Facing child neglect charges can upend your life and leave you feeling confused and frightened. Our compassionate and dedicated attorney is here to guide and support you through this challenging time. We will ensure the court hears your voice and fight to protect your rights.
At Christopher L. Jones, Attorney at Law, we understand the gravity of these allegations and are committed to providing strong legal representation. If you face these charges, contacting a Pickens County child neglect lawyer is the first step in achieving a positive outcome.
Definition of Child Neglect
South Carolina law states that child neglect occurs when a caregiver places a child at an unreasonable risk of harm affecting their life, physical or mental health, or safety, or maliciously causes bodily harm affecting the child’s life or health, or willfully abandons a child. This encompasses a broad array of distinct offenses. Some of the most common child neglect charges include the following:
- Child abandonment, or willfully abandoning a child without providing reasonable support and care
- Failing to meet a child’s educational needs by ensuring the child receives an education
- Exposing a child to domestic violence, or dangerous or unsanitary living conditions
- Failing to provide necessary medical care
Anyone facing child neglect charges in Pickens County needs an experienced lawyer on their side. Our attorney can explain the charges, advise you of your options, develop a defense strategy, and work to protect your parental rights.
Possible Sentences in Child Neglect Cases
The possible sentences in your case depend on many factors. It is best to speak with a Pickens County lawyer experienced in child neglect charges to understand what penalties you face.
Fines for Neglecting a Child
In less severe cases of child neglect, the court may impose fines as a penalty. The fines vary depending on the severity of the charges and the defendant’s criminal history. Additionally, the court may order a period of probation. During probation, the defendant must comply with certain conditions, such as regular meetings with a probation officer, participation in counseling programs, and adherence to court-ordered restrictions.
In more severe cases of child neglect, the court may sentence the defendant to serve jail time. The length of the sentence depends on multiple factors, including the extent of harm caused to the child, the defendant’s previous criminal record, and any aggravating factors present in the case. The maximum jail sentence is ten years in prison for unlawful neglect of a child.
Parental Rights Termination
In extreme cases of child neglect where the child’s safety and well-being are at serious risk, the court may decide to terminate the parent’s rights. However, termination of parental rights must go through the Family Court system, not the Criminal court system. Termination of parental rights means that the parent no longer has legal rights or responsibilities towards the child. This decision is made in the child’s best interest to ensure their safety and provide a stable and nurturing environment.
Courts in Pickens County evaluate child neglect cases individually, so working with a seasoned attorney on a tailored defense strategy is important.
Speak to a Pickens County Child Neglect Attorney About Your Case
If you face child neglect charges, your first call should be to an experienced Pickens County child neglect lawyer. With potential consequences ranging from probation to termination of parental rights, you need somebody who understands the law and can effectively defend you in court. Contact Christopher L. Jones, Attorney at Law today to discuss your situation and get the representation you need.