Have you been accused of neglecting a child? Clear your name with help from Michael L. Fell.
Ever heard the saying “It takes a village to raise a child”? It’s certainly nice to have teachers, coaches, neighbors, and others looking out for the welfare of every child in the community. Unfortunately even the most well-intentioned of these “villagers” could end up causing significant distress to you and your child if they mistakenly report you for child neglect.
What is Child Neglect?
Under California law, every parent has a duty to provide food, shelter, clothing, and medical care for their child. This is true even if you do not have custodial rights to or contact with the child. As long as you are aware that the child exists and is in need, and you have the means to help yet deliberately do nothing, you may be accused of child neglect.
Defending Against Child Neglect Charges
False child neglect charges are actually fairly common, especially in cases where the parent does not have a good relationship with the child’s other parent or guardian. Fortunately, you can fight back against such allegations with help from an experienced child neglect defense attorney like Michael L. Fell.
Attorney Fell will make a careful analysis of the facts of your case and then select the best possible strategy for resolving the matter. This may include arguing that:
You are not the child’s parent: If paternity has never been proven and you suspect the child is not yours, a paternity test may be in order.
The neglect was not deliberate: If you have very little contact with your child, it’s possible to argue that you didn’t even know they were in need, and therefore you did not deliberately or willfully neglect them. You might also have a valid defense against willful neglect if you tried to offer food, clothing, cash, or other assistance to your child’s other parent, but they rejected you.
You had a lawful excuse: Sometimes despite their best efforts, parents simply lack the funds to cover all their children’s needs. If you can prove that you child went hungry or was otherwise “neglected” due to lack of funds, this provides a lawful excuse and you cannot be convicted. However, this defense will not apply if you are able to work but choose not to or if you choose to spend your disposable income on yourself, not the child.
Protect Your Rights Now
Remember, it is never too early to consult a defense attorney about your case. You can rely on Attorney Fell to provide accurate information about the law and your rights along with his honest advice as to your best course of action.
To learn more, please call us at (949) 585-9055.