Child abuse is a sad and terrible part of our world. The Nevada Revised Statutes contain detailed descriptions of what child abuse consists of:
NRS 200.508 Abuse, neglect or endangerment of child: Penalties; definitions.
A person who willfully causes a child who is less than 18 years of age to suffer unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering as a result of abuse or neglect or to be placed in a situation where the child may suffer physical pain or mental suffering as the result of abuse or neglect.
Child abuse is dealt with very seriously, as it should be. If substantial bodily or mental harm results to the child, if the child is less than 14 years of age and the harm is due to sexual abuse or exploitation, the perpetrator is guilty of a category A felony, or may be sentenced by a category B felony under different circumstances. If substantial bodily or mental harm does not occur to the child and the perpetrator has not previously been convicted, he or she is guilty of a category B felony, but if previously convicted is also guilty of a category B felony with enhanced penalties.
A person responsible for the welfare of a child who permits or allows the child to suffer is also liable for harsh penalties. Substantial bodily or mental harm to a child under the age of 14 will result in a category A felony if sexual exploitation or abuse was part of the act, potentially bringing a life sentence; if not, a category B felony will be applied, still bringing a potential sentence of 20 years. If the person responsible for the child has not previously been convicted of a crime and substantial bodily harm does not occur, the first offense will be treated as a gross misdemeanor; but if the person has previously been convicted, a category C felony will be applied.
This Statute covers other potential situations that could be considered abuse, as well. Bringing an injured child to an emergency room does not mean you will be charged with child abuse. Abuse is defined as a physical or mental injury of a non-accidental nature. Accidents happen. Medical professionals will be looking for signs of abuse and neglect and registering patterns, especially if the child has a record of emergency room attendance. Good parents doing the right thing by bringing their injured children in for medical attention when they need it should not worry but may want to consult with an attorney if questions are raised.
Depending upon the circumstances of the abuse and the larger social situation, the District Attorney may also require a perpetrator to attend counseling.
Whatever side of this awful situation you may find yourself on, you should seek out the best legal counsel for yourself and your family. Children deserve the healthiest environments in which to grow up. They are our future and we all benefit from their proper development. I am an expert in this type of law and can make sure you and your family get the help you need so as to give everyone the best future possible. Please call me now at 702-383-0090.
Douglas C. Crawford, Esq.