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Phoenix Child Neglect Attorney

Phoenix Child Neglect Attorney

Have you been charged with child neglect in Phoenix, AZ? Child neglect is a form of child abuse. If convicted, you could face jail time, financial penalties, and serious damage to your reputation. Contact an experienced Phoenix child neglect attorney at Orent Law Offices to start building the strong legal defense you deserve today.

Our attorneys have over 34 years of experience defending clients charged with crimes in Maricopa County. Our founding attorney is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist who has helped countless clients fight allegations of criminal neglect over the years.

Allegations of child neglect can have serious consequences before you’re even charged with a crime. Get the legal help you need by calling our law offices in Phoenix, Arizona to schedule a free consultation today at (480) 6656-7301.

How Orent Law Offices Can Help if You Were Arrested for Child Neglect in Phoenix

How Orent Law Offices Can Help if You Were Arrested for Child Neglect in Phoenix

Arizona courts take cases involving dangerous crimes against children seriously. Children should be protected. When adults fail, the criminal courts can impose harsh penalties. 

At Orent Law Offices, we know that not every allegation of child neglect is true. People can exaggerate or misinterpret the situation. We believe that every client facing criminal charges is entitled to the strongest defense possible – and we’re prepared to launch that defense.

When you hire our criminal defense lawyers, you’ll have a lawyer to:

  • Provide sound legal advice and guidance
  • Help you understand all of your legal options
  • Investigate the circumstances to find out what really happened
  • Analyze all of the prosecution’s evidence to identify any weaknesses
  • Question whether the prosecution’s witnesses are credible or lying
  • Negotiate with the prosecution behind the scenes to minimize collateral consequences
  • Work tirelessly to have the charges reduced or dropped

You can count on our lawyers to fiercely defend your rights. We have decades of experience defending clients in local, state, and federal courts. You can rest assured that we’ll do everything possible to secure the best outcome in your case.

You don’t have to deal with allegations of child neglect alone. Call an experienced Phoenix child neglect attorney for a free case evaluation today.

Overview of the Laws on Child Neglect in Arizona

Some states have specific statutes on child neglect. In Arizona, child neglect falls under the general umbrella of child abuse.

Under Arizona Revised Statutes Section 13-3623, it is illegal for a person responsible for the care or custody of a child to:

  • Cause or permit a child to suffer physical injury
  • Cause or permit the health of the child to be injured
  • Cause or permit the child to be placed in a situation where the person or health of the child is endangered

Arizona law defines the term “neglect” broadly. You could face child neglect charges anytime you put a child in a situation that endangers their health or wellbeing. 

Examples of circumstances that could constitute child neglect include:

  • Leaving a child unattended in a vehicle
  • Leaving a child unsupervised and unprotected
  • Caring for a child while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Bringing a child into situations involving criminal activity, including drug sales
  • Physical abuse, sexual abuse or emotional abuse
  • Failure to provide the child with basic necessities, such as food, water and necessary medical care
  • Failure to report child neglect when you have a reasonable belief that such neglect has occurred

Child neglect is a felony; it can be a Class 4 felony, Class 5 felony, or Class 6 felony, depending on the circumstances. 

If you were accused of child abuse involving criminal negligence, the offense is a Class 6 felony. If the offender recklessly put the child in harm’s way, Class 5 felony charges apply. If the abuse and neglect was intentional, the prosecution can charge you with a Class 4 felony.

Child Endangerment in Phoenix

Child endangerment is also a criminal offense in Arizona. Under Arizona state law, it’s a crime to recklessly endanger another person with a substantial risk of imminent death or serious physical harm.

To prove child endangerment, state prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were reckless, meaning that:

  • You were aware of the risk
  • You consciously disregarded the risk
  • The risk was substantial and unjustifiable
  • The disregard was a gross deviation from how a reasonable person would have behaved under the circumstances

Most of the time, child endangerment is a Class 1 misdemeanor. However, if the endangerment involves a substantial risk of imminent death, it’s a Class 6 felony.

The circumstances play an important role in grading the severity of the crime. If you have been charged with child abuse, call our law firm to get legal representation right away. An experienced Phoenix child neglect lawyer can start working on your defense immediately.

Who Can Be Charged With Child Neglect in Arizona?

Anyone responsible for the child’s care can be charged with child neglect. Of course, that includes parents, step-parents, and guardians. Grandparents, daycare operators, and even babysitters can also be charged with neglecting a child.

Mandatory Reporting of Child Neglect in Arizona

Anyone who reasonably believes that a child is neglected has an obligation to report the neglect to law enforcement or the Department of Child Safety. The list of people subject to the duty is extensive. The duty to report neglect extends to doctors, school personnel, parents, guardians, and anyone else who is responsible for the child’s care or treatment.

Failure to report child neglect is a Class 1 misdemeanor. If a person with a duty to report fails to report a reportable offense, it is a Class 6 felony. “Reportable offenses” include serious crimes, such as sex trafficking, mutilation, or certain internet crimes.

What are the Penalties for Child Neglect in Phoenix, Arizona? 

Child neglect can carry serious consequences before it even becomes a criminal matter. Child neglect can negatively impact child custody proceedings, divorce proceedings, and other matters in family court. It’s possible that you could become subject to a restraining order and lose custody of your child before you can even defend yourself.

That’s why it’s always important to speak with an experienced child neglect defense attorney if you have been accused of child neglect – even if you haven’t yet been charged.

Of course, a conviction for child neglect also carries significant criminal penalties. Those penalties vary based on the nature of the offense and the circumstances.

Depending upon the specific criminal charge, the penalties for felony child neglect can include:

  • Class 6 felony charges carry up to 1.5 years in prison
  • Class 5 felony charges carry up to 2 years in prison 
  • Class 4 felony charges carry up to 3 years in prison 

You could also be required to pay between $750 and $150,000 in financial penalties. It’s also possible that you could face additional jail time if any aggravating factors are present.

If you’re convicted of a Class 1 misdemeanor, you could be sentenced to a maximum of six months in jail, be ordered to pay a $2,500 fine, and face up to three years of probation.

The severity of the charges can depend on many different factors. The circumstances, alleged conduct, and age of the child will all be taken into consideration. Your past criminal record can also be important in grading the charges.

What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Accused of Neglecting a Child? 

The state has the burden of proving that you are guilty of child neglect. The state must prove every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt to convict. 

Our firm was founded by a Criminal Law Specialist with decades of experience helping clients minimize the consequences in child abuse cases. We know how to build the aggressive defense strategy you deserve.

Depending on the facts, valid defenses to child neglect charges may include:

  • False allegations, especially if the accusations are made by a spouse or ex-spouse who is trying to manipulate the system to get a favorable result in a child custody or divorce case
  • Lack of intent to cause harm
  • Your actions were not willful or were excusable, perhaps because you were working long hours to provide for your child
  • The allegations are based on a misunderstanding, or that the child misrepresented the circumstances
  • Someone else was responsible for the child at the time of the alleged neglect

Family matters can quickly become complicated. There are a number of explanations that can be raised if you have been accused of neglecting your child. However, you’ll need a strong defense lawyer to advocate on your behalf.

At Orent Law Offices, we know the stakes are high. We take child abuse and neglect cases extremely seriously. We’ll do everything possible to develop the most effective defense strategy possible in your case.

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Phoenix Child Neglect Attorney

If you’ve been accused or charged with child neglect in Arizona, you don’t have any time to waste. Call an experienced Phoenix child neglect attorney at Orent Law Offices today. We’ll fight aggressively to have the charges against you downgraded or your case dismissed if possible.

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