Being charged with child neglect can feel like the end of your life. It may seem that you are immediately guilty in the court of public opinion and that the easiest thing to do is to plead guilty. However, no matter your situation, there are defense options. Keep reading to learn about three defense options provided by an experienced domestic violence attorney in Fullerton CA.
The Definition of Child Neglect
It is important to understand what the courts mean when a person is charged with child neglect. Every parent or legal guardian of a child has a legal duty to provide them with medical care, food, clothing, and shelter. Even if a parent does not have custodial rights – or even visitation – with the child, they are responsible for ensuring their needs are met. If they know that their child was in need and those needs were not met, then they can be charged with child neglect.
- Your Domestic Violence Attorney in Fullerton CA May Prove You Are Not the Parent
- Your Domestic Violence Attorney in Fullerton CA May Show that the Neglect Was Not Deliberate
- You Had a Lawful Excuse for the Alleged Neglect
It may be that you are not the parent at all. If you suspect that the child was not years, and paternity has never been established, then it is time to get a paternity test. If you are not the biological parent or the legal guardian then your duty of care is much lower and you are likely not guilty of child neglect.
If you do not have much contact with your child, then you may not have known they were in need. You may not have willfully neglected them. It may be that you tried to offer food, cash clothing, and other assistance to the child’s other parent, but that parent would not accept it. If any of these statements are true then you may be found not guilty.
It is not illegal to be unable to afford to take care of your child. If you are able to prove that your child was hungry or otherwise not well taken care of due to your lack of money, then this is a lawful excuse and these charges should not stick.
Keep in mind that this only applies if you are truly not able to work. If you choose not to work, or if you do work and spend your disposable income on yourself and not your child, then this defense will not hold.
If you need to talk to a domestic violence attorney in Fullerton CA then we recommend you contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation. We are standing by to provide you the help you need to get the best possible outcome for your case.