Child abuse is a tragic offense that robs children of their innocence, sense of security, trust and well-being on many levels.
Yet, the National Children's Alliance estimates over 700,000 children are abused in the United States every year. 90% of the those investigated for child abuse are family members of the victim, with parents representing almost 40%. Some suggest that number is on the rise.
Claims of child abuse should never be ignored, yet false claims of child abuse require swift, skilled and aggressive defense.
In this article, we explain which acts constitute child abuse in Wisconsin and learn of one person's successful defense against the charge of child abuse with the assistance of Madison Criminal Defense Attorney Patrick J. Stangl.
If you need to report child abuse happening now or violent, call 911 immediately. Further information on how to report child abuse can be found through the Wisconsin Department for Children and Families website.
Child Abuse Charges in Wisconsin
The physical abuse of a child is a crime defined under Wisconsin State Statute 948.03 and includes a range of offenses:
- Intentional causation of bodily harm
- Reckless causation of bodily harm
- Failing to act to prevent bodily harm
- Engaging in repeated acts of physical abuse to the same child
The penalties for the above offenses range greatly.
If you are facing charges related to the bodily harm or abuse of a child in Wisconsin, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer to discuss the details of your case, gain a better idea of what penalties you may be facing and explore options for your defense.
The Impact of Child Abuse Can Extend Beyond the Victim
Child abuse can be devastating to victims as well as families and even whole communities.
While it's a very different circumstance, being falsely accused of commiting child abuse can also be devastating--albeit, in different ways.
Living under the shadow of false allegations of child abuse can impact your relationships, career and even your health.
As anyone who has been unfairly accused of child abuse might tell you, few things impact someone's life as much as being unfairly accused of child abuse.
When False Charges of Physical Abuse of a Child Might Occur in Wisconsin
Accidental Injuries Mistaken for Child Abuse
Most people look out for the welfare of children, whether they are family members, students, patients, neighbors or even strangers.
Unfortunately, there are times when well-meaning individuals may misread a child's injuries from an accident or illness and contact the police to report what they suspect might be an incident of child abuse in Wisconsin.
Even when the explanation is a simple one, enlisting the assistance of a skilled criminal defense attorney to help guide your response is recommended in these situations.
False Child Abuse Charges Alledged to Punish Defendant
The intention of others when reporting claims of child abuse does not always come from a well-meaning place.
While difficult to believe, there are times when accusations of child abuse or neglect are falsely made with ill intentions to humiliate, hurt or punish an innocent individual.
- Made-up allegations of child abuse might be issued from one parent against another parent when the two parties are in the midst of a divorce or child custody dispute.
- A rejected spouse or partner might lie about witnessing child abuse in an attempt to retaliate or seek revenge against that individual.
- Sometimes, a claim of physical abuse to a child might be falsely and intentionally claimed by the minor, himself, in an attempt to leverage revenge against an adult, parent or other individual.
False accusations of child abuse, as well as domestic abuse, can have a negative impact on everyone involved.
Whatever the origin of the accusation, if you have been charged with causing bodily harm to a child in Wisconsin, your need for a solid defense remains paramount.
To learn more about domestic abuse, read the article, "Domestic Abuse in Wisconsin: What You Need to Know" by Madison Criminal Defense Firm, Stangl Law.
One Winning Defense Against False Charges of Felony Child Abuse in Wisconsin
Madison Criminal Defense Attorney Patrick J. Stangl represented the defendant, who was charged with felony child abuse for an alleged fight which occurred with his stepson.
At the probable cause or preliminary hearing on the felony charge, Attorney Stangl was able to get the case dismissed.
While this was, in and of itself, a remarkable result, Attorney Stangl fully expected that the State would eventually recharge the defensant with the same offense.
Approximately eight months later, his client was recharged with the same felony child abuse charge.
His client--who denied battering the problematic child--was extremely pleased and relieved to have the matter finally resolved and his reputation restored.
FREE 15-Minute Consultation
Madison Attorney Patrick J. Stangl offers a FREE 15-minute consultation at no obligation, during which you can discuss the specifics of your case and offer guidance for your next steps. Click the link below to get started today.