Child Abuse

Can You Be Charged With Child Abuse in Wisconsin If You Spank Your Child?

By Tedia Gamino

For quite some time there’s been a significant debate across the country about whether or not spanking a child is abuse. Some parents say spanking is abuse, while others believe in physical discipline and subscribe to the adage: “spare the rod, spoil the child.” Wisconsin laws against child abuse are enacted to keep kids safe from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. These laws identify factors that constitute abuse.

Reckless Bodily Harm vs. Intentional Bodily Harm

Wisconsin law defines physical abuse as reckless bodily harm or intentional bodily harm to a child. In many cases it can be hard to prove whether or not abuse was reckless or intentional. Let’s look at the differences between the two.

  • Reckless Bodily Harm

Reckless abuse means that your actions resulted in an unreasonable risk of harm to a child, and that you demonstrated a knowing disregard for the child’s safety.

  • Intentional Bodily Harm

Intentional abuse means you intentionally or knowingly engaged in activities that would cause bodily harm to a child.

Discipline Laws in Wisconsin

Wisconsin law recognizes the legal right of a parent or guardian to physically discipline a child. Although, according to a strict definition of the law, spanking is an intentional act that inflicts “bodily harm,” the law permits a parent or guardian to engage in physical discipline, provided it doesn’t lead to an unreasonable risk of death, or great bodily harm to the child.

Penalties If You’re Convicted of Child Abuse in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, child abuse and failing to prevent child abuse are prosecuted as felonies. If you’re convicted of child abuse, you may spend several years in prison. You could also have your parental rights terminated, or be subject to the continual oversight of Child Protective Services.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Child Abuse Charges?

If you’ve been charged with child abuse, call our office at 414-383-6700 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys who can provide the guidance you need.

By Attorney Tedia Gamino

By |2022-11-19T09:30:37-06:00January 19th, 2023|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Can You Be Charged With Child Abuse in Wisconsin If You Spank Your Child?

4 Forms of Child Abuse and Neglect

By Tedia Gamino

According to a report from the CDC, 1,750 children in the U.S. died from abuse and neglect in 2020, and in the past year 1 in every 7 children were neglected or abused. A majority of abuse and neglect cases, though, are not reported and these unfortunate figures could be much higher. Children may suffer the abuse of parents and caregivers, and custodians like teachers, coaches, and religious leaders.

There are typically four forms of abuse and neglect:

  1. Physical abuse
  2. Sexual abuse
  3. Emotional abuse
  4. Neglect—unmet needs

Understanding the signs of each type of abuse and neglect can help you know when a child is in trouble. We’ll dive deeper into each.

Signs of Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is intentionally using force that can cause physical injury. The most common examples of physical abuse include shaking, kicking, hitting, and even burning.

Common signs of physical abuse include:

  • Injuries that form the shape of an object
  • Bruises and welts
  • Burns
  • Fearing to go home; fear of parents
  • Delayed medical attention
  • Fractures that don’t coincide with an explanation
  • Behavioral extremes; very withdrawn or very aggressive

Signs of Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is when a child is forced or pressured to participate in sexual acts. This includes penetration, fondling, and other sexual activities.

A child who’s sexually abused may show these signs:

  • Itchy, swelling, or pain in the genital region
  • Discharge, bleeding, and bruising in the genital area
  • Venereal disease
  • Difficulty sitting or walking
  • Pain when urinating
  • Bloody or stained undergarments
  • An interest in sex that’s unusual for their age
  • School delinquency
  • Running away from home

Signs of Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse involves acts that affect a child’s emotional well-being and self-worth. Oftentimes these acts include threatening, name-calling, withholding love, rejecting, and shaming.

Emotionally-abused children often show the following signs:

  • Self-denigration
  • Low self-esteem
  • Severe depression
  • Failure to learn
  • Extreme withdrawal
  • Unusual aggression  

Signs of Neglect

Neglect is when a child’s emotional and physical needs are not met. Such needs include food, clothing, housing, and access to medical care and education. Neglect can also mean failing to validate and appropriately respond to a child’s feelings.

Common signs of child neglect include:

  • A lack of supervision for long periods, and being left alone
  • Poor hygiene
  • Failure to go to school; frequent absences
  • Malnutrition; constant hunger
  • A lack of medical attention
  • Being inappropriately dressed for the weather

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Child Abuse or Child Neglect Charges?

If you’ve been charged with child abuse or child neglect, call our office at 414-383-6700 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys who can provide the guidance you need.

By Attorney Tedia Gamino

By |2022-11-19T10:16:40-06:00December 20th, 2022|Criminal Law, Family Law, Juvenile Law|Comments Off on 4 Forms of Child Abuse and Neglect

What Happens to Your Kids if You’re Charged With Child Abuse in Wisconsin?

By Carlos Gamino

If you are like many people facing child abuse charges, you’re most likely wondering what will happen to your kids if you’re convicted. This guide explains.

What Happens to Your Kids if You’re Charged With Child Abuse in Wisconsin?

