Child Abuse

Children are considered to be among the most vulnerable types of victims, and Pennsylvania law punishes people convicted of these crimes accordingly. However, people can sometimes find themselves being charged with abusing youngsters as a result of false or exaggerated claims and possibly misunderstood attempts at discipline.

These allegations may come from a spouse in the middle of a divorce or custody dispute or another citizen who contacted authorities after witnessing what he or she perceived to be abuse. Any person who has been charged with this type of offense will often feel as though he or she is immediately presumed guilty and will have to struggle to prove his or her innocence in court.

Philadelphia Child Abuse Lawyer

If you have been arrested or are under investigation for allegedly abusing a child, it is imperative that you speak to an extremely knowledgeable criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The LLF Law Firm understands the tremendous stigma that people accused of these types of crimes bear, and they fight to restore the good name of every person they serve while pursuing the most favorable outcomes for such cases.

The LLF Law Firm represents clients in Philadelphia County as well as several surrounding areas of Pennsylvania. Call (888) 535-3686 right now to let our firm review your case and begin developing the strongest possible legal defense.

Philadelphia County Child Abuse Information Center

Child Abuse Charges in Pennsylvania

There are several laws in the Keystone State relating to the abuse of children. Depending on the specific nature of the allegations, a person could be charged with:

  • Endangering Welfare of Children, Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Title 18 § 4304 — A parent, a guardian, a person supervising the welfare of a child under 18 years of age by providing care, education, training, or control of that child, or a person that employs or supervises such a person commits this offense if he or she knowingly endangers the welfare of the child by violating a duty of care, protection, or support. A person also commits this offense if he or she is in an official capacity and prevents or interferes with the making of a report of suspected child abuse. This crime is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor, but the charge may be elevated to a third-degree felony if there is a course of conduct of endangering the welfare of a child.
  • Simple Assault, Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Title 18 § 2701 — A person 18 years of age or older can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor if he or she attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to a child under 12 years of age, negligently causes bodily injury to a child under 12 years of age with a deadly weapon, or attempts by physical menace to put a child under 12 years of age in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.
  • Aggravated Assault, Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Title 18 § 2702 — It is a second-degree felony if a person 18 years of age or older attempts to cause or intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes serious bodily injury to a child less than 13 years of age. If the alleged victim is a child less than six years of age, this is a first-degree felony.

Certain professions and individuals are required to any suspected abuse of children under Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Title 23 § § 6311. These parties include:

  • People licensed or certified to practice in any health-related field under the jurisdiction of the Department of State
  • Medical examiners, coroners, or funeral directors
  • Employees of health care facilities or providers licensed by the Department of Health, who are engaged in the admission, examination, care or treatment of individuals
  • School employees
  • Employees of child-care services who have direct contact with children in the course of employment
  • Clergymen, priests, rabbis, ministers, Christian Science practitioners, religious healers, or spiritual leaders of any regularly established churches or other religious organizations
  • Individuals paid or unpaid, who, on the basis of their roles as integral parts of regularly scheduled programs, activities, or services, accept responsibility for children
  • Employees of social services agencies who have direct contact with children in the course of employment
  • Peace officers or law enforcement officials
  • Emergency medical services providers certified by the Department of Health
  • Employees of public libraries who have direct contact with children in the course of employment
  • Individuals supervised or managed by any person listed above and have direct contact with children in the course of employment
  • Independent contractors
  • Attorneys affiliated with agencies, institutions, organizations, or other entities, including schools or regularly established religious organizations that are responsible for the care, supervision, guidance or control of children
  • Foster parents

Philadelphia Child Abuse Penalties

An alleged offender faces very severe punishments if he or she is convicted of abusing a child. Depending on the classification of the crime the person allegedly committed, some of the consequences may include:

  • First-Degree Misdemeanor — Maximum sentence of five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
  • Third-Degree Felony — Maximum sentence of seven years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines
  • Second-Degree Felony — Maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines
  • First-Degree Felony — Maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines

Child Abuse Defenses in Pennsylvania

Every case of alleged abuse of a child is different. Thus, there can always be specific defenses that are unique to an alleged offender's individual situation. Generally, some of the most common defenses in these types of cases include, but are not limited to:

  • False accusations
  • Child's injuries were not result of abuse
  • Parental right to discipline
  • Improper interviewing of alleged victim
  • Lack of evidence

Find the Best Child Abuse Lawyer in Philadelphia

Are you under investigation for or have you been arrested for abusing a child in Pennsylvania? The LLF Law Firm can aggressively defend your rights in court and work tirelessly to get the charges against you reduced or completely dismissed.

The LLF Law Firm helps people from all over Philadelphia County and many nearby communities in Pennsylvania. Let our firm review your case by calling (888) 535-3686 today.

Contact Us Today!

The LLF Law Firm Team has decades of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the LLF Law Firm today! Our Criminal Defense Team will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.