Serving All of New Mexico
Child neglect is an oft misunderstood allegation that can result in wrongful charges and convictions. If you or someone you know has been accused of child neglect, don’t underestimate the importance of contacting an experienced defense attorney to help you fight for your rights. Being charged with child neglect is a serious issue and should not be taken lightly.
What is Child Neglect?
Wrongful allegations are usually the result of an improper understanding of child neglect. To better understand this topic, let us provide you with some legal definitions and practical explanations. In the state of New Mexico, a neglected child refers to a minor:
- Who has been abandoned by his/her parent, legal guardian, or custodian.
- Who is without proper parental care; this can include a lack of education, medical care, or other elements necessary for health and well-being.
- Who has been sexually, physically, or emotionally abused by his/her parent, legal guardian, or custodian.
- Whose parent, legal guardian, or custodian is not able to discharge his/her responsibilities to/for the child because of hospitalization, incarceration, or other mental or physical disorders.
- Who has been placed for adoption or care in violation of state law.
Because there are so many different factors in play in child neglect cases, there is often a lack of consistency in legal decisions and charges. The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) attempts to clear up some of the confusion by defining minimal standards for child abuse and neglect. It states that child abuse and neglect are defined as:
- “Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caregiver, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.”
Furthermore, neglect is usually classified as mild, moderate, or severe.
- Mild neglect usually goes undetected and includes things like failing to put a child in a car safety seat.
- Moderate neglect includes things like inappropriately dressing a child for weather.
- Severe neglect is severe or prolonged harm done to a child. This includes incidents like lack of medical attention.
If you have been accused of child neglect, don’t underestimate the severity of the situation. You need to contact a qualified and experienced defense attorney to guide you through the process of clearing your name and regaining your freedom. In addition to telling the truth, you will need an attorney that can present the facts to the court and place the burden of proof on the accusers. Because neglect is so hard to define, wrongful accusations happen all the time. We see it every day in Albuquerque, New Mexico and know exactly how to respond.
What to Do
In order for us to respond, you must take the first step. You need to reach out and take action. While you may be tempted to fight for your innocence on your own, don’t make this mistake. It is extremely difficult to fight accusations from children, as the court usually errs on the side of caution when dealing with minors.
At the New Mexico Criminal Law Offices, we’ve focused on protecting the rights of our clients since 1997. We use aggressive representation and bold strategies with one goal in mind: clearing your name. If you have been wrongfully accused of child neglect, don’t hesitate to contact us today. With years of courtroom experience and attention to detail, you can rest assured your case will be in good hands. We always require the prosecution to assume the full burden of proof in every case, and our record of competency demands respect in the courtroom. If you have any questions or concerns, we would be happy to set up a free initial consultation in our Albuquerque, New Mexico, offices.