How to handle a child abuse allegation
Not all reports of child abuse submitted to authorities in Arizona or elsewhere are accurate. In some cases, individuals file false child abuse claims in an effort to influence the outcome of a child custody case. Regardless of why a person is the subject of a false or inaccurate claim, there are many steps that he or she can take to dispute the allegation. For instance, an individual can ask friends, neighbors or others to testify on their behalf during a hearing.
Ideally, coaches, counselors and others who work with children on a regular basis will not spend time alone with the children. It is also important for adults to avoid using sexually suggestive language or use adult humor when they are around children.
Parents are encouraged to maintain relationships with their children after an abuse claim has been made against them. This is because the child has nothing to do with the claim and should not have to suffer as a result of it. A person who is charged with child abuse is encouraged to dispute the charge for as long as it takes to clear his or her name. While it may be tempting to accept a plea deal, a conviction could result in a variety of negative consequences, such as difficulty finding a job or strained relationships with family members or friends.
Those who are facing allegations that they engaged in sex crimes or other crimes against children may benefit from hiring a criminal defense attorney. An attorney may be able to use witness testimony and other information to show that a claim was made in error or in an effort to diminish a person’s reputation. Depending on the strength of the evidence presented, this might be enough to earn a full acquittal.