Columbia Child Abuse Lawyer

When child abuse is reported, it is not just a criminal situation, it is also a family court matter involving child custody and the best interest and safety of a child. Depending on the circumstances, committing child abuse can result in a misdemeanor or a felony charges. Child abuse can be a complex case, which is why if you are charged with such a crime, you need to contact an experienced domestic violence attorney. A Columbia child abuse lawyer could stand by your side and fight for you to ensure that your rights are being protected throughout the legal process.

Defining Child Abuse

In South Carolina, child abuse is broken down into different sections. The lowest level of child abuse is cruelty to children. Cruelty to children is a misdemeanor that carries up to 30 days in jail. Unlawful conduct towards a child is a serious felony with a punishment of up to 10 years in the South Carolina Detention Center. The most extreme charge is the homicide by child abuse statute. The differences between the charges depend on the serious nature of the level of harm or the present ability of harm put before the child versus the cruelty to children statute and the unlawful conduct towards a child. For more information on the level of charges and the penalties, contact a knowledgeable attorney.

Civil Case Affect on Criminal Case

The result of a civil case involving child abuse may or may not have some bearing on the outcome a criminal case. This depends on whether the prosecutor aggressively pursues the criminal case or whether the criminal case is reduced to a lower charge.

Many different factors come into play on a case-by-case basis. Testimony used in a civil case could be used in a criminal trial for impeachment purposes. In other words, the testimony could prove that someone lied under oath (perjury). The witness may have testified under oath at the civil trial and testified differently at the criminal trial. The Columbia child abuse lawyer already has the transcript and may be able to impeach the witness and catch them in their lies and inconsistent statements.

Having a civil trial before a criminal case is important because the witness’s testimony is under oath, which is rare. South Carolina does not have criminal depositions. Discovery methods are generally not that thorough as far as what is allowed and what the government turns over to the defense. Having a significant amount of under-oath testimony of the officers prior to trial is unusual in South Carolina.

How a Columbia Child Abuse Lawyer Could Help

It is common for people to be falsely accused of child abuse. Despite the person’s innocence, the accused is faced with the shame of being arrested for something they did not do. Someone in this position needs to obtain a Columbia child abuse lawyer who regularly represents people accused of this crime and also deals with the prosecutors and investigators. Experienced is key to a person’s defense. A seasoned attorney should know how to work within the system to present the best defense.

For those who are possibly guilty of child abuse, it is important to understand the different levels of the charges. Sometimes people are overcharged for crimes. For example, an individual is charged with unlawful conduct of a child, which is a felony with an up to 10-year prison sentence, when in fact the crime they committed was just a misdemeanor of cruelty to children.

Columbia Child Abuse Lawyer