Iowa Child Neglect Lawyer Defending People Charged With Child Endangerment
Many people charged with child endangerment are confused about what they did to deserve arrest. The arrest may be more the result of community pressure or media attention than for any actual criminal behavior. Police and prosecutors often feel they have to take quick and severe action because the public demands it.
It is devastating for a parent, grandparent or family member to face child endangerment or child abuse charges. At Graves Law Firm, P.C., we understand how these charges can occur. We've seen it happen that the complaint of a passerby elicits a knee-jerk reaction from the police that results in an arrest without much thought to the consequences for the family. We've seen families in conflict where false charges were fabricated to get someone in trouble.
We're not saying that child endangerment isn't a real crime. It is a very serious crime.
What we are saying is that people deserve competent, vigorous representation to protect their rights and to make sure the truth comes out. It's important to protect children but also important to safeguard the rights and reputation of the adults involved.
If you have been charged with child endangerment or any other crime involving a child victim, get immediate legal help. Contact a Clive child endangerment lawyer at Graves Law Firm for a free consultation. If you can't come to us, we will meet you at your home or at the police station.
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Is It Really Child Endangerment?
Attorney Thomas P. Graves is recognized as one of Iowa's leading advocates for children. He protects the interests of children and families in child endangerment cases.
One of the most unfair aspects of Iowa's child endangerment law is that our state does not have a simple misdemeanor-level offense. The lowest level charge you could face is aggravated misdemeanor child endangerment, which could result in two years in prison and is a felony under federal law.
This is a significant criminal charge that can really hurt you when applying for a job or housing. And it may be completely undeserved. We've seen cases where a parent ran into the store for a few minutes, leaving a sleeping child locked in a car with the window cracked open, or a parent removed a child from a situation in which there was a family conflict only to find themselves arrested for having been present at all.
While one can argue that a parent may have used poor judgment, should that result in a felony criminal charge and possible placement of the child in a foster home and a parent in jail? We think not. That's why we fight these charges so aggressively.
Is the Charge Even True?
The truth is, sometimes innocent people are charged with child-related crimes. Parents can face wrongful accusations, especially when there is a family conflict or a legal matter pending. For example, some spouses believe that they can gain the upper hand in a divorce or child custody case if they charge the other partner with child abuse. They may even manipulate the child into making untrue statements. Sometimes, an older child will make untrue statements in order to attract attention or to get back at a parent or stepparent.
We work with child psychologists and other experts to determine the truth of a child's statement.
When Child Neglect or Child Abuse Has Occurred
If there is an element of truth to the charges of child endangerment, child abuse or child molestation, we look for ways to help our client get help while minimizing the potential for damage to the family. We care about our clients and we want to see you move forward in a positive manner. This may involve therapy, supervised visitation, probation and community service as a better option than prison.
Work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer with extensive experience handling adult and juvenile criminal cases in the greater Des Moines area. Contact an Iowa child neglect attorney at Graves Law Firm for a free consultation.