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Child Abuse & Neglect in NV

Las Vegas Domestic Violence Attorney

In Nevada, being charged with child abuse or neglect can expose a defendant to a gross misdemeanor charge, or a variety of felony charges in some cases. Basically, there are a number of different factors which determine the seriousness of the type of charge a defendant will face in a child abuse case. For example, an allegation that a defendant caused serious bodily harm to a minor child will result in higher potential prison exposure for then something more passive, such as leaving a minor child in the care of an irresponsible caretaker.

If you have been charged with child abuse or neglect in Las Vegas, contact David R. Fischer at today to schedule a free consultation.

Abuse, Neglect or Endangerment of a Child

The applicable statute is NRS 200.508. Any person who causes a child to suffer physical pain or mental suffering as a result of “abuse or neglect,” can be exposed to penalties ranging from a gross misdemeanor to a category A felony, with the possibility of life imprisonment. There are a number of factors, which affect the type of punishment the Clark County District Attorney’s office will seek for an alleged violation of NRS 200.508.

The main issues are:

  1. Whether the alleged conduct was “willful”
  2. What was the actual age of the child at the time of the alleged violation
  3. Whether substantial bodily or mental harm resulted to the child, and
  4. Has the defendant been previously convicted under NRS 200.508.

Whether the Alleged Conduct Was Willful

The law distinguishes between a person who willfully acts and a person who is negligent. Typically, a willful act is much more difficult to prove as it requires very strong evidence that a person acted according to a preconceived plan. For example, contrast throwing a toddler in the pool, knowing that toddler can’t swim, to failing to supervise, and the toddler falls in the pool (Both scenarios assume that the toddler lives). In the first instance, the conduct, from the circumstances, is clearly willful as opposed to the second incident where it is clearly neglectful. The first scenario, would likely expose the defendant to harsher penalties for willful conduct.

What Was the Actual Age of the Child

If the child is under the age of 14 and the harm is the result of sexual abuse or exploitation, one faces exposure to a category A felony, with a sentence range of up to life, with parole eligibility beginning after 15 years have been served. If the child is 14 years old or older than that same conduct will be charged as category B felony, which carries a sentence range of 2 – 20 years in the Nevada Department of Corrections.

Did Substantial Bodily / Mental Harm Result?

The legal definition of substantial bodily harm in Las Vegas is quite broad. Any bodily injury that results in permanent disfigurement, impaired function of any body part, or substantial risk of death can be considered to be substantial harm. Additionally, subjecting a child to prolonged periods of physical pain can also be included.

Examples of substantial harm can include:

  • Broken bones
  • Organ damage
  • Paralysis
  • Burns
  • Concussions
  • Wounds requiring stitches

Prior Convictions for NRS 200.508 Violations

If a defendant has a history of violating NRS 200.508, more serious penalties will be faced. For a second offense, a person will face a category C felony charge and face up to 5 years in prison and fines up to $10,000. For some offenses, a person can face life in prison for particularly egregious instances of child abuse. If you have a prior conviction for child abuse, it is imperative that you seek strong legal representation from our criminal defense firm to improve your chances of avoiding incarceration.

Call the Law Office of David R. Fischer to learn more about your legal options!

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