Birmingham Child Abuse & Neglect Lawyer
Disciplining a child is just a part of parenting, but there are times when punishment is no longer considered discipline. In fact, sometimes when a parent becomes physical with their child, it can even result in criminal charges such as child abuse. Child abuse is devastating to the victim and causes short and long-term consequences. Abusing or neglecting a child also has serious repercussions for parents, and they include the potential loss of parental rights. If you believe your child is being harmed, our Birmingham child abuse & neglect lawyer can advise on your case.
What is Child Abuse?
Child abuse occurs when a parent, legal guardian, or other person responsible for caring for a child intentionally tortures, cruelly beats, or otherwise intentionally mistreated a child under the age of 18 years old. Child abuse is a Class C felony punishable by between one to ten years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000.
The charge can be increased to aggravated child abuse when it occurs on multiple occasions, when it causes the child serious physical injury, or when it is violation of a court order. Aggravated child abuse is punishable by between 2 to 20 years in prison and a maximum $30,000 fine.
Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
Certain individuals are required to report child abuse when it occurs. Essentially, these individuals are anyone who is in regular contact with children. Day care workers, teachers, social workers, police officers, chiropractors, doctors, dentists, and clergy are just a few people who are required to report child abuse.
Even if you do not work in one of the above professions, you should report child abuse and neglect any time you know or suspect it is happening. You can report child abuse and neglect to the Department of Human Resources office. If it is an emergency, you can also call 911.
Signs of Child Abuse
It is important for everyone to know the signs of child abuse. Children do not always come forward when abuse is occurring, usually out of fear that it will anger their abuser and make the situation worse. Other times, children feel as though the abuse is their fault and so, are scared to come forward. Identifying the signs can help stop the abuse as quickly as possible. Some of the most common signs of child abuse include:
- Changes in behavior or in academic performance
- Withdrawing from social circles and activities they once loved
- Sleep issues, including nightmares
- Anxiety, depression, or unusual fears
- Frequent absences from school
- A visible lack of supervision
- Defiant or rebellious behavior
Our Child Abuse and Neglect Lawyer in Birmingham Can Help Protect Your Family
If someone has hurt your child, our Birmingham child abuse and neglect lawyer at Peeples Law can advise you of your legal options on how to report and stop it. Call us today at 205-403-5577 or reach out to us online to schedule a consultation with our skilled attorney and to learn more about how we can help with your case.