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Phoenix Child Abuse Defense Attorney

Phoenix Child Abuse Defense Attorney

Children should be protected, nurtured, and provided with a safe place to live and grow. Unfortunately, they are often used to gain an unfair advantage in certain situations – such as contested divorces, child custody battles, and domestic violence cases – leading to false accusations with severe consequences. 

If you’ve been accused of child abuse in Phoenix, AZ, it’s crucial to seek advice from an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Your rights, freedom, and reputation are all on the line. A conviction can result in imprisonment and negative repercussions that follow you for life. 

Contact Orent Law Offices to speak with an experienced Phoenix child abuse defense attorney. We’ve successfully represented the accused in various types of criminal matters, and we have over 34 years of experience to put behind your case. 

We offer a free consultation, so contact our law firm or call (480) 656-7301 to schedule an appointment to discuss the child abuse allegations against you.

How Can a Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer Defend You Against Child Abuse Allegations?

How Can a Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyer Defend You Against Child Abuse Allegations?

Before you even have a chance to defend yourself against claims of child abuse, you may face negative consequences. For example, a restraining order may be issued against you, preventing you from seeing your child or remaining in your home. 

Speaking with a Phoenix criminal defense attorney is the best way to protect your rights and mitigate the effects of a child abuse accusation. 

If you hire Orent Law Offices for help defending you against allegations of child abuse in Phoenix, Arizona, we’ll: 

  • Listen to your version of events and explain your rights 
  • Evaluate the evidence against you to identify any weaknesses
  • Prepare a defense using exculpatory evidence, including witness statements, expert opinions, and inconsistent statements by the accuser
  • Negotiate for dismissal, a reduction of charges, or a plea deal depending on what’s in your best interest
  • Represent you in court in Maricopa County to seek an acquittal if necessary

Don’t attempt to handle a child abuse case on your own. Call Orent Law Offices today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Phoenix domestic violence attorney.

What Is Considered Child Abuse in Arizona? 

Child abuse can take many forms in the State of Arizona, as follows: 

    • Physical abuse: includes the infliction of physical injuries, disfigurement, malnutrition, and dehydration
    • Sexual abuse: includes sexual assault, molestation, exploitation, prostitution, and incest
    • Emotional abuse: often manifested by depression, anxiety, aggression, withdrawal, speech disorders, or delayed development 
  • Neglect: includes lack of supervision, support, healthcare, or basic needs 
  • Abandonment: the failure to support and regularly communicate with a child for an extended period of time 
  • Unreasonable confinement: includes the unreasonable restriction of a child’s movements or threatening harm unless they remain in an area

Anyone with custody, care, and control of a child can be charged with child abuse. That often applies to parents but can also extend to relatives, caregivers, and school officials. 

Several different offenses can qualify as child abuse in Arizona. Below, we discuss some of them. 

Child or Vulnerable Adult Abuse – ARS §13-3623

Most child abuse cases fall under Arizona Revised Statute §13-3623. Under the statute, you can be charged with a felony if you: 

  • Cause a child to suffer physical injuries
  • Cause or allow a child to be injured 
  • Cause or allow a child to be placed in a situation that endangers them

If the abuse occurs under circumstances that are likely to produce a serious physical injury or death, you will face harsher penalties. Additionally, the class of felony will depend on your intent, ranging from intentional or knowing, reckless, or criminally negligent. 

Many types of conduct can be charged as child abuse under this law, including: 

  • Intentionally inflicting physical injuries, impairment of a bodily function, disfigurement, or severe emotional damage
  • Allowing another person to inflict injuries on a child, including emotional damage
  • Allowing a child to stay in an area where dangerous drugs are being manufactured 
  • Sexually abusing a child or allowing it to happen
  • Unreasonably confining a child

You may face multiple charges relating to child abuse, depending on the accusations.

Domestic Violence – ARS §13-3601

Under Arizona law, domestic violence includes dangerous crimes against children and various other offenses, including child endangerment and assault. 

For this statute to apply to child abuse, either of the following must be true:

  • The child is related to the defendant or their spouse by blood or court order or by marriage (e.g., stepchild)
  • The child lives or has lived in the same household as the defendant and is related to someone in the household or to the defendant’s former spouse

If a police officer responds to a domestic violence call and a minor is present, they will conduct a welfare check. The goal is to evaluate the child’s safety and determine whether they’ve been abused.

