4 Reasons To Hire A Delaware Defense Attorney After A Child Abuse Arrest
Delaware criminal laws come down hard on child abuse, yet it is unfortunately far too easy for someone to get caught up in allegations that may or may not be true. If you are facing charges, you might already be aware that many child abuse cases are classified as violent felonies under Delaware criminal statutes. A conviction may lead to a long prison sentence and hefty fines, and even lesser crimes carry serious punishment. Plus, there are other collateral consequences that follow you long after you serve your sentence – and possibly for the rest of your life.
You are probably overwhelmed by the circumstances if you were recently arrested for child abuse, and you no doubt have concerns about what to expect with the additional stages of the criminal process. Though these factors should persuade you to retain legal counsel, you can also consider the following reasons to hire a Wilmington child abuse defense lawyer for help.
- The penalties are extremely harsh. Lower level child abuse charges may be charged as a Class A Misdemeanor in Delaware, so you could be sentenced to a year jail and fine for a conviction. The penalties increase in severity when a child abuse case becomes a felony or is classified as a violent felony.
- Child Abuse in the Second Degree is a Class G Felony, for which a judge could order a prison sentence up to 2 years.
- It is a Class B Felony if you are convicted of First Degree Child Abuse, which is punishable by 2 to 25 years’ incarceration. The lower figure is the mandatory minimum, so the judge must sentence at least 2 years.
- There may be implications for other cases. Child abuse allegations, particularly false or exaggerated claims, often arise out of divorce or child custody proceedings. The criminal case could impact these other legal matters because a family court judge might terminate custody, not allow visitation, or only allow supervised visitation with your own children.
- You may need to register as a sex offender. Some child abuse charges could involve allegations of sexual assault, rape, or exploitation, which may trigger the registration requirement. In Delaware, you would have to report to authorities upon release from incarceration, every time you move, and in other designated situations.
- You need help with defenses and strategy. Never forget that there are defenses to child abuse charges, and it is best to have an experienced lawyer help you raise them. You might get the charges dismissed or convince the jury to find you not guilty. When a complete defense is not practical, you will need assistance with strategies for plea bargaining and getting probation.
Consult with a Delaware Child Abuse Defense Attorney Right Away
When your freedom, wallet, and future are at stake, you should make it a priority to retain skilled representation to assist with your case. For information about potential defenses, please contact Attorney Michael W. Modica. You can call 302.600.1262 or visit our website to schedule a consultation at our offices in Wilmington, DE office.