Domestic Violence Accusations
Child Abuse Attorney Illinois
Child Abuse Attorney Illinois. Being accused of child abuse in Illinois is a serious matter. We understand how upsetting it can be to have your behavior as a parent scrutinized by a social worker or be arrested due to false accusations or a misunderstanding. A child abuse investigation or criminal arrest can topple your family ecosystem and sense of normalcy not only for yourself but also for the child. When facing difficult accusations of harming a child in Illinois family and criminal courts, you must have an adept child abuse attorney in Illinois protecting you from unjust punishment.
Drummond Law is home to leading Illinois child abuse attorneys who have the unrivaled experience, skill and passion to successfully protect your rights and your future. If you are being investigated for child abuse, have been indicated as an abuser, or were arrested for crimes against a child, contact Drummond Law right away. Call 217-388-1103 or contact us online to discuss your case and legal options with a knowledgeable child abuse attorney in Illinois. Drummond Law’s child abuse attorneys will provide fierce defense in all of your Illinois child abuse legal matters.
Do I Need an Illinois Child Abuse Attorney? Child Abuse Charges in Illinois
Whether you made a mistake in an emotionally charged moment or have been falsely accused, child abuse allegations in Illinois have the power to upend your life and shatter your family structure. That is why it is critical that you hire an experienced Illinois child abuse attorney right away to defend you when you are being accused of child abuse.
If someone reports you to the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) for suspected child abuse, you will be subject to an investigation by the agency and, potentially, a second criminal investigation by the police. This time can be nerve-wracking, and your chances of a successful outcome and happy ending in your Illinois child abuse allegation depend on protecting your rights during the investigation process. As such, is it important that you consult a child abuse attorney in Illinois right away when you learn that you have been reported for child abuse.
Whether you just received notice that you are subject to a DCFS investigation, have been indicated of child abuse by the DCFS, or are facing criminal prosecution for child abuse-related domestic abuse or battery charges, you need a trustworthy, dedicated Illinois child abuse attorney on your side. Drummond Law child abuse defense lawyers are committed to protecting you from unfair treatment, false accusations, and disproportionate punishments in child abuse legal matters. From DCFS appeals to preserving your parental rights in juvenile court and getting criminal charges dropped or sentences reduced, the Illinois child abuse attorneys of Drummond Law know how to navigate the entire legal process and shield you and your family from injustice.
Illinois Child Abuse Laws
In Illinois, child abuse is considered a form of domestic violence. Illinois’s Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (325 ILCS 5/) defines what constitutes child abuse in Illinois and by whom and how suspected child abuse is to be reported. The statute also defines child neglect in Illinois.
The Illinois criminal statute on sex crimes specifies sexual assault and other forms of sexual abuse of a child in 720 ILCS 5/11-1.40.
Any willful bodily harm to a child under the age of 13 falls under 720 ILCS 5/12-3.05 which defines aggravated battery and the punishment for aggravated battery crimes in Illinois courts, including substantial prison time for a person found guilty of aggravated battery of a child.
Under the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, a person can be guilty of child abuse if they themselves commit, cause another person to commit or allow another person to commit any of the following to a child under the age of 18:
- inflict physical injury
- create a substantial risk of physical injury
- commit a sex crime
- perform torture
- excessive corporal punishment
- perform female genital mutilation
- sell or supply controlled substances
- trafficking or involuntary servitude
The Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act also identifies a long list of individuals who are Mandated Reporters in Illinois. This extensive list includes physicians, nurses, teachers, school employees, childcare workers, counselors, and other adults that may receive information about the possible abuse of a child in Illinois. Such individuals are required by law to report suspected cases of child abuse to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. DCFS social workers screen reports and determine which ones warrant investigation. After a report has been made, it is the role of the DCFS to investigate the claim within 60 days. If they determine that the child is in immediate danger, the DCFS even has the authority to temporarily remove the child from the home until the court can make a permanent decision. The DCFS will also often work with and share their investigation findings with the police, who will likely pursue criminal charges against the accused.
Penalties for Illinois Child Abuse Charges
In Illinois, a child abuse charge of aggravated battery on a child under the age of 13 is classified as a Class X felony, which is punishable by between six and thirty years in prison, and up to 60 years for extended sentences. The same offense against an older child may be classified as a lower class felony. If you are charged with aggravated battery or even a lesser criminal charge for harm to a child, you are at risk of incarceration and additional consequences. Your Illinois child abuse attorney with Drummond Law will work tirelessly to defend you against criminal allegations in Illinois criminal court and protect your rights as a parent in Illinois family court.
