Sad little girl looking through the rainy window. Grain added for texture.

Most of the time, physical actions of abuse are apparent. If somebody witnesses sexual abuse, burning of a child, or choking, they will typically report it and you will be charged with a crime. But what happens when the line is not so clear and you are accused of abuse when you know you haven’t committed the crime? The truth is, sometimes these lines are blurred because different families will have different opinions about what is abuse and what isn’t – you may believe that spanking works well as a punishment, while others believe that it is abuse. Most states do not have laws against spanking; however, they will rely on child abuse statutes to make or drop a case against you.

Statutes on Child Abuse

All states have statutes that define child abuse. If you are accused of abuse, the judge or jury will keep these statutes in mind as they decide whether or not the actions you took against the child were abuse or not. Something known as the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act works to provide standards that determine child abuse, which are actions that result in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or exploitation. You have the right to exercise control over your child, within reason. Because of this, you could use the Parental Discipline Privilege as a defense in your case, which could keep you out of serious charges.

How Your Defense Works 

The courts will try to make a case against you by trying to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the force you used went against your rights as a parent and constituted abuse. If they are unable to prove this, then you are not guilty. If you did not put the child’s safety and health at risk, you cannot be found guilty of this crime. Being accused of abuse is extremely serious and you may be feeling remorse or stress if you are being accused of a heinous crime from simply disciplining your child. Call us today for more information on how we can help you. At The Law Office of Peter Blair, we want to see you succeed in your case.