Child abuse allegations can often arise from misunderstandings or malicious intentions. Whether a concerned neighbor exaggerated a claim or an ex-spouse is manipulating the situation during a custody battle, a charge of abusing a minor carries a heavy stigma that can make it difficult to receive fair treatment from the legal system.
An experienced attorney can help ensure that you are truly assumed innocent unless proven guilty. You have a long battle ahead of you with serious consequences on the line, and it is imperative that you have a skilled lawyer at your back.
West Chester Child Abuse Lawyer
At Ciccarelli Law Offices, we have represented dozens of clients in situations just like yours. We know that you have an uphill battle to face and we can take on the challenge for you. A proactive approach and determination are key in fighting these accusations, and we are dedicated to building your defense with both of these qualities. We are proud to take on cases in West Chester, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Malvern, King of Prussia, and surrounding areas of Chester County.
Call us today at (610) 692-8700 to schedule your free consultation with our legal team. We can give you an honest assessment of your situation and begin building a unique defense strategy for your case. Time is important when gathering evidence to defend you, so don’t hesitate to take the first steps in protecting your future.
Child Endangerment Defined by Pennsylvania Law
Pennsylvania law defines endangering the welfare of a child, more commonly referred to as child abuse, in 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 4304(a). Subsection one of the statute outlines that a parent or other supervising guardian of a child can face charges if they knowingly endanger the welfare of a child by failing to protect the child or fulfill a duty of care. In order for an individual to be convicted of endangering a child, the prosecution must establish that:
- A duty of care, protection, or support was violated
- The child was knowingly endangered
- The child was in the defendant’s care
- The child was under 18 years old at the time
An individual convicted of endangering a child faces penalties that vary depending on the harm inflicted to the child. As a minimum, a person faces the possibility of a first degree misdemeanor, which carries up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Obligation to Report Child Abuse in Pennsylvania
The second subsection of 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 4304(a) states that a person may be charged if they prevent or interfere with reporting an instance of child abuse while in an official capacity.
Those that are responsible for reporting the abuse of a child under subsection two includes a range of professionals, such as:
- School counselors
- Day care workers
- Medical staff, including nurses and doctors
- Medical examiners and coroners
- Social Services workers
After a suspicion of abuse is reported, the Children and Youth Services of Pennsylvania must respond and investigate the incident. Because they are zealous in their efforts to protect children, they can sometimes trample the rights of the accused in order to gather “evidence” of the alleged abuse. A lawyer can ensure that your rights are protected through each stage of the process before you.
Chester County Child Endangerment Attorney
If you have been accused of child abuse in Chester County, you face serious consequences. Apart from jail time and fines, this offense carries other consequences, such as removing our right to bear arms and other privileges. I t also carries a heavy social stigma that can greatly influence your future. To avoid these situations, you need an attorney who is familiar with the process ahead of you. Call Ciccarelli Law Offices today at (610) 692-8700 to enlist the aid of an attorney who is not afraid to aggressively fight to defend your future.