If you are accused of child abuse in Berks County, PA, you need an experienced attorney who is ready to fight for your rights. Child abuse allegations often come about because of a domestic dispute and are the result of false allegations against you. With the right legal defense, you can protect yourself and your freedom.
To get the help you need, an experienced Berks County Child Abuse attorney is ready to step in and represent you to help ensure your rights are protected to the fullest extent possible.
Child Abuse in Berks County, PA
Several different laws cover the offense of "child abuse" in Pennsylvania, including:
- Endangering Welfare of Children - Penn. Con. Stat. Title 18 § 4304: A parent, guardian, or person supervising the welfare a child under the age of 18 commits the offense if he or she knowingly endangers the welfare of the child by violating a duty of care, protection, or support. A person may also commit this offense by interfering with the making of a report of suspected child abuse. The crime is a first-degree misdemeanor or a third-degree felony depending on the facts of the case.
- Simple Assault - Penn. Con. Stat. Title 18 § 2701: A person who is 18 years or older may be charged with a first degree misdemeanor if he or she attempts to cause intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly bodily injury to a child under 12 years of age, negligently does so with a deadly weapon or attempts to physically menace a child under 12.
- Aggravated Assault - Penn. Con. Stat. Title 18 § 2702: The offense is a second-degree felony if a person over 18 attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes serious bodily injury to a child less than 13 years of age. If the child is under 6 years of age, the crime is a first-degree felony.
Penalties for Child Abuse in Pennsylvania
If convicted of child abuse, a person faces severe penalties. The penalties depend on the level of the offense, and are as follows:
- First-Degree Misdemeanor — Maximum sentence of five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
- Third-Degree Felony — Maximum sentence of seven years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines
- Second-Degree Felony — Maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines
- First-Degree Felony — Maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines
Defenses for Child Abuse in Berks County
Each case of alleged abuse of a child is different. There can always be specific defenses that are unique to an alleged offender's individual situation. Generally, some of the most common defenses in these types of cases include, but are not limited to:
- False accusations
- Child's injuries were not result of abuse
- Parental right to discipline
- Improper interviewing of the alleged victim
- Lack of evidence
Consult a Berks County Child Abuse Attorney
Attorney Joseph D. Lento is a passionate and skilled attorney who can put his years of experience to work for you. The Lento Law Firm believes in creating a uniquely tailored defense to fit your unique situation.
If you have been arrested and charged with child abuse in Pennsylvania, an experienced Berks County Child Abuse attorney will fight for your constitutional rights. Call (888) 535-3686 or contact us online today to schedule a consultation of your case.