The attorneys at Adras & Altig are respected Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys and have more than three decades of combined experience standing up for Las Vegas residents and visitors charged with crimes, including child abuse. Attorneys Steven M. Altig and Paul J. Adras take a team approach to representing clients. Our legal team moves quickly to investigate abuse and neglect charges. We develop a solid defense that we believe will have the most positive impact on your case.
Our attorneys’ goal is to seek positive results for our client. We embrace the principle that anyone arrested on a charge of child abuse or neglect deserves a vigorous legal defense. We understand that child abuse is a highly emotional topic and many people are falsely accused of abuse or neglect. No one’s life or career should be destroyed by a false accusation. If you select Adras & Altig, you will work directly with our law firm’s partner attorneys. Our defense lawyers work to identify solutions and negotiate with Clark County prosecutors to obtain the best outcome for our client.
Different Types of Child Abuse in Las Vegas
There are several charges that may arise regarding child abuse and neglect. Nevada law as set out in the Nevada Revised Statutes recognizes a number of behaviors as forms of child abuse and neglect.
The four basic types of child maltreatment include:
- Physical Abuse— Intentional physical injury to a child by a parent or caregiver, including punching, hitting, beating, kicking, burning, choking or shaking a child. Shaken baby syndrome, which can cause traumatic brain injury to an infant, is a result of physical abuse. Depending on the severity of the injuries caused, a case of shaken baby syndrome may result in a charge of child abuse, attempted murder or murder.
- Emotional Abuse— Intentional mental injury to a child includes subjecting a child to behavior that is terrifying, degrading, or emotionally traumatic. For example, repeatedly telling a child that he or she is worthless may constitute emotional abuse. Emotional abuse can have long-lasting harmful effects.
- Sexual Abuse— Sexual abuse includes incest, lewdness with a child, sexual assault, and statutory sexual seduction. Sexual exploitation includes having a child engage in prostitution, forcing or encouraging a child to view pornographic films, photographing or filming sexual conduct with a child or coercing a child to engage in or assist another person in sexually explicit conduct.
- Neglect— Negligent treatment includes failure or refusal on the part of the person responsible for the child’s welfare to provide for a child’s education, shelter, medical care and emotional needs. Child neglect also includes abandonment, leaving a young child alone without supervision, expulsion from home or refusing to allow a runaway child to return home.
Nevada law distinguishes between active child abuse and passive child abuse or neglect. A person may be charged with willfully causing a child to experience unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering. Alternately, a person who is responsible for a child’s welfare may be charged with allowing someone else to cause pain or suffering. An example of passive child abuse is leaving a child with a relative or daycare operator who physically abuses the child.
Nevada law allows parents and caregivers to use reasonable disciplinary punishments including spanking or smacking a child that is misbehaving. But excessive corporal punishment may cause physical or mental injury constituting child abuse. A parent who is disciplining a child in a public location such as a grocery store or mall may face an investigation by child protective services if a passerby misinterprets the disciplinary behavior and reports it to police as possible child abuse.
Child abuse or neglect may be charged as a gross misdemeanor or a felony in Nevada, depending on the injuries and the age of the child. Many times, the initial charges are filed at a higher level than the facts will support, once a thorough investigation of the situation is conducted.
Difference in Child Abuse and Child Neglect
Child neglect is the failure of the person responsible for a child to provide for the child’s basic needs including food and water, shelter, education, medical treatment, supervision and protection. The neglect of a child can affect a child’s mental and emotional development as well as his or her physical health.
Child abuse involves non-accidental physical or mental injury to a child or forcing or encouraging a child to engage in conduct of a sexual nature.
If you have been charged with any type of child abuse or child neglect in Las Vegas or elsewhere in Nevada, you are facing potentially serious criminal charges. Unfortunately, anyone can make an accusation of child abuse that can alter your life and harm your relationship with your child.
People in certain professions who deal directly with children such as schoolteachers or medical professionals are required to report any suspected cases of child abuse or neglect. The goal is to put the child’s safety first, but it does lead sometimes to false allegations and unsubstantiated charges of abuse.
While investigating a report of suspected abuse, Clark County child protective services workers may threaten to take away your child if they see signs of child abuse. It is important to be cooperative with case investigators. However, do not try to deal with child abuse charges on your own. You should consult an attorney before providing a statement to police or child protective services. This serious situation requires the assistance of a Las Vegas child neglect and abuse attorney. To counter the child abuse charges, our attorneys can conduct a detailed investigation and gather statements from people who know you and can attest that you would never harm your child.
Signs of Child Abuse to Look For
The signs of child abuse or neglect vary depending on the type of abuse.
Warning signs of physical abuse may include unexplained bruises, broken bones, skull fractures, burns, scalding, cuts or injuries that do not match the explanation offered.
Warning signs of neglect include poor hygiene, lack of appropriate clothing, poor school attendance, and lack of attention to medical and dental problems.
Warning signs of sexual abuse may include blood in a child’s underwear, sexual knowledge that is inappropriate for a child’s age and statements that he or she was sexually abused.
While these signs should be taken seriously, the presence of symptoms of abuse or neglect such as physical bruises, social withdrawal or poor hygiene do not always mean a child has been abused or neglected and may lead to false accusations.
How to Protect a Child that Has Been Abused in Nevada
Anyone can make a report of child abuse or neglect. The caller does not have to provide proof that abuse has occurred.
Clark County Family Services operates a Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline to receive reports of urgent or emergency situations involving physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect. The hotline phone number is (702) 399-0081.
In non-emergency situations, you can also submit a report online.
A report of suspected child or neglect is simply a request for an investigation.
It is important to protect children from harm caused by neglect or any type of abuse. It is also important to protect the rights of those who are accused and prevent innocent people from being wrongly convicted and sent to prison for a false conviction child abuse or neglect. Our attorneys at Adras & Altig are focused on defending the rights of people facing criminal charges.
Contact our Child Neglect Law Firm Today
If you are under investigation or have been arrested on charges of child neglect or child abuse in Clark County, you need to seek the guidance of an experienced child neglect lawyer in Las Vegas. You should contact our Nevada child neglect attorneys as soon as possible to investigate the situation and develop a strategy to defend you against the charges. Our attorneys will analyze the circumstances of your arrest and whether the charges were brought by a former spouse related to an ongoing child custody dispute.
We offer our clients zealous legal representation without judgment. We are about getting results and are here to help you obtain the best possible outcome if you are facing charges of child abuse or child neglect in Las Vegas. Call Adras & Altig or fill out our online contact form today to arrange a free, confidential consultation about how we can assist you.