Masachusetts Child Abuse Lawyer

Child abuse is a broad terms that covers many different crimes committed against children. Sometimes the mistreatment of a child is very obvious and the question is who committed the offense. But often child abuse allegations arise from innocent bruises or ambiguous statements by a child that are viewed as suspicious. I have a proven track record of successfully representing people accused of abusing a child physically, emotionally or sexually. If you anticipate being questioned about suspicions of child abuse, you should consult with a child abuse lawyer before agreeing to talk about it. This doesn’t just apply to questioning by police; teachers, social workers, doctors, nurses are all mandated reporters and what you tell them may be repeated to the Department of Children (DCF) and Families, the agency responsible for investigating these claims. You certainly should speak to a lawyer before meeting with a DCF investigator.

Lawfully disciplining your child or injuries resulting from an accident may be mistaken as evidence of abuse by well-intentioned teachers, doctors, and others who interact with your child. Bumps, bruises and suspicious marks can be misinterpreted as excessive force. A child’s illness or medical condition may also be mistaken for abuse. With infants and toddlers, false accusations of child abuse may start in a doctor’s examining room or hospital emergency room. Sexual abuse suspicions and charges may also arise against an innocent person. The alleged victim may be an emotionally troubled teen who is looking for attention or a very young child who is influenced during a custody dispute.

Child abuse accusations can be handled in different ways: they may start with a Department of Children and Family investigation that may lead to a referral to the District Attorney’s Office who then initiates criminal charges. In some cases, the process starts with the police arresting an individual accused of abuse and a DCF investigation follows. Even if you have not been charged yet, you need a Lowell child abuse lawyer to ensure that you are protected throughout the investigation.

Types of Child Abuse Under Massachusetts Law

The Department of Children and Families define the following as child abuse or neglect:

  • Abuse: creating a substantial risk of physical or emotional injury or any sexual contact between a caretaker and child;
  • Shaken baby syndrome: causing severe injury to an infant, small child, or baby as a result of severely shaking, jerking, pushing or pulling the child;
  • Neglect: the failure of a caretaker to provide a child with adequate food, shelter, clothing, medical care, supervision, emotional stability and growth, or other type of essential care;
  • Emotional injury: impairing the intellectual or psychological capacity of a child;
  • Physical injury: causing any physical injury (burn, fracture, organ impairment, soft tissue swelling, death) to a child; and
  • Institutional abuse or neglect: when any of the above occurs at an institution, such as a group home, hospital, daycare, etc.

CHILD ABUSE CASE TESTIMONIAL

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"My husband needed a lawyer when he was accused of doing terrible things that I know he would never do. We met with her and she spoke to us with respect and never acted like she thought my husband was guilty. At the trial over a year later she fought so hard for him and he was found not guilty. We feel like we got our life back thanks to her."

Penalties for Child Abuse in Massachusetts

The penalties that a person can face if convicted for committing an act of child abuse or neglect will depend both upon the type of abuse or neglect committed and the extent of harm suffered by the child. For example, a conviction of rape of a child is punishable by a state prison sentence of up to life. A conviction of assault and battery on a child is punishable by imprisonment of up to five years, or up to fifteen years if the battery caused significant bodily injury to the child.

Contact a Child Abuse Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Child abuse allegations can result in the loss of custody of your children, loss of employment if you work with children, and criminal charges. If accused, you or your loved one needs an experienced child abuse lawyer who has litigated countless cases like yours. If you think that you may be facing criminal charges of child abuse and are unsure what you should do next, start by contacting me to schedule your a case consultation. I have offices conveniently located in Belmont, MA and Lowell, MA and represent clients in the courts throughout Greater Boston, north of Boston, and Metrowest Boston.