Dan Murphy
By: Dan Murphy

Matters involving children always strike an emotional chord with all the parties in the criminal justice system. Thus, an accusation of child abuse can accelerate the momentum against you and turn your life upside down in an instant.

Accused persons need a defense that can restore their standing with the community and also their children. Child abuse lawyer Attorney Daniel M. Murphy has been going above and beyond to protect the rights of guardians and parents in municipal, county, and district courts in Colorado.

Are Accidental Injuries the Parents’/Guardians’ Fault?

In Colorado, child abuse laws can only punish parents or caregivers that demonstrated gross parental negligence or recklessness in an accident. The prosecution’s role is to highlight these indications while your legal time aggressively disputes them with skillful arguments.

Remember that you are innocent and have to do all it takes to prove that you lacked the intent and awareness in those circumstances. For example, you may have accidentally slammed the car’s door into a child’s hand, but the prosecutor argues that you were negligent in those circumstances.

It takes the effort of a seasoned Denver child abuse lawyer to convince the jury that you are not guilty of child abuse. A conviction can jeopardize your highly valued relationships with your children, family, friends, and colleagues.

What if the Injuries Resulted from Something Other than Abuse?

Just because child abuse charges have been brought against you doesn’t mean that it will end with a conviction. Sometimes, the person that reported meant well for the minor but was misinformed about what truly happened.

Kids can get injured while running around and playing, and the injuries can appear as caused by another person. Note that the law requires the following parties to report possible incidences that imply child abuse:

  • Members of the clergy
  • Emergency medical responders
  • Firefighters
  • Law enforcement officers
  • Mental health professionals
  • Child care providers
  • Social workers
  • Private and public school employees
  • Healthcare providers

So, their report can sometimes be inaccurate or not well-founded. However, these parties are usually immune from liability if the allegations prove false as long as they are reported in good faith.

Can I be Convicted if I was Using Reasonable Force to Discipline a Child?

Some American parents do not believe in corporal punishment, while others find it okay to spank their kids to enforce discipline. Whatever style you pick on in bringing up your child, the law allows you to physically punish them as long as you do not step over the line.

According to criminal law, it is the judge’s mandate to decide whether child abuse took place. It is equally essential that the jury does not confuse the limits of physical punishment and convict a parent of child abuse when their action did not cross the threshold. That is why you need a child abuse lawyer in Denver, CO, to defend your rights every step of the way.

How Can I Defend Myself if I’m Falsely Accused?

Sometimes, one parent can maliciously accuse the other parent of perpetrating abuse for selfish interests. This is common when the two parents are going through a divorce and cannot agree on the contentious issue of child custody. So, the accusing parent might be seeking to have the upper hand in the court battle by portraying the other one as a child abuser.

Notably, some can even go to the extent of using the children to make malicious accusations. And children can be very persuasive when they are coached well, but a trained expert can tell when the minor has been asked to lie. A Denver child abuse attorney who’s well equipped with suitable counter-measures can expose false accusations and unravel the truth.

Can the Accused Person’s Mental State Matter Be Used as a Defense?

The accused person’s mental condition can be used as a defense against child abuse charges in Colorado. Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP) is a condition where the caregiver actively promotes an illness or lies about a child’s illness to get attention or sympathy. It is a rare defense, but the condition is recognized as a mental disorder.

This defense needs evidence of psychological or medical evaluation to be valid and relieve the defendant of the charges. Sometimes, the court also uses circumstantial evidence to prove one’s state of mind. The jury might consider:

  • The motive to hurt the child;
  • The concealment of the injuries;
  • The defendant’s lack of remorse and efforts to avoid detection;
  • The disparity in size and strength of the defendant and the victim;
  • The brutality of the attack;
  • Indications of prior injuries that suggest repeated abuse;
  • The failure to seek medical care;
  • The defendant’s admissions,
  • and the serious nature of the injuries;

How is Self-Defense Used as a Defense in Child Abuse Cases?

A caregiver may have found themselves using excessive force to defend other family members from another child. This could be a teenager throwing a tantrum and threatening to hurt other people. And in self-defense, the parent or guardian could have inflicted injuries unintentionally.

The defendant can use witness testimony to prove their case and save themselves from jail and hefty fines. But they need to speak to an experienced child abuse lawyer in Colorado as soon as the incident happens.

Aggressive Criminal Defense Attorney in Denver

The type of defense a child abuse attorney formulates for each client is unique to the circumstances of their case. Child abuse accusations are so diverse, and your possibilities can only be determined after you speak to an experienced child abuse legal expert in Denver.

If the authorities are investigating you for accusations of child abuse, you got to act fast. Speak to a skilled lawyer who understands child abuse laws and can distinguish a real offense from a baseless allegation. Dial (303) 996-8998 to discuss your first free consultation today.

Dan Murphy
By: Dan Murphy

Denver criminal defense lawyer Daniel M. Murphy provides clients in the Denver area with aggressive and sympathetic legal representation. He graduated from the University of Denver Law School in 1994 and worked as a public defender before starting his own practice in 1996. He has defended clients accused of the most difficult criminal and alcohol-related charges. He also serves as a Moot Court Judge for Denver-area law students who rely on his mentorship.