Leesburg Child Abuse Lawyer
A child abuse accusation can come from anywhere. If a mandated reporter has reason to suspect your child is being abused, that may be enough to get the law involved. A motivated domestic violence attorney could explain the charges and prepare you for the possible consequences. A Leesburg child abuse lawyer may be the advocate you need to reduce the charges you’re facing.
Definition of Child Abuse in Leesburg
Abuse of a child is defined as an act that involves violence, force, or threat which results in bodily injury or places them in a reasonable fear of bodily injury and which is committed by a family member. Specifically, the legal definition in the Virginia Code for family abuse includes any family or household member. It can also include forceful detention, or stalking, or any kind of criminal sexual assault.
A dedicated attorney could explain the definition of child abuse and use the facts of a case to prove that the defendant’s actions do not fall within the above categories.
Required Evidence for Child Abuse Charges in Leesburg
The evidence required to prove child abuse in criminal court will depend on the exact abuse being alleged. It is possible for child abuse to fit under the definition of family abuse or child neglect, which have several different categories.
It follows that the evidence needed to prove child abuse depends on the category of the charge. A child is typically abused or neglected when the people responsible for them are not providing proper care. A caregiver who inflicts injury, threatens injury, allows the use of drugs around the child, violates the child sexually or allows another person to do so, or abandons the child can be charged with abuse.
When a child is found to be abused or neglected, their parent or guardian will face charges. A well-versed lawyer could analyze the prosecution’s evidence to build a solid case against child abuse charges.
Long- and Short-Term Consequences for Child Abuse
Considering the consequences of child abuse charges and a conviction is scary for anyone. A knowledgeable Leesburg attorney could explain the short- and long-term consequences of child abuse charges.
Short-Term Consequences of Child Abuse Charges
Once child abuse charges are filed, the accused individual may be held without bond, depending on the type of abuse that’s alleged. In Virginia, there used to be a presumption against bond in cases alleging violence, meaning the magistrate or the judge reviewing bond conditions may still be tempted to assume the defendant is a danger to the community due to the charges alone.
It is very beneficial at this stage to work closely with an attorney who is experienced in the jurisdiction and who is able to convince the court that the typical initial assumptions are incorrect.
The court can set a wide range of restrictions if it does grant bond, including, in many cases, preventing the client from going back to their home address or having contact with any children. The defendant may also lose their access to the internet.
Long-Term Consequences of a Child Abuse Conviction
There are several severe long-term consequences of a child abuse conviction that are not necessarily present in other cases. For cases involving child abuse, there are often parallel findings from the Department of Child Protective Services that call for conditions of probation like preventing the convicted individual from having contact with any children whatsoever. This may even extend to their own children.
The implications for any civil case related to child abuse that the defendant is involved in would be dramatic as well. A competent lawyer could work to reduce the charges the accused is facing and attempt to negotiate more favorable probation terms. The outcome of a criminal child abuse case can be used as evidence in a civil claim for damages, so it is best to work closely with a defense attorney as early in the process as possible.
Contact a Leesburg Child Abuse Attorney Today
An accusation of child abuse is devastating no matter who you are. With the help of a Leesburg child abuse lawyer, you can maximize your chances of successfully fighting the charges brought against you. Reach out to work with us today.