In the parking lot of a grocery store, a mom was putting her children into the car when her daughter began yelling and having a fit. She did not want to get into her car seat and was resisting every calm attempt from her mother to get her buckled in. A few hours after getting her children properly buckled up and proceeding to drive them home, the mom hears a knock on her door. The police have arrived at the mothers house with a social worker. Another person in the parking lot heard the incident and called the police to report the mother for child abuse.
Unfortunately, it is very easy to get falsely accused of child abuse. False allegations of child abuse could come from a former spouse during a contentious divorce, a student who is mad at a teacher because he or she received a failing grade on an important test, or anyone who sees you interacting with your child.
These false allegations alone could be devastating. Depending on the circumstances, it could cause you to lose your job and potentially your children. The consequences could be even worse if you are convicted of the crime of child abuse. That is why the first thing you should do if you are falsely accused of child abuse is speak to an experienced child abuse attorney.
A lawyer may be able to help you by raising questions and presenting evidence that will effectively poke holes in the allegations against you. Heres how skilled child abuse lawyers attempt to prove false allegations of child abuse:
1. There were no injuries sustained by the child
In order for you to be convicted of child abuse under California Penal Code Section 273(d), the prosecution must prove that you willfully injured the child in a traumatic way. If there were no injuries sustained by the child, an experienced child abuse attorney will use this as evidence to prove that the defendant did not commit the crime of child abuse.
2. The injuries sustained by the child are unrelated to claims of child abuse
Many cases begin when a child is taken to the hospital for an injury that occurred by accident in the house. Doctors (as well as teachers, social workers and other professionals who work with children) are required to report potential child abuse if they see a bruise or suspect neglect of a child.
In these cases, an attorney will attempt to show that the injuries were not committed purposefully. This can be achieved through medical evidence and testimony of medical experts that the injuries were not caused by child abuse.
3. The defendant was using reasonable discipline
Parents have the right to use reasonable discipline when it comes to punishing their children. Reasonable discipline includes corporal punishment. Therefore, spanking either with your hand or using an object like a paddle is not considered child abuse in California when it is used as a means of discipline and it is not unreasonable or excessive.
Child abuse cases are very complex and applying the right defense to each case requires the expertise of an experienced child abuse lawyer. Consider contacting an attorney before speaking to police and social workers in order to protect yourself from false allegations of child abuse.