Depending on the exact charges against you, punishments for child abuse in Illinois can include:
- removal of the child from the home
- termination of parental rights
- protective orders
- fines and fees
- placement on the State Central Register, which can limit your employment options
During the DCFS investigation of child abuse in Illinois, the DCFS does have the authority to temporarily restrict or terminate contact between you and the child if they deem that the child’s safety is at risk. It is undeniably upsetting and scary to have your own child removed from your home. Remember that this is just temporary. Your skilled child abuse attorney with Drummond Law in Illinois will fight vigorously to defend your rights as a parent and reunite you with your beloved family. The best thing you can do during that time is to retain counsel from a qualified child abuse attorney and follow the temporary rules imposed by the DCFS.
How Can an Illinois Child Abuse Attorney Defend Me?
Whatever the circumstances, a child abuse allegation is difficult for everyone involved. As your child abuse attorney in Illinois, your Drummond Law defense lawyer will use their knowledge, energy, and resources to investigate the claims made against you and build an impenetrable defense.
Your child abuse attorney at Drummond Law will design a defense specific to your circumstances to get the best possible outcome. Depending on your situation, that may mean getting your criminal charges thrown out, reducing your criminal charges, minimizing the sentence, or protecting your familial rights. Below, we discuss some common defenses in our clients’ Illinois child abuse cases.
The DCFS and individuals who work with children have an important job of protecting families and, above all else, protecting children. There are tragic cases in which children are badly treated and seriously hurt. But that is not the case for every single report of suspected child abuse in Illinois. If you have been falsely accused of child abuse, you need to find an attorney you can trust who will work tirelessly to defend your name and keep your family intact.
Family dynamics can be contentious, especially with other outside stressors weighing on your relationships. At Drummond Law, our Illinois child abuse attorneys have seen state resources wasted on going after falsely accused abusers. It could be a jealous or desperate ex-partner trying to keep the children to themselves or a misguided professional desperate to make their mark. Adults can even intentionally or unintentionally influence a child into reporting false information.
If you have been falsely accused, your child abuse attorney at Drummond Law will protect you with the truth. If it is a case of a vindictive ex-partner, your current partner’s ex, a grandparent or other family member of the child, or someone else who has it out for you and your family, we will defend you by discrediting the accuser’s allegations.
Cause of the Injury
You may have been accused of child abuse due to the simple fact that the child was physically injured. If a mandated reporter like a teacher, coach or counselor or anyone else notices that the child is injured and is, for some reason, suspicious of you, they may report you and instigate an investigation due to evidence of the child’s physical injuries.
There may be a perfectly innocent, natural explanation for the child’s injuries that the person who reported you did not bother to consider. If you believe you are innocent and have been accused of child abuse because the child was hurt some other way, such as in an accident, a fight with another child, or while playing sports, your Illinois child abuse attorney will gather evidence to show that you did nothing wrong and that you did not inflict harm upon the child.
In a criminal case, the prosecutor must prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If there is any possibility that the child was injured a different way, you cannot be convicted of child abuse criminal charges in Illinois. As your child abuse attorney, the Drummond Law legal team will build a case that questions the prosecutor’s argument and illustrates the uncertainty of their assumptions.
No parent (or any other adult that cares for children) is perfect. All any of us can do is our best and what we think is right. It is no secret that different parents have very distinct ideas and philosophies about parenting, especially regarding discipline.
Corporal punishment of any kind is illegal in illegal in public schools, but Illinois parents of children are allowed to administer corporal punishment as long as it is not excessive. The problem is that the law is vague in defining what is considered “excessive.” If you had a good reason for administering punishment to your own child, your Drummond Law child abuse attorney will build a defense to show that the punishment was reasonable and warranted and does not constitute abuse.
Under federal and state law, there are minimum constitutional requirements for search and seizure and arrest procedures. If the authorities fail to follow the law in investigating or arresting you, your Drummond Law attorney will find out and expose the errors. Evidence illegally obtained will be inadmissible in Illinois courts, and your case will be thrown out in its entirety if your child abuse attorney in Illinois can show that your arrest was made illegally.
Children are impressionable and easily influenced by adults. That is why there are strict rules about how and by whom interviews with reported victims of child abuse are to be conducted during child abuse investigations. If those rules are violated in your case, your Drummond Law child abuse attorney will make ensure that the child’s testimony is not used as evidence against you.
Speak to a Child Abuse Attorney in Illinois
Allegations of child abuse in Illinois will not go away on their own. You must act right away by contacting a child abuse attorney you trust. When you hire Drummond Law as your child abuse attorney in Illinois, we will immediately begin building an infallible defense and advise you during the entire legal process. Get a free review of your case from a winning child abuse attorney in Illinois today. Call 217-388-1103 or contact us online now.