Child Abuse – The Criminal Sidechild abuse

This blog will focus on child abuse criminal charges in North Carolina. Although we generally focus our family law blogs on civil family law issues, there is often some overlap between criminal defense and family law. For example, violations of Domestic Violence Protective Orders are criminal matters, while the DVPO itself is a civil matter. Kidnapping is a criminal charge that is often mistaken as a family law issue. Child abuse is a criminal charge that often comes with allegations that have the potential to impact child custody and visitation. This blog will focus on the criminal side of child abuse charges. To see how a child abuse conviction could impact your family law child custody case, it is advisable to speak with a family law attorney.

Child Abuse Criminal Charge in North Carolina

Child abuse is a term that is widely used, but often ill understood. In North Carolina, the criminal charge of child abuse is defined by statute. Child abuse in NC can be either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding the alleged incident. If you are charged with NC child abuse, you should contact a criminal defense attorney.

Misdemeanor Child abuse

In North Carolina misdemeanor child abuse is defined by North Carolina General Statute 14-318.2. Misdemeanor child abuse is a class one Misdemeanor and follows the North Carolina Misdemeanor sentencing guidelines.

What constitutes misdemeanor child abuse?

Any parent of a child less than 16 years of age, or any other person providing care to or supervision of such child, inflicts physical injury, or who allows physical injury to be inflicted, or who creates or allows to be created a substantial risk of physical injury, upon or to such child by other than accidental means.

Felony Child Abuse

In North Carolina, felony child abuse is defined by North Carolina General Statute 14-318.4. Felony child abuse follows the North Carolina felony sentencing guidelines. The felony can be one of several different classes depending on the level of injury suffered by the child and the alleged conduct of the defendant.

What constitutes felony child abuse ?

Below are just some of the examples of felony child abuse charges in North Carolina:

  • A parent or any other person providing care to or supervision of a child less than 16 years of age who intentionally inflicts any serious physical injury upon or to the child or who intentionally commits an assault upon the child which results in any serious physical injury to the child.
    • Punished as a Class D felony.
  • A parent or any other person providing care to or supervision of a child less than 16 years of age who intentionally inflicts any serious bodily injury to the child or who intentionally commits an assault upon the child which results in any serious bodily injury to the child, or which results in permanent or protracted loss or impairment of any mental or emotional function.
    • Punished as a Class B2 felony.
  • A parent or any other person providing care to or supervision of a child less than 16 years of age whose willful act or grossly negligent omission in the care of the child shows a reckless disregard for human life.
    • Punished as a Class E felony

Child abuse charges are very wide ranging and carry a wide range of potential punishments. If you are in need of a criminal defense attorney in North Carolina, contact one today. If you are in need of a family law attorney, contact us today.