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What should I know about child abuse charges?

Accusations of child abuse can tear a family apart. On top of the children being removed from the household of the person accused of the abuse, the person can also face criminal charges. There are several different ways that child abuse can be reported to the authorities. In some cases, mandatory reporting might be involved.

What are the elements that must be present in child abuse cases?

There are three elements that must be present in child abuse cases. The first is that the victim of the alleged abuse must be a minor under the age of 18 years old. The second is that the alleged abuser must be responsible for the child's care, which can mean the person is a parent or a caregiver. The third is that the abuse must result in serious harm or imminent risk to the welfare or health of the child.

What types of actions can be considered child abuse?

Child abuse comes in many forms. These can include emotional abuse, physical abuse or sexual abuse. In some cases, child abuse can occur simply through threats. This means that even if there isn't any actual abuse, the threat of harm to a child can lead to child abuse charges.

There are several different defense strategy components that you can consider for your case. The right to discipline the child, the child being involved in an accident and being wrongfully accused of abuse are some possible defense strategy components that you and your attorney can consider. Hashing out these strategies as early in your case as possible can help you to have time to build the case.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Abuse Overview," accessed April 08, 2016

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