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When the World Has Turned Against You: Top Five Things to Do When Falsely Accused of Child Abuse

A false accusation of child abuse is among the most torturous experiences any parent could endure. Most parents assume that nothing like that will ever happen to them, yet it happens far more frequently than one may realize, and instances are on the rise. Sometimes, false accusations stem from the children themselves, if they are angry or seeking attention. Ex-spouses or angry grandparents may also make accusations in order to gain custody of a child. Other times, accusations come from well-meaning teachers or other parents who misinterpret the facts and make a report to Child Protective Services based on circumstantial evidence. However, because child abuse is such a serious problem, courts and the CPS are very reluctant to grant full custody to parents who are even suspected of child abuse. This is why it is important to follow these five tips if you have been falsely accused of abuse.

  1. Don’t deny the seriousness of the charge. All too often, parents think that the charges brought against them are ridiculous and that anyone with sense will see this. This is a fatal mistake! Even if you know the charges are ludicrous, there is no guarantee that anyone else will. Take the charges seriously and begin preparing a serious defense.

  1. Choose the right lawyer. Child abuse allegations are very serious and could affect the course of your life and that of your child. Therefore, it is vital that you choose an aggressive lawyer who is experienced with similar cases. In addition, it is important to choose a lawyer who will be a guiding hand through every step of this emotionally grueling process.

  1. Do your research. Hire a private investigator to help you research allegations made against you and find conclusive evidence of your innocence. If you were accused by a child who lived in your home, search their room for any evidence of unusual or delinquent behavior, such as drugs, drug paraphernalia, notes, pornography, or sex toys. Create a timeline of the case, with all relevant details, no matter how small.

  1. Maintain your silence. Under the U.S. Constitution, you have the right to remain silent, and while your words can be used against you in court, your silence cannot. Do not answer any questions from law enforcement officials, Child Protective Services, or the press without the go-ahead from your legal counsel.

  1. Take care of yourself. Though this is a stressful time, the truth is, the court case could stretch on for weeks or even months. It is important to keep yourself physically and emotionally healthy so that you will be ready to deal with the legal ordeal ahead. Exercise, eat well, avoid drugs and alcohol, and surround yourself with a strong support network.

With these five tips and the support from an experienced and compassionate defense attorney, you will be able to wage a more successful legal battle. Focusing on the task at hand, your emotional and mental health, and the well-being of your child means that you have a much higher chance of winning your case, clearing your name of any false allegations, and most importantly, retaining custody of your child. You can read more about these and other tips in this article from fightcps.com or this article from The A-Team.

David R. Jones is a criminal defense attorney at the Denver and Golden, Colorado-based Law Offices of D.R. Jones. A former Colorado State Public Defender, Mr. Jones earned his law degree from the University of Denver, College of Law and was admitted to the Colorado Bar in 1996. He is a member of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, National Association of Trial Advocacy, and is active in community efforts to improve the criminal justice system.

Categories: Child Abuse.

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