Defending Against Child Abuse Charges in Northern Virginia

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Criminal Defense Lawyers in Fairfax VA provide top quality legal representation to people accused of child abuse and child neglect including cases involving corporal punishment, assault and battery of a family member, and leaving a child unattended in a vehicle.

If you are charged with misdemeanor or felony child abuse or neglect, the experienced child abuse defense attorneys at the Sprano Law Firm can help.  Over the years, our lawyers have successfully represented hundreds of clients  accused of all types of child abuse and neglect crimes in courts throughout Northern Virginia, including Fairfax County, Prince William, Loudoun County, Alexandria, Arlington, Stafford County, and the United States Federal Court in Alexandria.

Our child abuse defense lawyers provide high quality legal defense of misdemeanor child abuse and neglect charges including excessive corporal punishment (often charged as domestic violence (assault and battery of a family member); contributing to the delinquencey of a minor, misdemeanor child neglect, and leaving a child unattended in a vehicle.  We also defend against serious felony abuse and neglect charges including those involving significant bodily injury.    Any charge of this nature – committing a criminal offense against a child –  is a very serious matter that can have significant negative consequences to your freedom and your future if they are not handled correctly.  It is important to find the best criminal defense lawyer possible for your case.

If you need legal advice about child neglect or abuse charges of any degree of severity, contact our office in Fairfax to discuss your case with one of our experienced child abuse and neglect defense attorneys.

Qualified Legal Advice Regarding Child Abuse Charges

Using more than 30 years of combined experience, our criminal defense lawyers have defended hundreds of clients charged with all sorts of criminal abuse and neglect cases in Fairfax and throughout Northern Virginia, including:

  • Sexual abuse allegations, such as charges of custodial indecent liberties, aggravated sexual battery, unlawful carnal knowledge;
  • Excessive corporal punishment or other physical abuse allegations;
  • Domestic violence involving assault and battery of a family member or malicious wounding;
  • Drunk driving with a child passenger in the car;
  • Neglect or abandonment charges involving leaving a child unattended in a car, unsupervised in a store, or home alone for a weekend;
  • Allegedly inadequate supervision in a public place (free range parenting defense);
  • Contributing to the delinquency of a minor;
  • Abduction, especially in cases where a noncustodial parent takes or keeps a child away from the custodial parent in violation of a court order (parental abduction);
  • Causing a child to become abused or neglected

A significant component of our representation in child abuse cases involves putting your charges and related police reports into perspective.  There are many factors that can complicate an alleged abuse or neglect case, such as the environmental conditions at the time, the age of the child and the credibility of the person making the report. Someone who makes a child welfare report for every bruise or scratch may need to be questioned thoroughly as they may have a skewed view of what constitutes abuse or negligence.

These types of charges also commonly arise in the context of a contested custody or divorce case.  Such situations are obviously incredibly stressful for the children caught in the middle, and there are times when they may not always tell the truth.  If that is the situation you are facing, you may need a lawyer who knows how to effectively raise those credibility issues and mount a successful defense if you are wrongfully accused.

Not all cases of physical discipline cross the line into violations of law.  While social workers may disagree, as a matter of law corporal punishment is not illegal in Virginia.

Sometimes it is also important to understand that everyone makes mistakes – it is part of the human condition – but that doesn’t make you a bad person or a bad parent.  An important quality in finding the best child abuse defense lawyer is making sure the attorney can effectively advocate for a sentence including alternatives to incarceration where appropriate.  A jail or prison sentence is rarely in the child’s best interests.  Our child abuse defense attorneys have years of expertise in building strong arguments for mitigation, and can make the case that everyone – the defendant, child and society as a whole – often benefits more from a sentence focussed on rehabilitation including therapy and counseling rather than focussing solely on retribution and punishment.

Contact Our Fairfax Child Abuse Defense Lawyers

To learn more about the approach our criminal defense attorneys take to investigating and defending against charges of child abuse and neglect in Fairfax and Northern Virginia, Contact the Sprano Law Firm for a free consultation. Call 703-763-0979 or 866-936-5614 today.

Our Child Abuse defense attorneys have experience representing numerous defendants charged with the following crimes:

Misdemeanor Child Abuse and Neglect: Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor

Virginia Code § 18.2-371. Causing or encouraging acts rendering children delinquent, abused, etc.; penalty; abandoned infant.

Any person 18 years of age or older, including the parent of any child, who (i) willfully contributes to, encourages, or causes any act, omission, or condition that renders a child delinquent, in need of services, in need of supervision, or abused or neglected as defined in § 16.1-228 . . . is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor

Felony Child Abuse and Neglect:

Virginia Code § 18.2-371.1. Abuse and neglect of children; penalty; abandoned infant.

A. Any parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of a child under the age of 18 who by willful act or omission o r refusal to provide any necessary care for the child’s health causes or permits serious injury to the life or health of such child shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony. For purposes of this subsection, “serious injury” shall include but not be limited to (i) disfigurement, (ii) a fracture, (iii) a severe burn or laceration, (iv) mutilation, (v) maiming, (vi) forced ingestion of dangerous substances, or (vii) life-threatening internal injuries.

B. 1. Any parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the care of a child under the age of 18 whose willful act or omission in the care of such child was so gross, wanton and culpable as to show a reckless disregard for human life shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

“Abused or Neglected Child” is defined by Virginiga Code § 16.1-228, to include any child:

1. Whose parents or other person responsible for his care creates or inflicts, threatens to create or inflict, or allows to be created or inflicted upon such child a physical or mental injury by other than accidental means, or creates a substantial risk of death, disfigurement or impairment of bodily or mental functions, including, but not limited to, a child who is with his parent or other person responsible for his care either (i) during the manufacture or attempted manufacture of a Schedule I or II controlled substance, or (ii) during the unlawful sale of such substance by that child’s parents or other person responsible for his care, where such manufacture, or attempted manufacture or unlawful sale would constitute a felony violation of § 18.2-248;

2. Whose parents or other person responsible for his care neglects or refuses to provide care necessary for his health; however, no child who in good faith is under treatment solely by spiritual means through prayer in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination shall for that reason alone be considered to be an abused or neglected child;

3. Whose parents or other person responsible for his care abandons such child;

4. Whose parents or other person responsible for his care commits or allows to be committed any sexual act upon a child in violation of the law;

5. Who is without parental care or guardianship caused by the unreasonable absence or the mental or physical incapacity of the child’s parent, guardian, legal custodian, or other person standing in loco parentis; or

6. Whose parents or other person responsible for his care creates a substantial risk of physical or mental injury by knowingly leaving the child alone in the same dwelling, including an apartment as defined in § 55-79.2, with a person to whom the child is not related by blood or marriage and who the parent or other person responsible for his care knows has been convicted of an offense against a minor for which registration is required as a violent sexual offender pursuant to § 9.1-902.

Child Abuse Lawyers Throughout Northern Virginia.

Our Attorneys have handled child abuse cases in the following courthouses:

– Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court

Arlington County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court

Loudoun County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court

– Prince William County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court

Alexandria Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court

Stafford County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court

The Sprano Law Firm, LLP

Northern Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyers
10603 Judicial Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: 703-763-0979

Toll Free: 866-936-5614
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Click here to see some of the results we have been able to achieve in recent years in these and other cases on behalf of our clients: Attorney Case Results.