How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help if You Are Facing Child Abuse Charges
Child abuse is a serious crime in Maryland, and anyone accused of this crime could face severe consequences, including fines, prison time, and a permanent criminal record. Given the severe nature of the charges, it is essential to have an experienced criminal defense attorney to handle the case.
An experienced criminal defense attorney has a deep understanding of the criminal justice system and the legal procedures involved in Maryland's child abuse cases. They can provide legal guidance and support, ensuring that the defendant's rights are protected throughout the case. They can help their clients understand the charges against them and explain the potential consequences of the charges, including the possibility of being added to the state's child abuse registry.
Additionally, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help the defendant build a strong defense. They can investigate the evidence presented against the defendant and find any flaws or inconsistencies in the case. They can also identify and gather evidence that can support the defendant's case and provide testimony from witnesses or experts that may support the defendant's claims.
The attorney can also negotiate with the prosecution to reduce or dismiss the charges, if possible. In some cases, a plea bargain may be offered that can result in reduced charges or a lesser sentence. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help their client make an informed decision about whether to accept a plea bargain or go to trial.
What is Child Abuse in Maryland?
Maryland's criminal statutes related to child abuse are contained in Title 3, Subtitle 8 of the Maryland Criminal Law Code. Under Maryland law, child abuse is defined as any action taken by a person that results in the physical or mental harm or injury of a child under the age of 18, including sexual abuse or exploitation, neglect, or abandonment.
Maryland law recognizes several types of child abuse, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect. The following are the specific criminal statutes related to each type of child abuse in Maryland:
Physical Abuse Maryland Criminal Law Code § 3-601 states that any person who physically injures a child or places a child at risk of physical injury may be charged with child abuse. This includes hitting, kicking, burning, choking, or any other action that causes physical harm to a child. Depending on the severity of the injuries, the individual may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony offense.
Sexual Abuse Maryland Criminal Law Code § 3-602 states that any person who engages in sexual contact or sexual activity with a child under the age of 14 may be charged with child sexual abuse. This offense is considered a felony and carries severe penalties, including imprisonment for up to 25 years and fines of up to $25,000.
Emotional Abuse Maryland Criminal Law Code § 3-603 states that any person who engages in emotional abuse or mental injury of a child may be charged with child abuse. This includes actions such as verbal abuse, intimidation, or neglect that cause emotional distress or harm to a child. Depending on the severity of the emotional abuse, the individual may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony offense.
Neglect Maryland Criminal Law Code § 3-604 states that any person who fails to provide proper care or supervision to a child may be charged with child neglect. This includes failing to provide a child with adequate food, shelter, clothing, medical care, or education. Depending on the severity of the neglect, the individual may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony offense.
In Maryland, the penalties for child abuse vary depending on the severity of the offense and the individual's criminal history. Individuals convicted of child abuse may face fines, imprisonment, probation, or a combination of these penalties. As a collateral consequence, individuals convicted of child sexual abuse are almost always required to register as a sex offender, complete counseling or treatment programs, and any other condition that a judge may deem appropriate.
At the law offices of Craig M. Kadish and Associates, LLC. we have been representing individuals charged in child abuse and child sexual abuse cases for over 30 years. From homemakers to doctors, our practice has seen and defended every type of criminal matter involving children. If you or someone you know has been charged with child abuse or child sexual abuse, call our firm, we have decades of experience in defending and winning these cases.