If you are facing child abuse charges in Wisconsin, you may be wondering what will happen to your children. The answer depends on a number of factors, including the severity of the abuse, whether you have a previous history of abuse, and whether the authorities believe your children are in danger if they remain in your care.

In some cases, the court may order that your children be removed from your home and placed in foster care or with another relative. In other cases, the court may place your children in your care but subject you to close supervision by child welfare authorities.

If you are convicted of child abuse, you will likely face significant penalties, including jail time, a fine, and the loss of your parental rights. Depending on the nature of your crime, you may also be required to register as a sex offender. In any case, you may wish to speak to a child abuse defense attorney in Wisconsin.

Related: Should you hire a child abuse defense attorney?

Can You Ever Get Your Kids Back if You’re Convicted of Child Abuse in Wisconsin?

You may be able to get your kids back if you’re convicted of child abuse in Wisconsin, but it will depend on the severity of the abuse and whether or not you’ve taken steps to rehabilitate yourself. If the abuse was severe, you may not be able to get your kids back even if you’ve gone through treatment. However, if the abuse was not severe and you have taken steps to improve yourself, you may be able to get your kids back. The decision will ultimately be up to the judge in your case. If you’re convicted of child abuse, it’s important to talk to a lawyer about your options and what you can do to try to get your kids back.

Related: What to do about false allegations of child abuse in Wisconsin

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Child Abuse Charges in Wisconsin?

Have you been accused of child abuse, it may be in your best interest to speak to a criminal defense attorney in Wisconsin. Call our office today at 414-383-6700 for a free consultation with a caring, experienced professional. We’ll answer your questions and give you the guidance and legal advice you need to begin moving forward and get the best possible outcome in your case.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2022-05-20T20:37:27-05:00July 26th, 2022|Criminal Law|Comments Off on What Happens to Your Kids if You’re Charged With Child Abuse in Wisconsin?

What to Do if You’re Facing Child Neglect Charges

By Attorney Carlos Gamino

Facing child neglect charges is scary – you don’t know what’s going to happen next, when you’ll see your children again, or even whether you’ll end up spending time in jail. For most people, the best thing to do is get in touch with a child neglect defense attorney who can help.

What to Do if You’re Facing Child Neglect Charges

Child neglect is a serious crime in Wisconsin, and it’s one that could put you behind bars. It’s a Class A misdemeanor unless:

  • Bodily harm is a consequence. In that case, it’s a Class H felony.
  • Great bodily harm is a consequence. In that case, it’s a Class F felony.
  • Death is a consequence. In that case, it’s a Class D felony.

The law says that “A child is neglected when the person responsible for the child’s welfare fails for reasons other than poverty to provide necessary care, food, clothing, medical or dental care, or shelter so as to seriously endanger the physical health of the child.”

If you’re facing child neglect charges, you may need to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. One possible consequence of a neglect conviction is time in jail; child neglect is a Class A misdemeanor, which means a judge could sentence you to up to 9 months in jail and order you to pay up to $10,000 in fines.

What Can a Child Neglect Defense Attorney Do?

Your attorney will evaluate every aspect of your case to find out whether the police made a mistake, the prosecutor has enough evidence to get a conviction, or whether there was some sort of misunderstanding that made it appear as if you were neglecting your child. Your lawyer’s main job is to protect your constitutional rights and ensure you get a fair trial – and to fight hard on your behalf.

In these types of cases – and, in fact, in all criminal cases – it’s up to the prosecutor to prove that you committed a crime. It’s not up to you to prove that you’re innocent. That means your lawyer will need to show that the prosecutor’s evidence isn’t good enough to prove that you neglected your child.

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney Because You’re Facing Child Neglect Charges?

If you’re facing child neglect charges, or if you’ve had your children taken away by the state of Wisconsin, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700 now to speak with an attorney. Our free consultations are completely confidential, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions when you call.

Carlos Gamino

By |2022-07-19T13:59:30-05:00July 19th, 2022|Criminal Law|Comments Off on What to Do if You’re Facing Child Neglect Charges

Should You Hire Child Abuse Lawyers for Your Case?

Child Abuse Lawyers in Milwaukee - Gamino Law Offices

By Carlos Gamino

If you’ve been accused of harming a child, it may be a good idea to call Milwaukee child abuse lawyers as soon as possible.

In the state of Wisconsin, child abuse is a serious crime—and it’s one that carries extremely harsh penalties.

When Should You Hire Child Abuse Lawyers?

As soon as someone accuses you of child abuse, you may want to call an attorney. Child abuse and child neglect are both felonies under Wisconsin law. Unfortunately, many people are falsely accused of abuse and neglect (sometimes in conjunction with divorce cases); if that’s happened to you, you need an attorney who can aggressively defend you in court and help ensure that the truth comes out.

What is Child Abuse Under Wisconsin Law?

Under Wisconsin law, child abuse is the intentional causation of bodily harm. There are varying degrees of child abuse, as well:

  • Child abuse is a Class I felony if you recklessly cause bodily harm to a child.
  • Child abuse is a Class H felony if you intentionally cause bodily harm to a child.
  • Child abuse is a Class F felony if you intentionally cause bodily harm to a child by conduct that creates a high probability of great bodily harm.
  • Child abuse is a Class E felony if you recklessly cause great bodily harm to a child.
  • Child abuse is a Class C felony if you intentionally cause great bodily harm to a child.

