When you think of child abuse, you tend to think of the more horrific versions – beatings that leave marks, cigarette burns, and broken bones. However, the term “child abuse” includes a lot more than just violent physical abuse. There’s emotional (sometimes called mental or psychological abuse), sexual abuse, and even neglect that all fall into the category of “abuse” under Michigan law. And as you can imagine, that leaves a lot open to interpretation.
Some abuse leaves marks, and some doesn’t
Obviously, physical abuse is easier to tell. There are bruises, burns, fractures and internal injuries that tell the stories (sometimes inaccurately) of what that child has experienced. But many types of abuse leave no marks at all. Sexual abuse that doesn’t involve penetration, and psychological abuse that leaves a child terrified and emotionally stunted leaves no marks at all. Yet verbal and psychological abuse certainly leaves emotional scars on kids. Which makes it harder to prove when it happens, and harder to disprove when it’s falsely claimed.
There are also other situations that can result in child abuse charges
False allegations aside, there are also other situations that can lead to child abuse charges where you never laid a finger on a child. Child neglect, while it is considered to be a separate situation altogether, is still charged as ‘child abuse’ in Michigan. And if CPS workers decide that you don’t have enough food in your home (which could easily be the result of poverty and not poor parenting choices) or your bills haven’t been paid and you’re struggling to have your water or heat turned back on, you may be looking at child abuse or child neglect charges!
Doing things that are considered dangerous to children can get you charged
Another issue you have to watch out for is child endangerment. Doing something that could possibly harm a child, or potentially expose them to harm, even if nothing happens to them and they’re fine, can get you into trouble! This includes things like driving under the influence of alcohol with a child in the car, or exposing a child to unnecessary dangers by allowing them to walk long distances unattended, or stay at home for long periods without parental supervision in an unsafe house.
Sexual abuse charges can happen with only one person’s say-so
All it takes for a person to be accused of molesting or sexually assaulting a child, is that child to claim that you touched them in an inappropriate way. There doesn’t have to be a witness, or even physical evidence of the assault, in order for the prosecutor’s office to file charges against you. As you can imagine, a frightening number of people are falsely accused of child molestation and wrongly imprisoned every year for sexual crimes against children they never commited!
Child abuse charges can have life long implications in Michigan!
Prosecutors and CPS often harshly go after parents in child abuse or neglect cases. Sometimes, even when parents are acquitted of all criminal child abuse charges, Children’s Protective Services (CPS) still tries to pursue the parents. This is partly because CPS cases don’t need the same level of proof as criminal child abuse cases, and because the state still has the power to separate children from the parents.
Our goal as skilled and experienced child abuse defense attorneys, is to keep your children at home with you, and to protect you from false allegations and misunderstandings. So call 866 766 5245 today and let the experts help you protect your family and your rights. We’ve been fighting child abuse cases since the last century. Reach our child abuse defense team at 1 800-576-6035.