Maryland Child Abuse Lawyer

Decades of Experience & Results in Montgomery County

With some criminal charges, even an allegation is enough to destroy a person’s future. Those who face child abuse charges often have a difficult time exonerating themselves, even after charges are proven to be false. The consequences can be severe, often fracturing families, putting people in jail, and causing irreparable harm to their reputation. At Kennedy & Dolan, we understand how important it is for you to tell your side of the story. By working with a Maryland child abuse attorney at our firm, you can feel confident about your outcome.

Call (301) 608-3000 now or contact us online to schedule your consultation. We are available by phone 24/7 to serve clients in Rockland and throughout Montgomery County.

Maryland Child Abuse Laws & Penalties

Child abuse and sexual abuse of a minor go hand-in-hand to a certain extent. Child abuse includes sexual abuse in addition to a vast range of abusive acts. The crime of sexual abuse of a minor only concerns sexual abuse, however. As such, let’s examine the two.

The Code of Maryland Regulations defines child abuse as actions including, but not limited to:

  • An act or acts involving sexual molestation or exploitation whether physical injuries are sustained or not
  • Identifiable and substantial impairment of a child’s mental or psychological ability to function
  • Ignoring credible evidence that demonstrates that physical abuse, neglect or sexual abuse occurred

Under §3–602 of the Maryland criminal law code, sexual abuse is defined as an act that involves sexual molestation or exploitation of a minor, whether or not it caused physical injuries. If a jury finds you guilty of sexually abusing a minor, you may suffer a felony charge punishable by up to 25 years in prison as well as being a registered sex offender. Sexual abuse includes:

  • Incest
  • Rape
  • Sexual offense in any degree
  • Sodomy
  • Unnatural or perverted sexual practices

Potential Signs of Child Abuse

The state of Maryland is on high alert for child abuse, as it is responsible for ensuring such crime does not go unnoticed nor unpunished. Although child abuse takes on many forms, let’s examine potential signs of child sexual abuse, as outlined by the Maryland Department of Human Services:

  • Difficulty walking or sitting
  • Bleeding, bruising or swelling in the genital area
  • Reporting nightmares or wetting the bed
  • Self-harming including cutting, burning, etc.
  • Demonstrating bizarre, sophisticated, or unusual sexual knowledge or behavior or displaying inappropriate sexual behavior with other children or adults
  • Becoming pregnant or contracting an STD, especially if under the age of 14
  • Attaching quickly to strangers or new adults
  • Reporting sexual abuse by a parent or another adult caregiver

Possible Defenses to Child Abuse

As well-intentioned as it may be, a jury cannot accurately determine if a crime has occurred based solely on a child’s allegations. That doesn’t mean children should not be listened to or validated, but the jury must consider that children may not accurately account for their experiences because they’re still developing. It’s also good to note that criminal cases can last for months and even years, which could tarnish a child’s ability to precisely remember their reported experiences.

Thus, our Maryland child abuse attorney will examine the details and circumstances surrounding your case to determine the best course of action for your defense. Depending on the nature of your child abuse accusations, the following defenses may apply:

  • You didn’t know the alleged victim was a minor
  • You didn’t do it
  • False allegations
  • The alleged victim lacks credibility
  • The prosecution cannot meet its burden of proof
  • Defective jury instructions

Why Having a Maryland Child Abuse Attorney Helps

Your rights are important. At Kennedy & Dolan, we take the time to understand your charges and give you the information you need to feel confident about your outcome. Keep in mind, being charged with a criminal offense does not make you a criminal.

Many child abuse allegations in Montgomery County and across Maryland occur due to:

  • Someone unfamiliar with your situation suspecting abuse
  • An adversarial party wanting to gain an advantage over you
  • Someone exaggerating something that really occurred
  • A child innocently giving false information
  • Retaliation

In these instances, the most important thing you can do for yourself is to avoid making any statements to police without a Maryland child abuse attorney present. Law enforcement officers are trained to take what you say and use it against you, meaning they will make note of any comment that could show you were guilty. With child abuse, ambiguity can mean a guilty verdict, so call an attorney right away.

Available When You Need Us

We understand how terrifying it can be to face child abuse charges. During your initial consultation, we will review the charges and evidence of your case. Many times, examination yields important details about what happened that can fundamentally change the outcome of your situation. You do not have to face these allegations alone. Kennedy & Dolan has a strong track record of successful case outcomes, even against some of the most severe child abuse charges in Maryland. We are on your side.

Call (301) 608-3000 now to get started. We proudly serve clients in Rockville and throughout Montgomery County.

Small Firm. Great Results.

Why Hire us?
  • Over 50 Years of Combined Experience
  • 24 Hour Service
  • Payment Plans Available
  • Se Habla Español
  • Free Phone or Email Consultation
  • Selected for Inclusion in Super Lawyers®

Rockville Criminal Defense Attorney