Child Abuse & Neglect
As the name suggests, child abuse is any kind of physical harm or injury deliberately caused to a person who is below the age of 18. Whereas, child neglect is an inexplicable failure to provide a basic form of care to a child below 18 years of age that hampers the health or physical safety of him or her. To sum it up, both child abuse and neglect is an act that could cause or simply inflict a mental or physical harm to a child. If accused of such felony charges in West Virginia, only a skilled Morgantown criminal lawyer or an experienced attorney in West Virginia can help you.
What Kind of Penalty Is Imposed for West Virginia’s Child Abuse Cases?
Any individual who has been proven guilty of committing child abuse in West Virginia is subjected to a jail time of 1 to 5 years along with a fine amount of up to $1000. If the nature of the abuse is such that it has posed a considerable risk of severe physical injury or even death, it is punished by a fine amount of up to $3000 and a period of 1 to 5 years of jail time.
If the injuries caused to the child inflict serious physical harm in reality and not just a risk, then this offense involves a punishment of a fine amount of about $1000 to $5000 and a jail time from 2 to 10 years. The only way to avoid or reduce such penalties is by consulting a good West Virginia criminal lawyer.
What Sort of Penalties Can a Person Be Subjected to for West Virginia’s Child Neglect Cases?
Child neglect is considered to be a felony category offense according to West Virginia law. Therefore, such negligence that inflicts physical harm is punishable by the imposition of fines up to $1000 and jail time of about 1 to 3 years. If the negligence is such that it put the child at a severe risk of bodily harm or even death, then the offense will require the guilty to serve a period of about 1 to 5 years in prison along with a payment of up to a $3000 fine. And, if in reality, the neglect has inflicted a serious injury on the child, the guilty is subject to 1 to 10 years of prison time apart from a fine amount starting from $300 to $3000. A reputable West Virginia criminal lawyer will work to reduce your sentence as much as possible. We at the Mountaineer Criminal Law Group have the experience and know-how to work every case that comes our way.
Severe Consequences of Child Abuse & Neglect
Convictions of child abuse or neglect might also put you before civil proceedings by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (WVDHHR), which have the potential to take away your parental rights for not only the child whom you might have neglected or abused, but also for all your children at home.
Such an involuntary cessation of the parental rights also suggests that if the guilty give birth to more children in the years to come, a new case is likely to be opened with the new child by the WVDHHR, requesting the dissolution of parental rights for that newly born.
While child abuse and neglect allegations are taken extremely seriously and are a true tragedy, occasionally false accusations are made against innocent parents. Abuse or neglect charges can rip families apart and is especially devastating. If you are innocent and being accused of crimes against a child it is imperative that you contact a Morgantown criminal lawyer as soon as possible so they can start building your case.
To get in touch with a West Virginia criminal lawyers at the Mountaineer Criminal Law Group, contact us at (304) 900-3391 to schedule your free consultation today.