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Maryland Child Abuse Lawyer

As defined by Maryland law, child abuse means physical injury sustained by a minor as a result of cruel and inhumane treatment. As a result of any malicious act and the circumstances, that can indicate that the minor’s health or welfare was harmed or threatened and that would be specifically by treatment or acts taken by someone.

It does not have to be an overt act like a person assaulting them, it could simply be the way an individual gets to punish them, putting them in a room, or things to that effect. Child abuse cases involve the inclusive of a family member. Meaning, this individual is a relative either by blood, adoption, marriage, a household member or has a regular presence in that home.

If you are facing charges of child abuse in Maryland, a distinguished domestic violence lawyer may be vital to creating your defense. A Maryland child abuse lawyer can advise you on how local laws may affect your case.

Defining a Family Member

A family member is defined by either blood, adoption, or marriage. However, if this is a parent that has separated from their spouse and is the blood-related parent and there is a stepparent involved, they are both considered family members. As far as serious physical injuries, there is a list, part of which could include a brain injury, bleeding to the skull, starvation,  and physical injury.

Child abuse injuries also constitute as things that can create a substantial risk of death, such as permanent injury, disfigurement, loss of function, and impairment of function. That is the baseline of the legal definition. A Maryland child abuse lawyer has seen that a case for abuse charges can break down into degrees and that can further answer those questions.

Abuse Investigations

Before determining Maryland child abuse penalties for a specific case, it needs to be investigated. Even if there are five kids and there is abuse alleged on one, Child Protective Services are going to assess every single child and they are going to evaluate and interview the family, and then they are going to complete their assessment and involve law enforcement and the courts, if necessary, and do a safety program. If they do find evidence of a crime, it is going to be reported, and only the individuals responsible are going to be arrested.

If the investigation shows that there was abuse, or neglect in any way, shape or form and a person is charged,  there will be hearings for the abuse and neglect that goes through CPS. It is indicated that there is in fact abuse, it can be proven even beyond any appeal, children can be removed from the home, the adults or that person responsible can be arrested and charged. If a person is convicted, there is the stigmatism that comes along with being called a child abuser, not to mention the time that they have to spend in jail. Being associated with child abuse or neglect is not received well in any place and it is a felony conviction.

Potential Penalties

First degree child abuse refers to a parent or person who has permanent or temporary care custody of a minor and causes abuse to the minor that results in death, or causes severe physical injury, and under that section, a person who violates and is found guilty of this can be put in prison for no point exceeding 25 years or if there is a death, it is 30 years.

The penalty is exceptional for a first-degree child abuse case and if it is a repeat offense, the person who violates this section under first degree, is facing 25 years or 30 years. For a first-degree child abuse case, they look at the parameters of a second-degree child abuse which is also a parent or another person who has permanent or temporary care or custody of a minor, or is responsible for supervision of a minor.

Even someone if someone is temporarily responsible, they are watching over the minor, any household member or family member may not cause abuse to a minor. Abuse is a wide range and there is a maximum penalty that does not exceed 15 years.

Sentencing

It is important to know that the sentence imposed for a violation of Maryland child abuse laws may be separate from, consecutive, or concurrent with a sentence for any crime based on the act establishing the violation. If an individual is charged with second-degree child abuse and if there was an assault in the first degree which carries a maximum penalty of 25 years, they can be sentenced on both.

Following an Incident Report

With regards to reporting an incident, the general practice is if anyone who sees child abuse, knows of child abuse, or if a person gets information about child abuse, it must be reported. That is inclusive of practitioners, a doctor or a nurse, of schools, police, anyone who does service work.

Reporting is suggested if the individual or group has a reasonable belief or any ground of belief that there is a child that has been abused, that includes neglect, mental abuse, as well as anything physical. They should be reporting their concerns to the local departments, which means calling the local police, or Maryland state police, or calling the local sheriff, depending on where you live. If a person has a reason to believe that they do need to make these reports, they are required to do so. Anyone suspected of child abuse should speak with a Maryland child abuse lawyer to review their case.