Can You Face Child Abuse Charges for Emotional Abuse or Neglect?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Aug 23, 2023 | 0 Comments

Child abuse charges generally can relate to incidents of exploitation, physical abuse, or sexual abuse, as well as neglect, abandonment, or isolation from social contact. In some jurisdictions, child abuse laws specifically address emotional abuse and neglect as separate offenses, while in others, they may be categorized under broader child abuse laws.

New Jersey Child Abuse Laws

In New Jersey, child abuse is considered any act or omission that endangers or impairs a child's physical, mental, or emotional well-being. This can include acts of emotional abuse or neglect that cause harm to a child's psychological or emotional development.

In New Jersey, specifically, child abuse includes "willful isolation of ordinary social contact to indicate emotional or social deprivation; inappropriate placement in institution; neglect by not supplying adequate care, necessaries or supervision."

What Is Considered Emotional Abuse or Neglect?

Emotional abuse refers to behavior that causes emotional harm and undermines a child's self-worth, emotional well-being, or mental health, such as constant criticism, belittlement, or withholding affection.

Neglect is the failure to provide a child with adequate care, supervision, essential needs, and support for a child's well-being.

What Happens If I'm Accused of Child Abuse?

In New Jersey, anyone who suspects emotional abuse or neglect of a child can contact the Department of Children's Services (DCS) and anonymously make an allegation. That anonymity makes it easy for the person making the report to do so without any follow-up or consequences. Unfortunately, making false allegations based on ulterior motives, such as a custody dispute, break-up, or divorce, is all too common.

If the investigation reveals evidence of emotional abuse or neglect, you could face legal action. The specific consequences and charges would depend on the severity and circumstances of the abuse. Authorities may take steps to protect the minor, such as removing them from the abusive environment and placing them in foster care or with another suitable guardian.

Facing Child Abuse Charges? Get Immediate Legal Help

If you are facing charges of child abuse, child neglect, or child abandonment, you will want a trusted legal professional on your side. These cases are highly dependent on the facts, so you will want a skilled attorney to help you state your case and defend yourself against these serious charges.

Get Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Criminal Defense Team on your side to guide you through this process and protect you.

Contact our Criminal Defense Team at (888) 535-3686 today to discuss your options, or contact us online.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in New Jersey and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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When it comes to criminal defense cases, you need the right person in your corner. To learn more about how Mr. Lento can help you, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686. or contact him online.

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