Child Sexual Abuse or Assault

Sex crimes against children are taken very seriously. And unfortunately, many forms of sexual abuse exist, as follows: 

  • Sexual abuse (ARS §13-1404) – intentionally engaging in sexual contact with a child
  • Sexual assault (ARS §13-1406) – intentionally engaging in sexual intercourse with a child
  • Sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 18 (statutory rape) (ARS §13-1405)
  • Child molestation (ARS §13-1410)
  • Continuous sexual abuse of a child under the age of 14 for over three months (ARS §13-1417)
  • Commercial sexual exploitation of a minor, such as through prostitution or child pornography (ARS §13-3552)
  • Sexual exploitation of a minor (ARS §13-3553)
  • Incest with a child (ARS §13-3608)
  • Child sex trafficking (ARS §13-3212)

All of these crimes are felonies in Arizona, and enhanced penalties may apply depending on the child’s age. 

What Are the Penalties for a Child Abuse Conviction in Phoenix, Arizona? 

Any type of child abuse is a serious criminal offense with harsh penalties and consequences. The punishment will depend on the specific crime and whether any aggravating factors are present. 

If convicted, the following penalties may apply: 

  • Class 2 felony: Four to ten years in prison
  • Class 3 felony: 2.5 to seven years in prison
  • Class 4 felony: 1.5 to three years in prison
  • Class 5 felony: Eight months to two years in prison
  • Class 6 felony: Six months to 1.5 years in prison

You can also face collateral consequences, such as issues with child custody and being added to the DCS Central Registry. It’s essential to get help from an experienced Phoenix child abuse defense lawyer if you’ve been accused of any offense against a minor. 

Arizona’s Enhanced Penalties for Dangerous Crimes Against Children – ARS §13-705

Several child abuse offenses are considered dangerous crimes against children (DCAC) if the victim is under a certain age. These crimes carry harsher penalties.

For example, sexual exploitation of a minor is usually a Class 2 felony. However, if the victim is under 15 years old, it falls under ARS §13-705 as a DCAC. A conviction for this crime can carry up to 24 years in prison. If you were previously convicted of a similar felony, you could face up to 35 years in prison.

The following acts, when committed against a minor under the age of 15, are considered dangerous crimes against children: 

  • Sexual assault, exploitation, abuse, and conduct
  • Molestation
  • Sex trafficking 
  • Aggravated assault
  • Second-degree murder 
  • Intentional child abuse likely to produce death or serious physical injury
  • Kidnapping
  • Involving minors in drug offenses 
  • Attempted murder
  • Luring a child for sexual exploitation

If you’ve been charged with a dangerous crime against a child, it’s essential to contact a child abuse defense attorney in Phoenix as soon as possible to protect your rights.

What Potential Defenses Are Available for Child Abuse in Phoenix, AZ? 

Child abuse allegations are incredibly serious, and a conviction has many negative consequences. That’s why it’s crucial to seek legal help immediately after you learn of the charges or if you’re being investigated by law enforcement or the Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS). An attorney will evaluate the facts of your case and determine the best defense strategy.

Some possible defenses that can be raised on your behalf include: 

  • You were falsely accused 
  • The child’s injury was accidental 
  • You were lawfully disciplining your child
  • Lack of evidence
  • Illegally obtained evidence
  • Other violations of your constitutional rights
  • Prosecutor or police misconduct

If necessary, we will work with experts to determine whether the accusations can be substantiated. Children can get hurt while playing, and mandated reporters may misinterpret these accidental injuries. 

Contact our criminal defense team in Phoenix today to get the experienced legal counsel you deserve.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With a Phoenix Child Abuse Defense Attorney

Are you being investigated for child abuse in Phoenix, AZ? Whether it’s still in the early stages of the process or you’ve been formally charged, it’s essential to obtain legal advice as soon as possible. A conviction can strip you of your freedom and reputation. 

Contact the skilled and dedicated Phoenix child abuse defense attorneys at Orent Law Offices for help. We’ll listen to your side of the story, explain your rights, and create a defense tailored to the facts of your case. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation, so call today to schedule an appointment to discuss the charges against you.

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