Child Abuse & Neglect Attorneys in Omaha, Nebraska
Parents have a right to control and discipline their children as they see fit as long as doing so does not harm or endanger the child’s physical, emotional, or mental well-being. However, some parents may cross the line and end up facing accusations of child abuse or neglect.
Accusations of child abuse or neglect are taken very seriously by the authorities in Nebraska. If you are accused of abusing or neglecting your child, or you know or suspect that someone may have harmed or endangered a child, contact our attorneys at Abrahamson Law Office.
Our skilled and compassionate attorneys in Omaha, Nebraska, defend parents against the allegations of child abuse and neglect. However, we are also committed to helping victims of child abuse and neglect and those who become witnesses of these heinous acts against children. We serve clients throughout Nebraska, including Douglas, Dodge, Sarpy, Saunders, and Washington counties.
What is Child Abuse & Neglect?
While the terms “child abuse” and “child neglect” are often used in the same context, they refer to different forms of conduct:
Child abuse. Nebraska law defines child abuse as intentionally, knowingly, or negligently placing a child in a situation that endangers the child’s physical well-being. Parents may also face allegations of physical child abuse for permitting a child to be cruelly punished or confined. Two other variations of child abuse include emotional and sexual abuse.
Child neglect. Neglecting a child is also illegal under Nebraska law. Parents can face penalties for child neglect when they intentionally, knowingly, or negligently deprive their children of shelter, food, care, or clothing or leave a child aged six or younger unattended in an automobile.
Child neglect is sometimes not intentional but rather a result from poverty, or a difference in community standards and/or culture. The attorneys at Abrahamson Law Office are sensitive to such issues, and can help you navigate these often complicated scenarios.
Child Protective Services in Nebraska
When someone reports child abuse to law enforcement, a police officer will arrive to investigate the report. However, when instances of child abuse or neglect are reported to the Child Protective Services (CPS), the agency will typically assign a caseworker to investigate the matter. CPS has a legal obligation to investigate all allegations of child abuse and neglect.
The primary goal of the CPS investigation is to determine if the accusations are true or false. If CPS determines that the child was abused or neglected, the agency will intervene to ensure a safe environment for the child. One of the measures to protect the child may be to take them from where they are currently living. Sometimes CPS works with families to create a safety plan, but sometimes CPS refers cases so that parents need to appear in juvenile court. For such cases the goal of juvenile court is to eliminate the problem or problems that led to CPS involvement and/or children's removal from a parental home, and to reunify children with their parents.
Speak with our child abuse and neglect attorneys in Omaha, Nebraska, if you are being investigated by CPS. Our attorneys will help you understand your options and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.
Possible Penalties for Child Abuse and Neglect in Nebraska
Aside from juvenile court, there is the possibility of penalties for child abuse and neglect in criminal court. Depending on the circumstances of the alleged offense, child abuse and/or neglect can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony, often dependent on whether the parent acted negligently or knowingly, and whether the child suffered personal injury or death.
Committing child abuse negligently is a Class I misdemeanor;
Committing child abuse knowingly and intentionally without causing injury to the child is a Class IV felony;
Committing child abuse knowingly and intentionally and causing injury to the child is a Class III felony; and
Committing child abuse knowingly and intentionally and causing death to the child is a Class IB felony.
Depending on the charge, a parent may face jail time, including imprisonment for life and hefty fines in addition to other penalties.
Possible Defenses for Child Abuse and Neglect in Nebraska
Depending on the specific circumstances, a parent facing accusations of child abuse and neglect may assert one of the following defenses:
Right to discipline
Lack of evidence
No causation (the child’s injury was caused by something else)
Speak with our child abuse and neglect attorneys to discuss your unique case and explore possible defense options in your specific situation.
What if Someone I Know is a Victim of Child Abuse & Neglect?
Additional statutes in Nebraska require mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect if you have reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused or neglected. The mandatory reporting requirement applies to everyone who becomes a witness of child abuse or neglect or reasonably suspects that a child is abused or neglected based on their observation of conditions and circumstances.
Child Abuse & Neglect Attorneys Serving Omaha, Nebraska
The experienced child abuse and neglect attorneys at Abrahamson Law Office understand the serious nature of abuse or neglect accusations. If a child abuse or neglect complaint was filed against you, we can help you prepare a successful defense strategy. If you have reason to believe that child abuse or neglect has taken place, we can help you understand your legal rights and obligation and the Nebraska reporting requirements. We proudly serve clients in Omaha, Douglas, Dodge, Sarpy, Saunders, and Washington counties, Nebraska.