Children occupy a special place in the law. Legal systems agree that children don’t have the mental capacity to care for themselves or make their own choices. When a parent, child caregiver or a guardian commits violence, sexual acts, exploitation or other damaging acts against a child, the state will punish these acts as child abuse. Child abuse covers the same conduct regardless of the state in which the abuse occurs. If you have been charged with this crime, Angel Bail Bonds is a great option for you.
These are the common types of child abuse
Child abuse laws criminalize physical attacks against children. Minor injuries such as bruises or more severe injuries such as broken bones or burns are all considered abusive.
Child abuse charges usually arise when a parent or caregiver attempts to discipline a child. Courts have established that acts of discipline should be taken up under the circumstances of the event and the parent should act in the best interests of the child. An adult can use reasonable actions to discipline their child, but unreasonable acts are usually considered abusive. Courts consider the reasonableness of discipline actions based on factors such as the age of the child, the severity of the effects and the potential harm the child suffered.
Accidental injury to a child is not considered abusive. On the other hand, accidents are not the same as careless or negligent actions that are covered under abuse laws. Leaving a child in a house to take care of himself can be an abusive act if the child is too young to take care of himself. Failing to provide regular medical attention, emotional support or adequate shelter will also count as abuse.
Many state laws consider emotional abuse and verbal threats as child abuse. In this situation, the child doesn’t need to suffer any physical harm for an act to be abusive. For example, a caregiver or a parent who constantly humiliate or terrorize a child have committed child abuse.
Sexual actions against a child are considered abusive because they are inhuman and children are not capable of granting consent.
Criminal penalties for child abuse offenses
Child abuse laws usually allow both misdemeanor and felony punishments for anyone convicted due to this crime. The difference between the two depends on the type of harm the child experiences.
- Fines: A conviction for child abuse can result in a substantial fine. State laws differ on the fines impose for a child abuse conviction, but fines of several hundred to several thousands of dollars are often common.
- Incarceration: A misdemeanor conviction may bring a few days, months or up to one year in jail. Felony convictions can usually result in sentences of ten years or more in prison.
- Probation: the court may give a probation sentences to a couple who exposed their children to domestic violence.
There is no doubt that child abuse is a serious charge. State laws on child abuse can be tough to apply in each situation, and this is why anyone facing child abuse charges must contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible. This video is an example of the several types of child abuse.