Baltimore & Towson Lawyer Discusses Child Neglect in Maryland
Anyone who is a parent in Maryland should take note--if you have been accused of child neglect, you can expect to receive a visit from the state's Child Protective Services (CPS). CPS has identified thousands of cases of child neglect throughout the state over the years; however, prior to 2011, individuals could not be prosecuted unless those cases resulted in a child's death or physical injury. However, in 2011, child neglect was officially made a crime in Maryland. That being the case, it is imperative for those who have been accused to contact a skilled Baltimore and Towson family law attorney to ensure that your parental rights are protected.
Accusations of child neglect should not be taken lightly. In Maryland, parents, relatives and other adults who live in the home and care for or are responsible for a child's wellbeing are prohibited by law from neglecting that child. Anyone who does so can be found guilty of a misdemeanor. More specifically, the law defines child neglect as "an intentional failure to provide for the physical needs or mental health of a minor that creates a substantial risk of harm." If, however, a parent, relative or other adult fails to meet a child's needs purely because of a lack of finances, that individual will likely not be subject to prosecution under the law.
Who Can/Must Report Suspected Cases of Child Abuse and/or Neglect?
Anybody can report a person if he or she suspects that individual has committed the crime of child neglect. However, as your Baltimore and Towson family law attorney will tell you, certain individuals, such as teachers, doctors, daycare employees and health care workers are required to report any and all cases of suspected child neglect to the Department of Social Services.
It also bears mentioning that ex-spouses might allege child neglect or abuse in an effort to gain sole custody of the child or children, and even older children might make an accusation of neglect and/or abuse if they were subject to some form of unwanted discipline.
The Investigation and What Happens Thereafter
The Department of Social Services typically plays a role in making a determination and/or finding with respect to the allegations of neglect. That said, if you have been accused of child neglect, you might consider employing the services of an expert to refute the report that CPS will make.
If the prosecuting attorney or the case worker handling the case finds that the allegations made are credible, the child or children can be removed from the home and placed with foster parents or other relatives, pending the outcome of a hearing. Additionally, CPS can require individuals to take parenting classes and /or meet certain other conditions prior to the child or children being returned to the home.
Any individual who is convicted of child neglect in the state of Maryland can expect to spend up to five years in prison, and face fines of up to $5,000. If you or someone you love has been accused of child neglect, contact a Baltimore and Towson family law attorney at the Law Offices of Amar Weismann, LLC right away to discuss the case.
Call (410) 321-4994 For a Free Consultation
Call The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman at (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free Consultation. The Purpose of the consultation is to determine whether you want to retain this law firm as your Baltimore County & Harford County Family Lawyer. If you do wish to proceed, then you must pay a retainer. See Our Policy on Fees and Costs. The family firm is located next to The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204.