Child Abuse

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There are over 300,000 reports of child abuse each year in the United States alone. Many are factual and warranted, but some are baseless and untrue. Depending on the severity, alleged abuse charges can range from an A1 misdemeanor to a B2 felony. In other words, child abuse charges, regardless of alleged severity, have the potential to ruin the accused defendant’s life. At Greenwood Law, our attorneys have the experience and ability to advocate for any of our clients charged with child abuse in North Carolina.

What is Considered Abuse?

Child abuse can take many different forms. North Carolina’s child abuse laws are comprehensive and they try to cover all forms of abuse that a child may suffer.

Physical Abuse

North Carolina law defines physical child abuse as inflicting injury, allowing injury to be inflicted, or creating a substantial risk of injury, other than by accident. The law does not specifically define “injury” in order to prohibit as many forms of physical abuse as possible. 

Behavior Modification

The child abuse law also prohibits using, or allowing to be used, cruel or grossly inappropriate procedures, or cruel or grossly inappropriate devices in order to modify a child’s behavior. Some lawsuits have been brought under this section that claim that behavior modification therapy designed to prevent or “cure” a child of homosexuality is child abuse.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse can come in many forms. North Carolina’s child abuse law specifically mentions rape; unlawful sale, surrender, or purchase of a minor; incest; preparation of obscene photographs; giving obscene material to the child; sexual exploitation of the child; promoting prostitution; and taking “indecent liberties” with the child.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse may not be as obvious as some other forms of abuse, but it is just as serious and just as illegal. North Carolina makes it a crime to create or allow to be created serious emotional damage to a child. Some evidence of this type of abuse is severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal, and aggressive behavior towards him or herself or others.

What are the Differences in the Types of Child Abuse Charges?

Misdemeanor:

  • Class A1 Child Abuse – This is inflicting physical injury, allowing physical injury to be inflicted, or creating a substantial risk of physical injury upon a child. Accidental injury is excluded.

Felony:

  • Class B2 Child Abuse– Serious bodily injury occurs to a minor.
  • Class D Child Abuse– Serious injury, prostitution or other sexual acts occur against a minor.
  • Class E Child Abuse– This is willful or grossly negligent omission, which shows a reckless disregard for human life resulting in serious bodily injury to a minor.
  • Class G Child Abuse– This is willful or grossly negligent acts or omissions showing a reckless disregard for human life, which results in serious physical injury to the child.

Are You Under Investigation or Have You Received Charges for Child Abuse?

It’s natural to panic when you’ve been accused of child neglect, endangerment or abuse. And though there are serious consequences to a conviction, you can successfully fight the charges if you stay smart, patient, and determined.

The first thing you must do when charged with child abuse is to understand the severity of the crime. The State views child abuse as one of the most serious issues facing our community and it will dedicate the necessary time, money and other resources to prevent and discourage it.

If you are charged with child abuse in Winston-Salem or the surrounding areas, your first order of business should be to find the best defense lawyer you can possibly hire. You need a lawyer with experience defending child abuse charges, someone who will fight for your rights. Contact our law firm, Greenwood Law, by calling 336-794-6138. Schedule your free initial consultation over the phone or by using this online contact form.