Child Abuse Defense Attorneys in Phoenix, AZ
Our experienced Phoenix, Arizona criminal defense lawyers have successfully defended many individuals accused of child abuse in Arizona.
If you are suspected of or charged with child abuse in Arizona, it is imperative that you contact an experienced Arizona criminal defense lawyer immediately to begin your representation. The Gillespie Law Firm, P.C. is a leading Arizona criminal defense firm with unique knowledge and years of experience in defending clients charged with alleged child abuse in the state of Arizona. Our Phoenix criminal defense attorneys can handle all of the aspects of your case. We will strongly advocate your case at all times, yet do so in a discrete manner as we recognize that your reputation and your future are at stake. If you choose to retain our Phoenix criminal law defense firm, we will provide the highest level of criminal defense representation available.
Allegations of “child abuse” in Arizona may include anything from leaving a young child in an unattended vehicle to a severe case of shaken baby syndrome (SBS). An allegation of child abuse is most often made against a parent. However, it is not uncommon for another relative, a family friend, neighbor or other caregiver to be accused of child abuse as well.
Child abuse charges in Arizona vary by type and severity of punishment. Depending upon the nature of the alleged offense, certain child abuse cases in Arizona that involve a child under the age of 15 may be charged as a “Dangerous Crime Against Children” (DCAC), punishable by mandatory imprisonment of 10 to 24 years for an individual who has no prior criminal history.
As noted above, child abuse allegations are not limited to acts of intentional physical abuse. In Arizona, child abuse charges also encompass other non-intentional conduct which is alleged to have been committed “recklessly” or with “criminal negligence”. The charge filed will depend upon the applicable “State of Mind” at the time the alleged crime was committed. Obviously, the severity of punishment will be much greater if the government is able to prove the abuse was inflicted “intentionally” or “knowingly” rather than through mere “reckless” or “criminally negligent” conduct.
An allegation of child abuse in Arizona must be taken very seriously. If suspected or accused of child abuse it is imperative to be pro-active – don’t submit to questioning or wait for an arrest before contacting an Arizona criminal defense attorney.
Often alleged child abuse acts have no witnesses. Consequently, child abuse cases are frequently prosecuted on mere suspicion or very thin evidence. False charges of child abuse are common. To properly defend against such cases, it is imperative that you consult with a knowledgeable Arizona criminal defense lawyer who has a proven track record of successfully handling prior Arizona child abuse cases. The science surrounding child brain injury and the explanations for its causes are so complex that you cannot take a chance with an attorney who is unfamiliar with the applicable science and legal concepts. An Arizona criminal defense attorney who understands the complexities of traumatic pediatric brain injury is best suited to explain the different potential causes of these injuries to a jury.
State of Arizona v. Kathy
On October 26, 2004 Kathy was indicted for one count of child abuse, a class 2 felony and dangerous crime against children in Arizona. Upon conviction she was facing a mandatory prison term of 10-24 years. The State believed Kathy was responsible for violently shaking the 17-month old child who she cared for at the daycare program she operated out of her home. However, Kathy told the paramedics the child was injured during a fall as he ran across the family room, slipped, and struck his head on a plastic toy box. At the hospital the child presented with bilateral subdural hematomas, bilateral retinal hemorrhages, and an occipital skull fracture.
Over the course of approximately 10 months, Kathy was unable to convince her Court Appointed Attorney to honor her wishes and prepare her case for trial. From the onset, Kathy had maintained her innocence and made it clear she wished to proceed to Trial and was not interested in taking any plea. Despite her wishes, only three of the State’s seventy two listed witnesses were interviewed and no medical expert was identified that would support Kathy’s version of the events which resulted in the child’s injuries.
In 2005, Kathy took matters into her own hands and retained the Phoenix Arizona criminal defense lawyers at The Gillespie Law Firm, P.C. Our leading Arizona criminal defense firm retained two expert witnesses. They reviewed and analyzed the medical records, MRI and CAT scans, and both agreed the child’s injuries were consistent with the accidental fall as described by Kathy. With the help of our experts, Mr. Gillespie was successful in convincing the jury of Kathy’s innocence. Following a 2 week trial the jury found Kathy Not Guilty!