Child Abuse in Arizona is treated as a very serious offense. How seriously depends on the circumstances in which the abuse is alleged to have taken place, and the mental state of the defendant. As soon as you or a loved one becomes aware of such a situation, it’s essential to seek assistance from a skilled Phoenix child abuse attorney. At AZ Defenders, we have the experience and skills necessary to open a comprehensive investigation of the situation and create an effective defense for your unique case.
If you are facing a child abuse allegation, you may be at risk of a sentence that involves months or years in prison, as well as probation and hefty fines. You could also be labeled as a child abuser, with this crime on your permanent record forever. It is critical to hire the best available legal representation to protect you from this adverse outcome. If you have been arrested or accused of child abuse in Phoenix, you need a private criminal defense lawyer right away.
A private defense attorney can benefit you in numerous ways, such as:
You will have as much peace of mind as possible under the circumstances with a skilled and experienced child abuse defense attorney by your side. While a private defense lawyer can help you under any circumstances, it is especially important to protect yourself by hiring an attorney if you have a prior criminal record, as this means the penalties for a child abuse conviction will be more severe.
The crime of child abuse in Arizona refers to an act or failure to act by a parent or caregiver that results in emotional harm, serious physical injury, sexual abuse or exploitation, or the death of a child. Child abuse can refer to many different actions, omissions, maltreatment and harm against a child that was in the defendant’s care. The State of Arizona has a few different types and classifications of child abuse crimes based on the circumstances. If any of the following criteria are met, you may find yourself facing charges for child abuse.
Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-3623(A), Child Abuse can be defined as: if under circumstances likely to produce death or serious physical injury, any person who causes a child, or having the care or custody of a child causes or permits the person or health of the child to be injured or who causes them to be placed in a situation where their person or health is endangered is guilty of Child Abuse.
If a child was endangered due to intentional behavior, then Child Abuse is classified as a Class 2 Felony. If convicted of a Class 2 Felony you face 3-12.5 years in prison, up to 7 years of probation, and up to $150,000 in fines (not inclusive of surcharges). If the victim is under the age of 15 then the offense could be classified as a Dangerous Crime Against Children. If you have prior felony convictions on your record you could face increased and mandatory prison time.
If this was done recklessly, then Child Abuse is classified as a Class 3 Felony. If convicted of a Class 3 Felony you face 2-8.75 years in prison, and up to 5 years of probation, along with a maximum fine of $150,000 plus surcharges. Prior felony convictions on your record may make you ineligible for probation and required to have increased prison time.
If done with criminal negligence, then Child Abuse is classified as a Class 4 Felony. If convicted of a Class 4 Felony you face 1-3.75 years in prison, up to 4 years of probation, and a maximum fine of $150,000 plus surcharges. Prior felony convictions can increase your prison range and make you ineligible for probation.
Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-3623(B), Child Abuse is: if under circumstances other than those likely to produce death or serious physical injury, any person who causes a child, or having the care or custody of a child causes or permits the person or health of the child to be injured or who causes them to be placed in a situation where their person or health is endangered is guilty of Child Abuse.
If done intentionally or knowingly, then this is a Class 4 felony. If convicted of a Class 4 Felony you face 1-3.75 years in prison, up to 4 years of probation, and a maximum fine of $150,000 plus surcharges. Prior felony convictions can increase your prison range and make you ineligible for probation.
If done recklessly, then this is a Class 5 Felony. If convicted of a Class 5 Felony you face 6 months – 2.5 years in prison, up to 3 years of probation, and a maximum fine of $150,000 plus surcharges. Having prior felony convictions on your record can increase the prison range and make you probation ineligible.
If done with criminal negligence, then this is a Class 6 Felony. If convicted of a Class 6 Felony, you face 4 months – 2 years in prison. You can be placed on probation for up to 3 years and face a maximum fine of $150,000 plus surcharges. Prior felony convictions can make you ineligible for probation and can lead to higher mandatory prison terms.
Along with the hefty sentencing ranges, a conviction for Child Abuse can lead to the involvement of the Department of Child Safety with your children, a permanent felony on your record that does not go away, and difficulty obtaining work, licensing, and loans.
Child abuse cases strike an emotional chord with jurors. This can accelerate the momentum against you as a defendant in a child abuse or neglect case in Phoenix. It is imperative to protect yourself with the strongest, most aggressive defense strategy available in this situation. The defense attorneys at AZ Defenders have navigated even the most complicated and challenging criminal cases on behalf of clients. We will search for all available defense options in your particular case.
Potential defenses to child abuse charges include:
Your lawyer may argue that the child’s injuries were due to something else, such as an innocent accident, rather than child abuse, or that someone has accused you of child abuse out of revenge. Your lawyer may also be able to show that the prosecution does not have enough evidence to support a child abuse conviction. Your attorney will personalize your defense strategy based on the situation, the evidence the prosecution has against you, your prior criminal history and other relevant facts to seek the best possible case outcome.
If you are facing charges of Child Abuse you should not face them alone. An experienced, aggressive, and effective Phoenix criminal defense attorney can make all the difference in the world and protect your rights, good name, and freedom. Call the AZ Defenders today at 480-456-6400 or contact us online for a free consultation to see how we may best defend your case.