Child Abuse, Neglect or Endangerment
An allegation of child abuse carries a heavy stigma that can be difficult to fight during your defense. If you've been charged with abusing or neglecting a child, you're in for a tough fight, with the odds already stacked against you. While some accusations are the result of a misunderstanding, some come from malicious intention during custody battles or other disagreements. In any case, even an arrest for suspected child abuse can disrupt and threaten your entire life.
An attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected through the criminal justice process head of you. With a skilled attorney on your side, the odds against you can be reduced to a reasonable level, in order to give you a fair chance in court.
Iowa Child Abuse Defense
We have attorneys who have defended many clients facing challenging situations involving a claim of child neglect, abuse or endangerment. An aggressive defense is necessary to defend you against an emotional allegation involving children. We know what you're up against and how to effectively take on Iowa's criminal justice system.
Child Abuse and Neglect as Defined by Iowa's Laws
The offenses that are commonly described as "child abuse" are actually defined as child endangerment by Iowa's criminal law statutes. These laws define a minor to be any person under the age of 18. Statute 726.6 lists that the following offenses are considered child endangerment:
- Knowingly create a risk of harm to a child's physical, mental, or emotional well-being
- Intentionally use unreasonable force that results, or is intended to result, in injury to a child
- Willfully deprives a child of basic necessities such as food, shelter, and clothing when it is within the caregiver's power to provide it
- Knowingly allowing a child to be abused
- Abandoning a child
- Permitting a child to be present where drugs such amphetamine is produced
- Knowingly allowing a registered sex offender to care for a child, unless the offender is the child's parent or married to one of the parents
The severity of the potential penalties for committing these acts largely depends on the damage inflicted on the child, as follows:
- If the child dies a result of the abuse, the charge is considered a class B felony
- If the child is seriously injured, the offender faces a class C felony
- If the child is bodily injured, the charge is classified as a class D felony
- In any other instance, the charge is considered an aggravated misdemeanor
A charge of child endangerment carries a relatively high amount of subjectivity, leaving a wide range of discretion to the court presiding over the case. This makes it extremely important to have an attorney on your side who is not afraid to aggressively defend you against prejudices.