Fairfax does not treat child abuse cases lightly, the penalties are often harsh and can lead to debilitating consequences. Child abuse refers to a broad category of different crimes in Virginia and it can encompass everything from neglect to actual physical violence, any of which harms a child or causes a child to be delinquent or in need of services. If you have been charged with child abuse, it would be in your best interest to consult with a highly experienced domestic abuse lawyer as soon as possible. A Fairfax child abuse lawyer can help you build a strong defense and protect your rights.
When child abuse is reported, law enforcement will become involved and will begin investigating immediately. In addition to that, the Department of Child Protective Services will also, in most cases, begin an independent investigation. Law enforcement, of course, is investigating the criminal side while the Department of Child Protective Services is also looking at whether the children are safe or whether there should be a removal of the children to someone else’s care.
The immediate consequences of a child abuse charge in Fairfax can be very debilitating and individuals may even be charged with a felony in some cases. Accused individuals are going to have to respond to that and defend that in the courts in the short term.
Long-term consequences of child abuse convictions are that someone may find their child removed from their home or their access to their child may be limited or impaired in some way. They may also find that they have a criminal conviction that can affect them in a number of ways. In many cases when there is a conviction of some kind for child abuse and the child is in the custody of more than one person, the custodial parent or the other parent who is not charged with child abuse may seek full custody with the assistance of a Fairfax child abuse lawyer.
In civil cases where the court is determining who should have custody of the child, who should have visitation with the child, the focus of the court is always in the best interests of the child, and a criminal conviction is something that the civil court can consider when determining whether someone should have access to or custody of the child.
The results of a civil case can affect a criminal case if there is evidence that is created in that case that might also support a criminal charge or a criminal conviction. If for example, an individual testifies during a civil case and makes admissions that are potentially incriminating, those can be used against them in a criminal context.
If someone has been accused of abusing a child, there are a number of short-term and long-term consequences that they may be facing. It is important to contact a Fairfax child abuse lawyer immediately so that they can begin to deal with the situation in the most effective way.
Do not send us confidential information related to you or your company until you speak with one of our attorneys and get authorization to send that information to us.