If we take a moment to consider the extent of change that has happened in contemporary society – even over the past 50 years – it is staggering. Social norms as a whole have gone through rapid fundamental shifts, leaving even some of the most progressive parts of our society scratching their collective heads.
The Internet has had a profound effect on the way we relate and react to our ever-growing cultural tapestry. In many instances this can be an incredible help to those groups who have been ignored or marginalized. On the other hand, individuals who have been arrested for a crime or caught doing something we consider morally bankrupt, can be tried, convicted and digitally “executed” before their heads even duck under the Sheriff’s car door.
Nowhere is this pattern more evident than in child abuse cases.
Let us be frank here – child abuse is a terrible crime that, once proven, deserves proper and just punishment. A society that can’t protect its most innocent members is doomed, so our response must be swift. But the key to that sentiment is “proven.” Unlike many crimes committed across the country, child abuse is one in which the phrase “innocent until proven guilty” becomes suspended in many people’s minds – including members of a jury. Once a person is accused of child abuse – whether they are a parent, teacher, coach or another child – there is no going back. Someone caught burglarizing a house or stealing a car may be able to regain their lives, but an individual accused – not even convicted, just accused – of child abuse will suffer a vicious stigma, both on and offline, that is likely to follow them for the rest of their lives.
That is why it is incredibly important to speak with a criminal defense attorney who will fight for you no matter what is said in the court of popular opinion and has the experience to back it up. But, even with the proper representation – what chance do you have against such damning accusations? This depends on your unique situation.
What Are My Options If I’m Accused of Child Abuse?
As mentioned above, your legal defense depends on what type of abuse and to what extent you have been accused. Whether you’ve been charged with physical, sexual, emotional or mental abuse, research and investigation will be crucial. Some of the most common stances you may be able to take include:
- The Injury Was Not Child Abuse. In many instances what appears to be a pattern of abuse may be something altogether different. Perhaps the child in question has a pre-existing medical condition that mimics physical injury commonly found in abused individuals?
- The Accusations Are False. While pleading innocence seems like a foregone conclusion, it will take more than just your word against a child’s. With enough research, we may able to prove there is a history of this type of accusation in the family.
- The Injuries Resulted From an Accident. If the child in question was injured in an accident, rather than direct physical abuse, you may be able to prove the charges are unfounded.
To discuss these and any additional strategies concerning your child abuse case, call the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti, day or night, at (714) 530-9690 and schedule a consultation.