Chester County Child Abuse Attorney

In Pennsylvania, reports of substantiated child abuse increased from a rate of 1.6 per thousand children in 2016 to 1.8 in 2017. Chester County received 69 petitions for protection related to juvenile abuse or neglect in 2017. The following chart illustrates the increase in reported incidents over the last few years.











Chester County has a District Attorney's Child Abuse Unit (CAU) that is trained to analyze and prosecute potential crimes that harm children. Aside from investigations and prosecution, they also assist with the Chester County Child Advocacy Center.

Overview of Child Abuse

Child abuse may involve someone's actions or inactions that cause or fail to prevent harm to a child. The perpetrator acts with intent and the results may include physical injury, mental injury, or “sexual abuse or exploitation.” Failing to tend to a child's welfare is a form of child abuse, such as denying them access to medical treatment.


The ChildLine system was implemented as a means of reporting suspected cases of child abuse in Pennsylvania. Individuals who are required to report child abuse, such as those in law enforcement, medical providers, or child-care providers, must disclose their identity. Others may make the report anonymously. In most cases, the reports are promptly referred to a local agency for investigation.

Child Protective Services Law of 2014 (CPSL)

The CPSL made several modifications to the laws. The list of those who are mandated to report suspected cases of child abuse was expanded. The standard for what is considered as child abuse was lowered. Specifically, a perpetrator of child abuse is one who acts “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly.” It also reduced the result that may occur from serious physical injury to “bodily injury.”

Common Charges

  • Endangering welfare of children: Occurs when a party that is responsible for a child's supervision violates their duty to “care, protection, or support.” Those who attempt to obstruct or impede someone from making a report may also be charged. This charge may be a misdemeanor of the first degree or a felony of the second or third degree based on the circumstances.
  • Sexual abuse of children (§6312): Applies when someone permits a child to engage in unlawful sexual acts that involve taking photographs or video. This also may involve someone who knowingly sells, distributes, displays, or otherwise disseminates such material. Based on the circumstances of the offense, it may be a felony charge of the first, second, or third degree.
  • Simple Assault: This relates to actions that intentionally create bodily injury, or create a fear of “imminent bodily injury.” In this context, simple assault is caused by an adult perpetrator on a victim under the age of 12. It is a misdemeanor of the first degree.
  • Concealment of whereabouts of a child (§2909): This may occur when someone takes a child and does not inform the parent or guardian of the child's whereabouts. This is a felony of the third degree.

Levels of Relating Offenses and Penalties in Pennsylvania

Level of Offense

Period of Imprisonment

Maximum Fines

First Degree Felony

Up to 20 years


Second Degree Felony

Up to 10 years


Third Degree Felony

Up to 7 years


First Degree Misdemeanor

Up to 5 years


Second Degree Misdemeanor

Up to 2 years


Retaining Effective Defense Counsel

If you are alleged to be a perpetrator of acts that involve child abuse, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. An offense involving a child victim may be a misdemeanor or a felony and have harsh consequences.

Attorney in Chester County Defends Allegations of Child Abuse

The LLF Law Firm Criminal Defense team understands the social stigma and serious penalties that can result from charges relating to the abuse of a child. He has years of experience effectively representing clients in these and other types of criminal allegations in Pennsylvania. For a case evaluation, contact the office at (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.

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