What is Child Neglect Under Wisconsin Law?

Child neglect, under Wisconsin law, applies to anyone who’s responsible for a child’s welfare and who either acts or fails to act, intentionally contributing to the child’s neglect.

Typically, neglect is a Class A misdemeanor, but in some cases, it’s a felony:

  • Neglecting a child is a Class H felony if it results in bodily harm to the child.
  • Neglecting a child is a Class F felony if it results in great bodily harm to the child.
  • Neglecting a child is a Class D felony if it results in the child’s death.

Do You Need to Talk to Child Abuse Lawyers in Milwaukee or elsewhere in Wisconsin?

If you need to get in touch with child abuse lawyers in Milwaukee or Wisconsin, we may be able to help you. Call us at 414-383-6700. If it’s easier, you can also reach out to us online. We’ll evaluate your case and begin developing a defense strategy that gets you the best possible outcome right away.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-25T15:07:24-05:00November 23rd, 2019|Criminal Law, Juvenile Law|Comments Off on Should You Hire Child Abuse Lawyers for Your Case?

What Can You Do About False Allegations of Child Abuse

What Can You Do About False Allegations of Child Abuse - Wisconsin Criminal Defense Lawyer

By Carlos Gamino

While it’s incredibly sad, many people across Wisconsin are falsely accused of child abuse every day. These people – who have done nothing wrong – face the loss of custody or even visitation with their children.

So what can you do about false allegations of child abuse?

Falsely Accused of Child Abuse: Now What?

If you’ve been falsely accused of child abuse, one of the first things you should do is call a child abuse lawyer in Milwaukee. An attorney can help protect your rights and ensure that your side of the story comes out in court – and that’s particularly important, especially when you consider the potential consequences of a conviction.

Child abuse is a serious crime in the state of Wisconsin, and it’s considered a felony. Depending on the nature of the child abuse, you could be facing imprisonment, the loss of your rights to your children, and the permanent stigma associated with child abuse.

Intentional vs. Reckless: The Two Categories of Abuse

Wisconsin State law classifies child abuse in two different ways: intentional and reckless.

Intentional child abuse refers to instances in which the perpetrator meant to hurt a child. Reckless child abuse refers to a situation of unreasonable risk of harm to a child and conduct that shows a conscious disregard for the child’s safety.

Whether child abuse is intentional or reckless has an impact on the type of felony it is.

Why Some People Are Falsely Accused of Child Abuse

During divorce cases, we occasionally see parties accusing each other of child abuse in an attempt to “win.” The sad reality is that nobody wins in a case like that – least of all the children.

If you have been accused of abusing a child, call us right away at 414-383-6700 or get in touch with us online. We are Milwaukee child abuse lawyers who can help protect you and your kids from false allegations that can permanently damage your relationships.

By |2021-07-27T21:06:18-05:00November 21st, 2019|Criminal Law|Comments Off on What Can You Do About False Allegations of Child Abuse

Child Abuse or Neglect – The Difference is Intent

The state of Wisconsin takes child abuse and neglect charges very seriously, and it is incredibly important that you contact an experienced lawyer if you’re accused of either of these things.

Abuse and neglect are two separate crimes, and the vital difference between them is intent.

Abuse vs. Neglect: The Difference is Intent

Abuse is defined as an act or a failure to act that results in serious physical or emotional harm. It could result in death, as well. Sexual abuse and exploitation of a minor, as well as imminent risk of serious harm (even if no injury or emotional damage results) also falls under this legal definition.

Neglect refers to the failure to properly feed, clothe or protect a child. The intent isn’t to cause harm, although neglect often puts the child in danger.

What if You Are Charged with Child Abuse in Wisconsin?

If you’re arrested and accused of abusing a child, make sure you use your right to remain silent. In most cases, even if you’re completely innocent of the charges, it’s best to wait for your attorney before you answer any questions.

Allegations of child abuse can result in the loss of your parental rights, imprisonment and more, so it’s very important that you have someone to help you through the entire process.

What if You Are Charged with Child Neglect in Wisconsin?

Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to have child abuse charges reduced to child neglect charges. Again, though, it’s very important that you talk to your lawyer about your case and don’t answer any questions without your lawyer present.

Your Rights Are Important, Too

Wisconsin’s laws on child abuse and neglect are in place to protect kids, which is very important in any civilized society. However, not all allegations are true—and even if they are true, you risk having your constitutional rights violated by police who are trying to get to the bottom of your case (or by anyone else in the system).

Your Milwaukee child abuse lawyer will be able to protect your rights, from questioning to court proceedings, as well as make sure that you are treated fairly during the entire process.

By |2021-07-31T17:11:27-05:00November 19th, 2019|Criminal Law, Juvenile Law|Comments Off on Child Abuse or Neglect – The Difference is Intent

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