is in the public interest. Unfortunately, the CPS doesn’t always prosecute the correct people. Some “witnesses” might allege child abuse when in reality abuse has not occurred, or intentionally bring false accusations as a way to procure child custody or control from another person.
Many possible defenses to child abuse allegations exist. The goal is to cast sufficient doubt upon the prosecutor’s case as to render the argument against you unlikely. You might be able to say that the accusations against you are false, that the child’s alleged “abuse” injuries are from an accident, or that your actions against your child were within the reasonable rights of a parent disciplining a child. If a person intentionally injures, insults, provokes or causes physical harm to a minor, they may also be guilty of an aggravated assault and they should talk to an assault attorney in Scottsdale.
Arizona criminal code Section 8-201 defines abuse as the “infliction or allowing of physical injury by the acts or omissions of someone who has the care, custody, and control of a child.” Impairment of bodily functions, disfigurement, and emotional damage also qualify as abuse. Any of the following harms to a child could constitute abuse if the parents or those in control of the child’s actions cause them:
Unreasonable confinement can also lead to child abuse charges, as can allowing a child to enter or live in a structure or vehicle that contains dangerous or toxic chemicals or equipment for the purpose of making dangerous drugs.
A “child” is anyone under the age of 18. Section 13-3620 of the A.R.S. describes the duty of certain third parties to report suspicions of child abuse or neglect to a peace officer, the Department of Child Safety, law enforcement, or social services agency. Failing to report abuse can get you into legal trouble even if you weren’t the perpetrator of the abuse.
Whether you’re innocent of the child abuse charges or you know the courts have enough evidence to convict you, contact our child abuse lawyers in Scottsdale for assistance. We’ll build a comprehensive legal strategy in your defense using all the information and resources at our disposal. Our team will make smart decisions on your behalf so you can focus on family and your future. Call (602) 237-5373 or get in touch with an attorney online for your free initial consultation today.