Understanding Child Abuse Allegations in Maryland
Allegations of child abuse can be devastating. Even if there is absolutely no merit to the accusations, just the mere thought of a child being harmed can invoke a lot of negative emotions. If you’ve been accused of child abuse or neglect, you can’t afford to sit back and “let it blow over.” Beyond the possible legal consequences, there are obvious and life-changing effects that can destroy your life. Here to help you when the stakes are high, attorney Todd K. Mohink can fight to protect your rights and make sure you get a fair shake.
What is Child Abuse in Maryland?
Child abuse is a broad term that defines intentional or grossly negligent harm to a child. But there are a number of laws that specifically penalize such conduct in Maryland. Depending on the law that is implicated, the penalties can be harsh. Under Section 3-601 of the Maryland Revised Statutes, it is unlawful to cause physical injury to a family or household member. A “severe” physical injury will have additional penalties and is defined as any of the following:
- Substantial risk of death
- Permanent or long term disfigurement,
- Loss of bodily functions
- Damage or impairment to a bodily organ
What Are the Penalties for Child Abuse?
Child abuse is generally a felony, which carries a 25-year prison term. If the child dies as a result of abuse, the penalty can be as long as 40 years in prison. It’s important to distinguish between “murder” and “child abuse” leading to death. However, in serious cases, prosecutors often bring multiple charges together.
What Other Offenses Might Be Charged With Child Abuse?
Usually, if the abusive conduct was intentional and physical, you can expect prosecutors to include a host of other related charges, which may include:
- Domestic battery
- Child Neglect
- Attempted murder
- Aggravated assault
Is Sexual Abuse the Same as Child Abuse?
Yes and no. On one hand, sexual abuse is a form of child abuse, and prosecutors may bring a charge under Section 3-601. Of course, the crime of child sexual abuse is usually brought under a different law, found at Section 3-602, which is very specific about what constitutes a unlawful conduct. In particular, this law is violated when an adult commits any of the following acts against a child:
- Sexual offenses of any kind
- Other unnatural sexual practices as defined under Maryland law
Other Charges that Can be Brought With Child Sexual Abuse
Remember that just because a person is accused of a crime does not mean they are guilty. This cannot be overemphasized. Many lives have been ruined by child abuse, but many lives have also been destroyed due to false or exaggerated accusations. Prosecutors often add allegations, such as statutory rape. Plus, depending on the facts, a person could face federal charges.
Get Legal Help Now!
An experienced criminal defense lawyer can work closely with you to develop a strategy for fighting back against false child abuse allegations. You need to control the narrative and build a defense. Defending false allegations is crucial to clearing your name and avoiding lifelong devastation. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. are here to help if you are facing charges in Maryland. Call today to get real answers.