JP Law Office has nearly 30 years of professional experience representing clients in some of the most complex legal situations. When you work with our firm, you can expect one-on-one legal support as we develop a personalized legal plan for your situation. Juvenile abuse and neglect laws can be complicated to navigate, and we can help to protect you and your child in the face of these legal issues. To learn more about the relevant laws and understand the legal process, reach out to JP Law Office today.
PENALTIES AND CONSEQUENCES
Those accused of child abuse or neglect will face Class A misdemeanor charges, and subsequent offenses will be charged as Class 4 felonies. Note that a false report will be penalized as disorderly conduct, and offenses involving a physician will refer the defendant to the state medical disciplinary board, and those involving a dentist will refer the defendant to the Department of Professional Regulation.
If you have legal questions or concerns about a juvenile abuse & neglect case, do not hesitate to reach out to JP Law Office for legal support. We can help you navigate the legal consequences as a parent and provide you and your child the advocacy and legal protection you need.
What Is Considered Child Abuse?
In the context of state law, child abuse refers to the mistreatment of a child under the age of 18 by a parent, caretaker, someone living in the home, or someone who works with or around the child. To be considered child abuse, the mistreatment must cause injury to the child or put the child at risk of physical injury. Note that child abuse can be physical (e.g., bruises, burns), sexual, or emotional.
Some examples of behavior constituting child abuse include:
- creating a substantial risk of physical injury that causes death, disfigurement, impairment of physical or emotional health, or loss or impairment of any bodily function;
- committing or allowing any sex offense;
- torture, excessive corporal punishment, female genital mutilation;
- giving a child access to controlled substances.
Child neglect occurs when a parent or responsible caretaker fails to provide adequate supervision, food, clothing, shelter, or other basic needs for their child.
Mandatory Reporting in Illinois
Be aware that Illinois child abuse law requires certain individuals to report any reasonable suspicion of child abuse. In particular, the following third parties who are in close proximity to children are liable for reporting any credible signs of abuse to the appropriate authorities:
- medical professionals (hospital personnel, nurses, physicians, dentists);
- substance abuse counselors;
- Christian Science practitioners;
- Coroner and funeral home employees;
- crisis/hotline personnel;
- school personnel;
- social workers;
- day care center workers and childcare workers;
- law enforcement officers;
- domestic violence program personnel;
- foster parents;
- probation officers;
- public and private agency personnel.
Note that the key basis for reporting abuse/neglect is reasonable cause to believe that the child may be experiencing such abuse or neglect.