Allegations of child abuse are grave and distressing. They can ruin your reputation, potentially cost you custody and visitation rights, and even bring criminal charges.
Fortunately, if you have been accused of child abuse, an experienced defense attorney could offer guidance and help with your case. Christopher L. Jones is a Greenville child abuse lawyer with experience as a prosecutor and municipal judge. He is ready to use his skill and understanding to fight for justice on your behalf.
State Child Abuse Law Explained
There are several rules and laws that outline the definitions relevant to child abuse cases. SC Code of Laws 63-5-70 defines unlawful conduct towards a child when the person who has charge or custody of the child, or otherwise responsible for the child’s welfare, does any of the following three things: 1) places the child at an unreasonable risk of harm affecting the child’s life, physical or mental health or safety; 2) causes bodily harm to the child so that the life of the child is endangered; 3) willfully abandons the child.
The other child abuse statute in South Carolina is referred to as cruelty to children, and it is defined in South Carolina Code § 63-5-80. Cruelty to children also applies to anyone who has charge or custody of a child, or is otherwise responsible for the child’s welfare. Cruelty to children occurs if someone cruelly ill-treats a child, intentionally deprives a child of necessary shelter and food, or inflicts unnecessary pain or suffering upon a child.
A Greenville attorney could further explain these statutes and how they might affect your child abuse case.
Potential Penalties for a Child Abuse Conviction
Depending on the details surrounding the arrest and case, you can face various penalties for a child abuse conviction. For instance, if a court finds you guilty of cruelty to a child, you could spend up to 30 days in jail and receive a misdemeanor conviction on your permanent record. Meanwhile, if a court convicts you of unlawful neglect of a child or unlawful conduct towards a child, you could spend up to ten years in prison.
Unfortunately, a child abuse conviction will likely interfere with custody agreements or visitation rights for an extended period. Any criminal conviction could also adversely affect your future, including your constitutional rights or your ability to find housing or employment.
The specific penalties and consequences you face will depend on the circumstances surrounding your case. When facing child abuse charges, a knowledgeable Greenville lawyer could review the details of your arrest, discuss the potential penalties, and devise a plan for protecting your rights.
Meet with a Greenville Child Abuse Attorney Today
The prospect of a child abuse conviction is dismaying, and many people do not know where to begin when defending themselves. Because of the potential consequences, you should not attempt to face these charges alone.
The state carries the burden of proof for all criminal charges, and just because you are arrested for child abuse does not mean the court will find you guilty. In every criminal case, you are innocent until proven guilty. Contact a Greenville child abuse lawyer like Christopher L. Jones today to get started.