If you have been charged with child abuse in Lehigh County, PA, your rights are at risk. You face the potential of years in prison and very high fines. No matter your circumstances, you have the right to an experienced defense attorney who can present a defense on your behalf.
With the help of an experienced Lehigh County Child Abuse attorney, you can develop a unique defense specific to your case. You do not have to handle this difficult time alone.
Child Abuse in Lehigh County, PA
There are a variety of different laws that fit within the umbrella of "child abuse" crimes in Pennsylvania, including:
- Endangering Welfare of Children - Penn. Con. Stat. Title 18 § 4304: A person, parent, or guardian who supervises the welfare a child below 18 years of age commits this offense if he or she knowingly endangers the welfare of a child by violating a duty of support, protection, or care. A person is also able to commit this offense through interference with the making of a report of suspected child abuse. The crime can be either a first-degree misdemeanor or a third-degree felony depending on the circumstances 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 offense if that person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly attempts to cause 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 the age of 12.
- Aggravated Assault - Penn. Con. Stat. Title 18 § 2702: This offense is a second-degree felony if a person over the age of 18 intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly attempts to cause or causes serious bodily injury to a child under the age of 13. If the child is under 6 years of age, the crime is a first-degree felony.
Child Abuse Penalties in Pennsylvania
Penalties for child abuse can be incredibly severe, depending on the classification of the crime at issue. These penalties include:
- First-Degree Misdemeanor — Maximum sentence of up to five years in prison and max of $10,000 in fines
- Third-Degree Felony — Maximum sentence of up to seven years in prison and max of $15,000 in fines
- Second-Degree Felony — Maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison and max of $25,000 in fines
- First-Degree Felony — Maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison and max of $25,000 in fines
Defenses for Child Abuse in Lehigh County
A defense to the charges against you can be developed with the help of your defense attorney. The defense can be unique to your individual case, including, but not limited to:
- False accusations against you
- The child's injuries were not the result of abuse
- Improper interviewing of the alleged victim
- Lack of evidence
- Illegally collected evidence
- Parental right to discipline
Consult a Lehigh County Child Abuse Attorney
Attorney Joseph D. Lento has the knowledge and years of experience necessary to protect you from overzealous prosecutors and to protect your freedoms. The Lento Law Firm works passionately to defend your case.
If you have been arrested and charged with child abuse in Pennsylvania, an experienced Lehigh 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.