There may be no other category of crime that carries as much stigma as sex crimes and child abuse. Whether you are found guilty or not, the mere accusation can have a devastating impact on your reputation and your personal or professional relationships. If you or someone you love is facing allegations of sexual or physical abuse of a child it is critical that you seek the advice of an aggressive Washington criminal defense lawyer immediately.
Above and beyond Family and Reputation
Child abuse cases bring an immediate threat to your family and reputation. Beyond that, child abuse allegations place a person at risk for:
But wait…there’s no proof!
The law generally requires that there must be evidence of a crime above and beyond the mere accusation. The single exception to this rule in Washington is for any crimes charged under RCW 9A.44, which reads: “In order to convict a person of any [sex abuse] crime defined in this chapter it shall not be necessary that the testimony of the alleged victim be corroborated.” Essentially, this means that nothing more than the mere accusation is needed to convict a person, which is why child abuse cases are notoriously difficult to defend and are deserving of the most aggressive legal defense.
Time is of the essence
Because child abuse cases necessarily involve an allegation from a child, time is of the essence in preparing the most appropriate legal defense and response. With these types of cases, the sooner you can start forming a defense, the more of an edge you have in a favorable outcome. These cases are like shifting sands when it comes to the accusation and testimony of a child. Early action often proves to be the difference maker.
Call now for a Consultation
Over the last twenty-five years, the attorneys at Spencer & Sundstrom have built a solid reputation for aggressive, results-oriented defense representation in all types of child abuse cases. You have our promise to handle your case with discretion and respect at all times and, most importantly, you can count on us to build the strongest possible defense on your behalf. We diligently pursue every available option in an effort to preserve your rights, your freedom and your good name.
Contact our office today to talk to one of our attorneys about your case. We will give you an honest assessment of your case and help you understand your legal options. You can reach us by phone at 360-356-1710 or schedule a consultation through our website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Not all children lie, but not all children tell the truth. Over twenty-five years of defending clients in child abuse cases have yielded some interesting lessons in dealing with an allegation of child abuse:
It can be. The law affords the right to parents to exercise corporal punishment within their home, provided that corporal punishment is “reasonable.” Specifically, RCW 9A.16.100 provides that the physical discipline of a child is not unlawful when it is reasonable and moderate and is inflicted by a parent, teacher, or guardian for purposes of restraining or correcting the child. That being said, certain types of physical punishment are expressly prohibited under that law and will invite serious criminal charges. These include: (1) Throwing, kicking, burning, or cutting a child; (2) striking a child with a closed fist; (3) shaking a child under age three; (4) interfering with a child’s breathing; (5) threatening a child with a deadly weapon; or (6) doing any other act that is likely to cause and which does cause bodily harm greater than transient pain or minor temporary marks.
Yes. Washington law permits contact with a minor child without knowledge or consent of the child’s parent when investigating allegations of child abuse.
No. The vast majority of child abuse charges originate under “mandatory reporting” by a teacher, counselor, day care provider or third party who observes an injury to a child. These initial reports are most frequently channeled through Child Protective Services, who in turn will coordinate with law enforcement. CPS officials are most concerned with ensuring that the immediate safety of the child is secured, while law enforcement conducts further investigation. Ensuring the safety of the child usually involves restraining orders and out of home placement for the child.