Spencer & Sundstrom represent parents, family members and caretakers (teachers, childcare professionals) who have been accused of child abuse.
Nothing is more emotionally devastating than being accused of mentally, physically or sexually abusing a child. The mere accusation of abuse against a child can have devastating personal and professional effects that can last a lifetime.
Of all of the offenses for which a person can be charged, child abuse is the one type of offense that is exempted from the traditional evidentiary requirements. RCW 9A44.020 provides “In order to convict a person of any crime defined in this chapter it shall not be necessary that the testimony of the alleged victim be corroborated.” As a consequence, these accusations are notoriously difficult to defend, since there is no requirement for the State to present any evidence to support or corroborate an accusation. A simple “he said, she said” is all that I is needed to put a person at risk of being convicted.
This underscores the importance of seeking legal representation at the earliest opportunity.
Not all children lie, but then again not all children tell the truth. Hundreds of cases involving allegations of child abuse have yielded some interesting lessons in dealing with an allegation of child abuse:
– The competency of a witness or “victim” is dependent on the ability of the witness to accurately perceive, recall and relate events. Children are not always very good at interpreting events, remembering them accurately or reporting them.
– False child abuse allegations often do not originate in the mind of the child; they are often planted in the mind of a child by an adult who may be motivated by an acrimonious divorce or child custody dispute.
– The younger a child, the more easily the child can be manipulated into lying or stretching the truth.
– False child abuse allegations are sometimes brought by an “adult” child or teenager who see the allegation as the best opportunity to change their personal circumstances.
– Child abuse has actually occurred, but the child is mistaken as to the identity of the perpetrator.
-In cases of physical abuse allegations, one person’s “discipline” is another person’s “abuse” or, perhaps, an observed injury was not directly caused by the discipline, but rather due to some accident or other condition that made the child more prone to injury.
Don’t believe that the authorities are there to protect your rights or afford you the presumption of innocence! Law enforcement and the Department of Social and Health Services will act against you on any evidence of abuse or neglect; the standard operating procedure is to act first and ask questions later.
Child abuse laws are meant to protect the most vulnerable people in our society. And while that is something we can all get behind, defendants also have the right to be presumed innocent unless proven otherwise. We are your go to choice for a child abuse defense attorneys in Vancouver WA.
If you have been accused of child abuse or child neglect, the best defense is not a wait and see approach. Do not wait to protect your legal rights. The attorneys at Spencer & Sundstrom have spent decades on both the prosecution and defense side of cases, which gives us perspective and best ensures a successful outcome. Call us today at (360) 356-1710 or toll free at (877) 574-6109 for a free consultation from a child abuse defense attorneys in Vancouver WA.