Child abuse and child neglect are two of the most sensitive crimes an individual can be accused of committing. They’re very serious charges that carry serious criminal penalties. At Milwaukee criminal defense law firm Meyer Van Severen, S.C. we defend all crimes involving children.
Physical abuse of a child is a felony. Physical abuse of a child occurs when an individual intentionally causes at least great bodily harm to a child. There are different levels of physical abuse of a child based on the amount of harm done to the child. Child neglect is more passive. A child is considered neglected when the person responsible for the child’s welfare fails, for reasons other than poverty, to provide necessary care, food, clothing, medical or dental care, or shelter so as to seriously endanger the physical health of the child. Child neglect is a Class A misdemeanor (9 months jail, $10,000.00 fine) if no harm results to the child. If serious bodily harm, great bodily harm, or death are the result, child neglect is a felony.
Child abuse doesn’t need to be physical. It can be mental. Mental harm, just like physical harm, still carries with it a felony penalty. Mental harm means substantial harm to a child’s psychological or intellectual functioning evidenced by characteristics of a child that could include anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or outward aggressive behavior.
Often these cases involve hearsay, whether it’s from the child himself or another individual. Child neglect is an offense that’s often proven through circumstantial evidence or hearsay. Child abuse often is based on statements made by the child. If you’ve been accused of either of these crimes our advice will be: don’t talk to the cops, don’t talk to anybody else. Immediately hire a criminal defense attorney. And let that attorney prove your defense.
Crimes involving children are very serious and can be very complex matters. It’s important that you hire an experienced Milwaukee criminal defense attorney if you’ve been accused of committing either. Contact Meyer Van Severen, S.C. for a free consultation at 414-270-0202. Phones are answered 24/7.