Child abuse is one of the most devastating crimes a person can commit. Prosecutors take child abuse cases incredibly seriously. Unfortunately, not all defendants charged with child abuse are guilty. Many times, child abuse defendants have been falsely accused by their partners or soon-to-be-ex-spouses. Going through a divorce is an emotional time that is often fraught with tension. 

When people are concerned about losing custody of their children, they can become desperate and falsely accuse their co-parent of child abuse. If you have been falsely accused of child abuse, you need an experienced defense lawyer on your side. Your lawyer will help you develop a legal defense strategy to ensure your reputation and your relationship with your children remain intact. We have provided some tips for handling wrongful child abuse accusations below.

Hire an Experienced Lawyer

You do not want your future in the hands of a public defender. Public defenders are often overworked and carry heavy caseloads, making it difficult for them to spend time investigating and researching their clients’ cases. When it comes to false child abuse accusations, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can give your case the individual attention it deserves. 

The penalties for child abuse are severe, and they can negatively affect your life for years to come. You may have difficulty finding employment, obtaining a housing loan, or enjoying visitation rights with your child or children. You need a criminal defense lawyer with experience representing clients in child abuse cases and a proven track record of success.

Child Abuse Laws

Becoming familiar with child abuse laws will give you a greater understanding of your situation and allow you to work alongside your lawyer to protect your rights.

Create a Witness List

Knowing that someone has falsely accused you of committing child abuse can be devastating. After all, when you know you are innocent, it is challenging to consider your friends and loved ones finding out that you are facing child abuse charges. One of the best things you can do is create a witness list of friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family members who can provide relevant information. They will be able to testify to your good character and provide a counterweight to the negative portrayal of you brought forth by the prosecution. Be sure to include their names, addresses, and phone numbers. This list will help your lawyer defend your rights and protect your reputation.

Do Not Lose Your Composure With Law Enforcement

In many cases, people who discover they’re facing child abuse charges react negatively. It is understandable to feel extreme frustration and even a sense of betrayal when someone else falsely accuses you of abusing your child or another child. When suspects find out that police officers are investigating them or they are arrested, they may lash out at the police. Sometimes people threaten the police or even try to attack police officers.

Even though being falsely accused is devastating, you must not retaliate against the police officers involved in your case. The situation may understandably leave you feeling like you have lost control of your life. However, if you lash out at police officers, you may face additional criminal charges. Additionally, the prosecution may present evidence of your lashing out at officers as proof that you are an angry individual and attack your character.

Do Not Admit Guilt

Law enforcement and prosecutors are skilled at trying to elicit confessions from suspects. Many of these confessions are false, and the defendant did not commit the crime. Prosecutors will tell defendants that their only way to avoid jail time is to confess to the crime. They may bribe descendants with lesser charges as long as the defendant confesses. Or, they may simply use aggressive tactics like placing a defendant in an interview room for hours on end, hoping that the defendant will break down and confess to a crime they did not commit.

Remain Silent

It is important that you do not waive your right to an attorney when interviewed by the police. Your attorney will push back on the police and not allow them to subject you to abuse or pressure you unnecessarily to confess to a crime you did not commit. Once you confess, it is difficult to prove your innocence. It is always best to exercise your right to remain silent until a lawyer is present who will help you navigate the situation without falsely confessing.

If a police officer, or a Child Social Services agent contacts you, do not answer questions other than your name, date of birth, and address. Ask for a lawyer immediately. Do not trust any representatives who say they just want to have a friendly chat. Anything you say or do can be used against you.

Create a Written Timeline

Being interviewed by police officers can be disorienting, and it is easy to mix up dates and times to your detriment. We recommend writing down a timeline of the details involved in your case. Write down any important details you remember and any alibis for when the child abuse allegedly occurred. Start from day one and proceed until the present. If you keep calendars on your smartphone or use paper calendars, it can help review them. They could provide important clues to proving your innocence. Share your information and your timeline with your defense lawyer.

Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you are facing child abuse charges, you need an experienced lawyer on your side who will protect your rights. Your future is on the line. Contact attorney Mark Solomon today to schedule an initial consultation.