Delaware County Child Abuse Attorney

In Delaware County, Children and Youth Services (CYS) is the local child protection agency. They are responsible for responding to reports of suspected child abuse or neglect. They are advised by a Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC). In 2017 in Delaware County, there were approximately 290 petitions received for protection from juvenile abuse or neglect. The chart below illustrates the continual rise in the number of such reports for all of Pennsylvania.

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

26,944

29,273

40,590

44,359

47,485

What Constitutes Child Abuse and Neglect?

In recent years, the definition of child abuse has been amended within the provisions of the Child Protective Services Laws (CPSL). It may involve an action or inaction that is committed “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly” that causes harm to someone under the age of 18. Child abuse may occur when someone's action or inaction creates bodily injury. This may include an impaired physical condition or significant pain. In addition to physical harm, child abuse may result in a severe mental injury, sexual-based abuse, or exploitation.

Examples of child neglect may include a failure to supervise a child for an extended period of time. It may involve a pattern of not supervising a child that is repeated or otherwise places the child in imminent danger or risk. Neglect may also include failing to seek needed medical treatment for a child.

Mandatory Reporting Requirements

Certain individuals employed in specific roles or settings are required to report any suspected evidence of child abuse or neglect that they encounter. This includes those involved in providing medical care, such as physicians, nurses, mental health professionals, and more.

Those working in law enforcement or other agencies of government such as social services are included. This applies to people who routinely have exposure to children such as those who work in a day care center, school teachers and administrators, and others.

Endangering Welfare of Children (§ 4304)

This offense may be committed by a parent, guardian, or another responsible party with a duty to care for someone under the age of 18. This occurs when the individual acts in a manner that knowingly places the child in danger by failing to care, protect, or support them. This charge is also appropriate when one of those individuals who is mandated to report suspected abuse fails to do so. Based on the specific circumstances, the charges may be a misdemeanor of the first degree or a felony of the second or third degree.

Simple or Aggravated Assault

In this context, simple assault is defined as knowingly causing bodily injury or attempting to create “fear of imminent serious bodily injury” to a child under the age of 12. This is a misdemeanor offense of the first degree. Aggravated assault (§ 2702) is a more severe charge than simple assault because it involves resulting bodily injury and “extreme indifference to the value of human life.” Based on the age of the alleged child (victim), the charge may be a felony of either the first or second degree.

Selecting a Defense Attorney

Offenses related to child abuse may vary from misdemeanor charges to a felony of the first degree. Those who are facing these allegations must be sure that they seek legal representation from an attorney who regularly works in this area of practice.

Delaware County Criminal Defense Attorney

Joseph D. Lento is an attorney that fully understands what it takes to defend cases involving serious criminal charges, such as those associated with a form of child abuse. He has been practicing in the Delaware County court system for years. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 to discuss your case.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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