Someone accused of abusing a child should contact a diligent child abuse lawyer as quickly as possible to avoid the harm that the charges cause to the reputation and legal rights of the person accused. The benefit of seeking help from an attorney is that they can speak to the investigating officers, DHS, and prosecutors before the case has advanced to a place where the only options are litigation. If a person waits too long, they’ve lost time that could be valuable in gaining the upper hand by collecting evidence, witness statements, and gathering mitigation that could help avoid a lengthy prison sentence.
Those who have been accused of child abuse should get accurate legal counsel from an impartial source as soon as possible, and refrain from speaking to the people who could be subpoenaed as witnesses against them. Family members can be subpoenaed to testify in these cases unless they have some privilege that makes them immune from having to take the stand. They can be forced to testify, against their will, even against a parent, a friend, or a relative.
There are many benefits of a Philadelphia child abuse attorney. They could protect your rights, advocate on your behalf, and help you fight the charges.
An attorney can challenge the motives, the memories, and the meaning of the statements that make up the evidence against them. First, the lawyer can challenge the motives of the other parents and the other adults who may be using the child as a vehicle to obtain some advantage, whether it is child support or custody. Unfortunately, some people will try to improperly use the criminal system as a weapon against another parent or family member. These are all things that have happened, and examining and challenging these motives can be very powerful to show the bias and the inaccuracy of the statements about the alleged child abuser.
Second, the memories of the child may be inaccurate or even implanted by adults intentionally or unintentionally through repetition. In cases of sexual abuse, an unsafe person may be substituted for another safer person when it comes the time to make an accusation to police. Some children may have memories that are inaccurate because they are young, or because these allegations happened a long time ago.
Finally, the ambiguous meaning of statements could lead to different results when attacked by the right lawyer. The risk of a child speaking in an inaccurate way is higher as they are constantly exploring newly learned words and repeating what they have heard on TV and from other adults. The risk is higher the smaller the child, and this happens in family court and leads to false charges being brought against adults because a teacher or relative misunderstood and overreacted to the words of a child.
The quantity of the evidence against someone can be challenged at any hearing. For example, if there is only a slight injury to a child, that would be completely consistent with a child roughhousing with their brothers and sisters. This may not be enough evidence to convict someone for child abuse because it could have a perfectly innocent explanation. An attorney can make clear to the court that the injuries sustained are not child abuse but stem from some alternate cause.
The best protection in these scenarios is speaking to a lawyer who understands child abuse laws as quickly as possible. Otherwise, they may end up in several courtrooms spending a lot of time and money dealing with PFAs, being evicted from their house, and receiving stay-away orders from their other family members. Ultimately, this could affect seriously their future employment and ability to make money and have a sustainable career as well as their reputation in the community. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about the benefits of a Philadelphia child abuse attorney and how they can help your case.