Child Abuse Attorney in Phoenix, Arizona
Children and vulnerable adults occupy a special place in the law. The legal system presumes that they do not have the mental capacity to care for themselves and make their own decisions. Therefore, they should be protected at all times. But when adults fail, the criminal courts can impose harsh penalties.
Arizona laws take cases involving dangerous crimes against children and vulnerable adults seriously. A conviction can cost you your career, relationships, and freedom. If you are being investigated for offenses associated with child or vulnerable adult abuse, you must seek legal advice from a credible Arizona criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Why Do I Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Arizona?
While children and vulnerable adults need care and companionship most, their parents, guardians, and caregivers fail to fulfill their roles or are sometimes negligent. Due to their weakened physical and mental state, children and vulnerable adults often find themselves the target of abuse. Irrespective of the situation, they deserve care, compassion, and protection.
Arizona law prohibits a person from harming a child or vulnerable adult under certain circumstances. If you have been suspected of or charged with child abuse or vulnerable adult abuse, seek legal advice from a reliable Phoenix criminal defense attorney to help you fight the charges.
At Snader Law Group, we are dedicated to achieving the best possible results for clients, offering the support and guidance they need during this difficult time. Our Arizona board-certified criminal defense attorney Howard Snader can provide the aggressive defense you need to protect your rights today. Contact us now and schedule an initial consultation.
Understanding Child Abuse Charges in Arizona
In the video, Phoenix Child Abuse Attorney Howard Snader talks about the very essence of child abuse charges and what types of felony charges perpetrators and accused victims are looking at.
What are the Different Types of Child Abuse and Vulnerable Adults Abuse?
There are many forms of child or vulnerable adult abuse offenses under the law. The severity of the crime depends on the nature or seriousness of the abuse and the intent of the person committing the abuse. A knowledgeable Phoenix child abuse or vulnerable adult abuse lawyer can help you understand the nature of these charges.
In Arizona, child abuse and the abuse of a vulnerable adult fall into two major categories based on the type of abuse and many other factors.
Category 1 Abuse
A person can be accused of child or vulnerable adult abuse when they have custody yet allow abuse to occur. It also happens when they allow the individual in their custody to be placed in a situation that places their life or health in danger. Category 1 abuse can be charged according to the following schedule of offenses:
- Class 2 Felony: This is when the child or vulnerable adult abuse occurred with full knowledge or intention. If the victim was 15 or younger at the time of the crime, this will fall under the Dangerous Crimes Against Children (DCAC) Statute.
- Class 3 Felony: This happens when the child or vulnerable adult abuse was done recklessly
- Class 4 Felony: This happens when the abuse of the child or vulnerable adult was not only done knowingly and intentionally but also with criminal negligence. This means the perpetrator has engaged in the abuse knowing it was abuse and consciously disregarded that fact.
Category 2 Abuse
Child abuse or vulnerable adult abuse cases involve situations in which the circumstances are not likely to produce death or serious physical injury. However, the child or vulnerable adult did suffer physical injury or abuse. Under Category 2 child or vulnerable adult abuse, the accused may be charged with the following felony class charges:
- Class 4 Felony: This is when the abusive act was done knowingly and/or intentionally
- Class 5 Felony: This is when the abuse of the child or vulnerable adult was done recklessly.
- Class 6 Felony: This is when the abusive act was done with criminal negligence, meaning that the alleged abuser failed to understand the substantial risk of harm that the abuse could result in.
What are the Penalties for Child Abuse or Vulnerable Adult Abuse in Arizona?
Child abuse and the abuse of a vulnerable adult are serious charges in Arizona. Depending on the circumstances of the dangerous crime, it can be anything between a class 2 felony and a class 6 felony. You need a top-ranking Phoenix, AZ criminal defense lawyer who can help you reduce the charges and avoid these harsh penalties.
Class 6 Felony
- First-time offense: 0.25 to 2 years in prison
- If you have 1 prior felony: 0.75 to 2.75 years
- If you have 2 prior felonies: 2.25 to 5.75 years
Class 5 Felony
- First-time offense: 0.5 to 2.5 years in prison
- If you have 1 prior felony: 1 to 3.75 years
- If you have 2 prior felonies: 3 to 7.5 years
Class 4 Felony
- First-time offense: 1 to 3.75 years in prison
- If you have 1 prior felony: 2.25 to 7.5 years
- If you have 2 prior felonies: 6 to 15 years
Class 3 Felony
- First-time offense: 2 to 8.75 years in prison
- If you have 1 prior felony: 3.25 to 16.25 years
- If you have 2 prior felonies: 7.5 to 25 years
Class 2 Felony
- First-time offense: 3 to 12.5 years jail time
- If you have 1 prior felony: 4.5 to 23 years
- If you have 2 prior felonies: 10.5 to 35 years
What are the Defenses for Child Abuse or Vulnerable Adult Abuse Charges in Arizona?
Although child abuse or vulnerable adult abuse is a serious charge that can be difficult to defend, you do have options to fight the charges against you. A skilled Phoenix child abuse or vulnerable adult abuse attorney can help increase the possibility of a reduction or dismissal of your criminal case.
Many possible defenses to child abuse or vulnerable adult abuse allegations exist, including:
Depending on the circumstances, a person may fabricate false accusations of child abuse or encourage the child to make a false statement. This often happens when one spouse tries to manipulate the system to get a favorable result in a family law case, child custody dispute, or divorce case. A credible Phoenix child abuse lawyer can help protect your rights against these false accusations. A criminal background check on the alleged victim can be helpful for this defense.
The Act Was Not “Negligent,” “Reckless,” or “Intentional”
The most important part of building any defense against child abuse in Arizona is establishing that any alleged abuse was not intentional. This will remove the possibility of the defendant facing the most severe penalties.
For instance, a parent cannot be expected to be next to their child 24 hours per day. Sometimes, children are playing, and they just accidentally injure themselves. In addition, an incident of elderly abuse may also arise due to a fall in which the victim sustained an injury. In these cases, the physical harm experienced by the victim may not have been prevented even with the utmost care.
Call Our Experienced Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer Now!
Child abuse or vulnerable adult abuse charges are very serious and must be handled accordingly. Considering these charges’ severity and potential penalties, having a seasoned Phoenix child abuse or vulnerable adult abuse lawyer from Snader Law Group on your side can make a difference.
Our criminal defense law firm will thoroughly review your case and build a strong defense against these grave charges. Our Arizona board-certified criminal attorney Howard Snader and his team will do everything in their power to fight the allegations that have been brought up against you. Protect your rights and schedule an initial consultation with our law office today.