As defined by Lubbock law, child abuse consists of acts, threats, or both. Family violence and child abuse have slightly different definitions, but it basically means the same thing. It is genuinely threatening or inflicting. It is a threat or an act of physical injury that results in substantial harm to a child. Contact a Lubbock child abuse lawyer regarding any charges or allegations you may be facing. A distinguished domestic violence lawyer can help you plan a strong defense for your upcoming trial.
Defining Child Abuse
Elements of child abuse include having sexual contact with a child or compelling or encouraging a child to engage in sexual conduct. That includes various aspects within the penal code. Some of these rules are scattered about in different places. Showing a child pornography and trying to get a child to look at pornography will go under the umbrella of child abuse. Abuse could involve sexual conduct, like trying to induce a child into some form of prostitution. In terms of the assault, it is mainly going to be the threat or actual infliction of the physical injury that results in substantial harm.
Following a Child Abuse Report
When an instance of child abuse is reported, the same types of things happen under just domestic violence, generally. All kinds of duties are going to fall onto different people. One of those is a duty to report the case. There is actually a criminal penalty if someone is aware that child abuse is happening and they do not report it. Reporting is also mandated for people like teachers and principals.
The duties that a police officer has when it comes to a domestic violence situation fall under investigations. It is protecting the accuser, making that report, reporting it DPS, reporting it to Family Services, and reporting it to the DA. All of this happens with a regular assault in domestic violence and Lubbock child abuse lawyers have seen similar cases go to trial with expected consequences.
When a child is involved, the issue of the welfare of the child is very specific. Spousal assault might trigger some kind of an investigation in finding about the best interest of the child, but when the abuse is allegedly against a child, it definitely will. There is no discretion. A person is going to find themselves in danger of losing their rights at some level all the way to complete rights to be around that child.
Duty to Report
There is that duty to report abuse cases. Once it gets reported, the same kind of duty to report follows everybody that it gets reported to, including the Department of Family Services in different jurisdictions. In Lubbock, it depends on what the district attorney requires, but the district attorney’s office is focused on this crime for good reason. That does not mean everybody accused is guilty, but the district attorney’s office is focused on it. When this comes up, they are ready to get involved and be an advocate for the child. Because of the statutes, the district attorney’s office has the ability to tell the Department of Family Services that they want to know about every report. An individual should speak with a Lubbock child abuse lawyer as soon as they suspect they might be under investigation.
Impactful Results of a Criminal Case
One of the big impacts of a criminal case is that the criminal case goes before a civil case. Generally, it does, because constitutionally a person has every right to a speedy trial. Things just go a little faster on the criminal side. If a jury or judge finds a person guilty, they are finding them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a high standard. In a civil case, the burden is by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning 51 percent.
If a person can refer a civil case to a judge in a criminal case, it becomes a summary judgment issue in a civil case since the person has already had a jury of their peers or a judge establish the fact to be true by a higher standard than what a person is facing in a civil case. This can be detrimental to a person’s future. To help avoid facing more penalties, they should contact a Lubbock child abuse lawyer.
Simultaneous Civil and Criminal Trials
It is a common myth that someone has a civil case and a criminal case at the same time because they have the right not to self-incriminate or not just say something that might be incriminating against them. However, that is a constitutional right. If there is a fact or story that needs to be told in one case, the individual runs the risk of impacting their criminal case by testifying about that fact. By having both cases at trial at the same time, the individual has what is seen as a waived the right not to be talking about the other case.
It is easy to foresee being in a position where a person has a civil case and a criminal case. A person should not say something in order to hurt the person in the criminal case. Even though it might be exonerating, it can be used by the district attorney to get a conviction. However, by not saying it, the person is leaving that out of the civil case with a lower of burden of proof. It creates a lot of issues for a person trying to figure out what to do. Typically, an individual will try to get their civil case put on hold until the criminal case plays out, but that decision is ulitimately up to the judge.
Contacting a Lawyer
One of the main reasons to contact an attorney is that time is of the essence in these kinds of deals. Also, there is the issue of the complexity, the intimidation, the stress, and the high impact that this can have on a person’s civil rights as well as their right’s with their children, so it is important to contact a Lubbock child abuse lawyer. In cases, there is also the issue of protective orders. The best way to deal with a protective order is before it goes into effect. A person will want to have competent representation to protect their rights, because once it goes into effect, it is there and there is not much a person is going to be able to do about that. An individual should contact an attorney to help them with those as well.