Defending parents and others against damaging allegations
Facing allegations of child abuse can be a terrifying ordeal. In Utah it is a serious crime carrying substantial criminal penalties — and if the alleged victim is your own child, it can have a major impact on your parental rights. While well meaning, teachers and medical personnel are often overly cautious in reporting suspicious injuries, causing even conscientious parents to fall under scrutiny. Even more disturbingly, allegations of child abuse can serve as weapons in domestic disputes and custody litigation. If you have been accused of child abuse or are under investigation by police or the Division of Child and Family Services, consulting a Utah child abuse attorney from Intermountain Legal early can help you take control of the situation before your rights are irreparably damaged.
Utah child abuse laws
Utah law adopts a broad definition of child abuse that can encompass even minor and accidental injuries. Depending on the circumstances, the grading for child abuse crimes can range from a Class C misdemeanor to a second-degree felony:
- Physical injury inflicted through criminal negligence — Class C misdemeanor
- Physical injury recklessly inflicted — Class B misdemeanor
- Physical injury intentionally inflicted — Class A misdemeanor
- Serious physical injury inflicted through criminal negligence — Class A misdemeanor
- Serious physical injury recklessly inflicted — third-degree felony
- Serious physical injury intentionally inflicted — second-degree felony
How a criminal defense attorney can help
Child abuse cases can be technical and complicated. Because there are rarely adult first-hand witnesses, these allegations often turn on medical evidence and, in the case of older children, accounts from the victims themselves. This kind of evidence is frequently subject to interpretation. But a Utah child abuse lawyer can identify the issues that may come into play and, if necessary, procure reliable expert testimony that can often be crucial in these types of cases.
Even in situations where an acquittal or dismissal is not likely, the broad range of penalties for crimes involving children in Utah means that an experienced attorney can still be beneficial. A good child abuse attorney can identify and draw attention to the more favorable aspects of your case to obtain a lesser sentence or negotiate a favorable plea bargain.
Call the firm for a free consultation for child abuse charges
Intermountain Legal attorneys have experience representing both parents and non-parents facing child abuse allegations. We know the law and we know the process. Call our office today at 801-990-4200 or contact us online to begin taking control of your legal troubles.
Intermountain Legal is located in Salt Lake City, UT and serves clients throughout all of Northern and Central Utah including Salt Lake City, Midvale, Sandy, West Jordan, North Salt Lake, Bountiful, South Jordan, Clearfield, Woods Cross, Draper, Farmington, Centerville, Layton, Ogden, Lehi, Provo, Orem, Park City and the counties of Davis, Salt Lake, Weber, Utah, Tooele and Summit.