Child Abuse, Neglect & Endangerment
Dutchess County Criminal Defense Lawyers on Your Side
Even the most caring parents in the world can be blindsided with an accusation of child abuse, neglect, or endangerment due to a misunderstanding, exaggeration, or fabrication. The New York Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) – the parent organization of Child Protective Services (CPS) – is required to take immediate action and begin investigations, even when there is no evidence of wrongdoing. Without reacting appropriately, a loving parent can be stripped of their rights to raise and see their children. They could also be slammed with criminal penalties, including jail time and steep fines.
At the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC, our criminal defense attorneys in Dutchess County cannot stand the thought of a great mother or father being separated from their child due to a false or misled accusation. We are capable of putting decades of legal experience in your corner to counter child abuse claims, both for your own future and that of your family. There really is no time to lose when so much is on the line. Call (845) 605-4330 or email our office at your first chance.
Defining Child Abuse, Neglect & Endangerment
Understanding the accusations against you is the first major step in defending yourself from them. Our Dutchess County child abuse defense lawyers make it simple for you to know what is going on in your case and what you need to do next. You can utilize our extensive experience as your own, erasing all the guesswork you might have otherwise encountered.
The OCFS may act against you if they are told your child has been harmed through:
- Abuse: Child abuse is often defined as the intentional act of harming a child, such as striking them harshly in discipline. The OCFS may remove a child from your care immediately when you are accused of abuse, preferring to place the child in a “safer space” until investigations are completed.
- Neglect: When a child is not given basic necessities needed to live and function happily or healthily, it may constitute child neglect. Basic needs include food, shelter, clothing, and general comfort and encouragement. Sometimes parents are accused of neglect simply for being unable to provide fully for their family, which places them in a frightful and unfair situation. Child neglect is also referred to as child maltreatment in many New York statutes.
- Endangerment: Child endangerment is a specific form of neglect or recklessness that places their child in harm’s way. For example, a parent who allows their young child to swim unsupervised in their pool could be accused of child endangerment and lose their parental rights due to OCFS action.
Penalties Enacted by the OCFS
If Child Protective Services believe you have committed child abuse to some extent, then you can expect there to be harsh and immediate consequences. Each one will change or jeopardize your family life, and may even spill negatively into your personal, professional, or social life. You have to contest every accusation fully and effectively to escape unjust penalties.
CPS and the OCFS may enact any of the following penalties following a child abuse accusation:
- Remove your child from your home.
- Disallow you from making decisions regarding your child’s care.
- Discontinue any communication between yourself and your child.
- Give full custody rights to your spouse or a guardian.
Keep in mind you may still face criminal charges if a CPS investigator determines child abuse did happen and intentionally. The state can prosecute you for child abuse or endangerment. If convicted, jail time, fines, and other severe criminal penalties may be used against you.
When You Need Justice, You Need Our Services
The Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC is a legal team of Dutchess County criminal defense attorneys capable of managing sensitive child abuse defense cases as well. We are well-versed in family law, which gives us useful insight into how the case may develop and what factors could have led to false accusations or exaggerations. Oftentimes, it is an ex-spouse who files the accusations, and so it is helpful to know how to work with them to get to the truth.
Start your defense case with a free initial consultation by calling (845) 605-4330.
Our Team Knows How to Negotiate Aggressively for Clients
Our Attorneys Have Substantial Trial Experience
Our Firm Treats Every Client With the Respect They Deserve
Our Team Has the Knowledge, Experience, and Resources to Successfully Try a Case
We have the Ability to Know Which Cases Need to Be Tried and Which Cases Can Be Settled
We Focus on Compassion, Communication & Effectiveness