Child abuse allegations in Northampton County, PA can rob you of your freedoms, including time spent in prison and incredibly high fines. All too often, these accusations are false and come out of family or domestic disputes rather than actual instances of abuse.
To ensure your rights are protected, an experienced Northampton County Child Abuse attorney can create a defense uniquely tailored to the facts of your case, and protect your legal rights.
Child Abuse in Northampton County, PA
There are several different laws that are all considered "child abuse" under Pennsylvania law, including:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Penalties for Child Abuse in Pennsylvania
If convicted of child abuse in Pennsylvania, the potential penalties you face depends on the classification of the crime convicted. These penalties include the following:
- 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
Child Abuse Defenses in Northampton County
Although every case is different, there is always some type of defense that can be raised to the charges against you. There is always hope, and the right legal strategy could be all it takes to protect your rights. These defenses include, but are not limited to:
- False accusations against you
- The child's injuries were not result of abuse
- A parent's right to reasonably discipline the child
- Interview of the alleged victim was performed improperly
- Bias of the witnesses
- Lack of evidence against you
Consult a Northampton County Child Abuse Attorney
Attorney Joseph D. Lento will put his years of experience to work for you. No matter the circumstances of your case, a defense can be created to fit your unique legal needs.
If you have been arrested and charged with child abuse in Pennsylvania, an experienced Northampton 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.