If you’ve been charged with child abuse, you may find that the tide of public opinion has turned against you long before you’ve had the opportunity to defend yourself. But false allegations of child abuse are common and a Tampa child abuse lawyer can help in these cases. They may be used as a ruse by one parent in an attempt to gain full custody of the child in a contentious divorce. Reports of abuse may also be the result of cultural differences or strong difference of opinion on parenting style. For example, mothers have been accused of child abuse because of breastfeeding a toddler or preschool-age child in public. In other cases, parents who use spanking as a means of discipline have been accused of abuse, even though no actual injury resulted from the spanking, as have some parents who have chosen alternative medical treatments for their children.
Child abuse laws are aimed at protecting vulnerable children. Although these are often difficult cases to defend because of their emotional nature, you have the right to be presumed innocent unless proven guilty and the right to the best available defense. An experienced and committed criminal defense attorney in Tampa will work with you to find flaws in the prosecutor’s case and potentially spare you from the life-destroying consequences of a conviction.
Defenses to Allegations of Child Abuse
It has been estimated that between 2 and 10 percent of all child abuse allegations are false. When there is an ongoing child custody dispute, that figure may be as high as 55 percent, according to some estimates.
There are many ways in which a wrongful accusation of child abuse may occur. These are a few of the more common ones:
- The accusation is a false one, motivated by a divorce or custody battle.
- Abuse occurred, but it was at the hands of some other person.
- The injury was caused by an accident.
- The injury was caused by a medical condition, such as osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), also known as “brittle bone disease.”
- The alleged abuse was nothing more than reasonable discipline, within the parent’s right, as long as no real injury resulted beyond minor bruising.
Help for the Accused
If you’ve been wrongly accused of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of a child, you may be feeling frightened, humiliated, and alone. This is not a time to attempt to defend yourself, accept the services of an over-extended public defender, or delay making a decision about whether to hire a Tampa child abuse lawyer to defend you.
Child abuse is a serious charge. If convicted, you may go to jail, lose your family, and be subject to the scorn of society. If you’ve been convicted of sexual abuse of a child, you will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of your life, wherever you live. You will be restricted from living in certain areas and working at certain jobs. Your photo, charges, and address will become a matter of public record. The consequences of a conviction are dire. You need the best defense available.
If you live in the Tampa Bay area or anywhere in West Central Florida, you can get the help you need by calling the law offices of attorney William Hanlon. Will has more than 20 years of experience successfully defending Florida clients against criminal charges, including child abuse. He understands the frustration and fear that you are going through and is committed to providing you the best possible defense, in order to protect your family, your freedom, and your reputation. Don’t wait. If you’ve been accused, call Hanlon Law today.