Syracuse Child Abuse Allegations

Accusations of child abuse can be both a criminal matter and an issue for the family courts. While family court matters are certainly something to be concerned about, the potential criminal penalties for alleged acts of child abuse are severe. A conviction could result in your being sent to jail and the imposition of long-lasting protective orders.

New York Penal Law on Syracuse Child Abuse Allegations

Although the idea of what child abuse generally involves is certainly illegal, “child abuse” is not a term used in New York Penal Law. Instead, New York Penal Law §260.10 criminalizes the act of “Endangering the Welfare of a Child.”

There are two primary ways you could violate this provision. The first involves acting in a way that you know is likely to result in an injury to the physical, mental, or moral health of the child. It is also illegal to expose a child to or allow the child to perform a hazardous occupation. This provision applies to any child under the age of seventeen, regardless of their relationship with you.

The second way you could violate this statute applies only to parents or guardians of children. It is illegal for you to treat children under the age of eighteen of whom you are a parent or guardian in a way that results in them becoming an “abused child”, a “neglected child”, a “juvenile delinquent”, or a “person in need of supervision.” These are categories created by New York’s family courts to describe the status of certain children.

A conviction under this statute is a class A misdemeanor that could result in a maximum of one year in jail. However, the potential consequences of these accusations can reach far beyond the criminal punishments.

Non-Criminal Effects of a Child Abuse Conviction

Just as concerning as the potential criminal penalties for a conviction is the effect that such an accusation could have on your family life. The mere filing of charges may trigger the prosecutor to ask for a protective order requiring you to cease all contact with your children.

This order could require you to change addresses, lose visitation rights, and even change your job. This motion is often made at an initial hearing in the case, so it is vital to be prepared to present a defense at the earliest possible time.

Furthermore, the court may order that these protective orders become permanent if you are found guilty in court. Therefore, even if you are not sentenced to jail after a conviction, your life may be forever changed.

Speak to a Syracuse Child Abuse Attorney Today

The mere accusation of child abuse—or endangering the welfare of a child, as it is known in Syracuse—could be enough to change your life. Even before the case reaches trial in court, you may be forced out of your home and lose contact with your family. This is to say nothing about the potential criminal consequences for a conviction, which could result in you serving up to a year in jail and paying heavy fines.

Hiring a Syracuse child abuse lawyer from Tully Rinckey PLLC could help prevent both these outcomes by working on your behalf to preserve your freedoms and your home life. Contact us today at (315) 492-4700 or info@tullylegal.com to discuss your case.

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