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A child abuse accusation can forever change the lives of those accused, the accusers, and the child at the center of it all. That is why it’s imperative that you understand what to do if you’ve been falsely accused of child abuse. It may mean the difference between keeping custody of your child and having your entire life destroyed. In this brief article, a child abuse defense attorney in Tampa will detail the steps you should take if you’ve been falsely accused of child abuse.
Child abuse is described as child maltreatment that can take the form of neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. Once Child Protective Services (CPS) has been made aware of an accusation, there will be an investigation. Always keep your wits about you and remain calm and cooperative during the investigation. Emotions are sure to be running high during this situation, but you must not lash out or be defensive. Doing so could make you appear guilty and lead investigators to question your innocence.
While it is in your best interest to cooperate with authorities during an investigation, you need not say more or less than what is necessary. When asked, give brief and straightforward responses. The investigators will be building a case against you, and you don’t want to run the risk of being misinterpreted.
While the investigation is ongoing, continue living in your home unless ordered to vacate, be transparent with your spouse, and set up visitation rights with your child if necessary. And never admit to anything you haven’t done. False confessions can be used against you even if you were pressured into a confession by investigators. This is why it’s so important that you have a child abuse defense lawyer in Tampa by your side during this entire process.
You must do everything in your power to prepare to fight for your rights and the rights of your child. This includes collecting all essential documentation that can be used to defend yourself. Contact anyone who may be willing to provide a character statement on your behalf either in court or by affidavit. You should also document everything you can related to the investigation, including phone calls and interviews.
Arguably, the most important step you can take when being falsely accused of child abuse is to consult with an attorney. In a situation this precarious, you can’t leave anything to chance. You must be ready to fight in court, and no one is going to fight for you and your child more than a child abuse defense lawyer in Tampa.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.