Knoxville Child Abuse Defense Lawyer

Child Abuse & Neglect Defense

Being accused of child abuse or neglect can make for a very distressful time. The justice system along with society looks down on those who harm children and treats them accordingly. A conviction may result not only in severe penalties, but also exclusion from normal social relations and opportunities.

If you are currently facing a child abuse or neglect charge, you will need the help of an experienced and resourceful Tennessee criminal defense lawyer. At Baker Associates, we place emphasis on communication and compassion. Our unwavering belief in our clients is what drives us to do everything within our power to exonerate them. If you have any questions regarding your criminal case, please call us toll free at (866) 853-2888.

How Does Tennessee Law Define Child Abuse and Neglect?

According to the state's specific statutes on criminal child abuse and neglect, child abuse is evidenced by the following:

  1. An individual knowingly behaves toward a child (less than eighteen years) in an abusive manner; and,
  2. It results in bodily injury to the child.

For purposes of this statute, it is the abusive act itself that must be performed knowingly; an individual does not necessarily have to be aware that his or her conduct will result in bodily injury to the child.

In order to establish child neglect, three material elements have to be proven:

  1. that the defendant knowingly neglected the child,
  2. that the child is less than 18 years of age, and
  3. that the neglect was harmful to the child's health and welfare.

The courts have determined that this statute does not apply to unborn children, or fetuses.

What are the Penalties for Child Abuse and Neglect in Tennessee?

Child abuse involving a victim older than 6 is considered a Class A misdemeanor and a conviction may result in a prison sentence of up to a year and/or a fine of up to $2,500. However, if the victim is 6-years-old or younger, then the crime is considered a Class D felony, which carries a prison sentence between two and 12 years and a fine of up to $5,000.

Child neglect involving a victim older than 6 is, like child abuse, considered a Class A misdemeanor. If the victim is 6-years-old or younger, the crime is upgraded to a Class E felony, which carries a prison sentence between one and six years and a fine of up to $3,000.

What Constitutes Aggravated Child Abuse, Neglect, and Endangerment?

Under T.C.A. § 39-15-402, a child abuse offense is upgraded to an aggravated offense when it is proven that:

Aggravated child abuse, neglect, and endangerment are all treated as Class B felonies. A conviction may result in a prison sentence between eight and 30 years and a fine of up to $25,000. If the victim is 8-years-old or younger, the crime is upgraded to a Class A felony, which carries a prison sentence between 15 and 60 years and a fine of up to $50,000.

How Can I Fight These Charges?

The reliable defense attorneys at Baker Associates have worked cases in this field for many years. We know the tactics the prosecution commonly employs and how to counteract them. We also know how to build a strong defense with material evidence, testimony, and other viable resources. To learn more about your rights and available options, contact us today.

Complete the form below if you have been charged with child abuse or neglect. An attorney at our office will contact you soon.

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Knox County
2126 First Tennessee Plaza
800 South Gay Street
Knoxville, Tennessee 37929

Phone: (865) 521-0001
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

Sevier County
121 Court Avenue
Sevierville, Tennessee 37862

Phone: (865) 546-6000
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

Washington County
300 East Main Street
Johnson City, Tennessee 37601

Johnson City Child Rape Defense Lawyer Disclaimer: The child abuse, aggravated child abuse, child negelct and battery, sex crimes, or other legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact a criminal attorney at our law firm. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State.

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