A person accused of child abuse in Lancaster County, PA faces the possibility of years in prison and potentially high fines. When you face these charges, you need an experienced attorney by your side to fight for you. Sadly, many of these cases stem from false allegations due to a domestic dispute, rather than the truth.
To make sure your rights are protected, an experienced Lancaster County Child Abuse attorney is prepared to represent you in your defense and to protect your rights.
Child Abuse in Lancaster County, PA
There are several laws that may be considered "child abuse" under Pennsylvania law, including:
- Simple Assault - Penn. Con. Stat. Title 18 § 2701: A person 18 years or older can be charged with a first degree misdemeanor if he or she attempts to cause knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly bodily injury to a child under 12 years of age, does so negligently with a deadly weapon, or attempts to physically menace a child who is 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 happens to be 6 years of age, the crime is now a first-degree felony.
- 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 this offense if that person knowingly endangers the welfare of a child by violating a duty of protection, care, or support. A person can also commit this offense by interfering with the reporting of suspected child abuse. The crime is a first-degree misdemeanor or a third-degree felony depending on the facts of the case.
Penalties for Child Abuse in Pennsylvania
The penalties associated with different child abuse charges depend on the degree of the offense the person is convicted of:
- First-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to five years in prison and a maximum of $10,000 in fines
- Third-Degree Felony — Up to seven years in prison and a maximum of $15,000 in fines
- Second-Degree Felony — Up to 10 years in prison and a maximum of $25,000 in fines
- First-Degree Felony — Up to 20 years in prison and a maximum of $25,000 in fines
Child Abuse Defenses in Lancaster County
Every child abuse case is different. This means that a unique defense can be created just for you. Generally, some of the most common defenses in these types of cases include, but are not limited to:
- Reasonable parental discipline used
- False accusations of abuse
- Illegal collection of evidence
- Improper interview of the alleged victim
- Lack of evidence in the case
- Child's injuries were not result of abuse
Consult a Lancaster County Child Abuse Attorney
Attorney Joseph D. Lento is ready to fight for you. He is a passionate and skilled attorney who can put his years of experience at your disposal.
If you have been arrested and charged with child abuse in Pennsylvania, an experienced Lancaster 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.