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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

Child Neglect Charges in Wisconsin

By Carlos Gamino. Click here for audio version.

Child neglect is a serious crime in Wisconsin, and if you’re charged with it, you need to know that losing custody of your child and prison time are possible penalties. But what counts as child neglect, and what can you do if the state accuses you of it? This guide explains.

What You Need to Know About Child Neglect Charges in Wisconsin

Child neglect is the crime of “failure, refusal or inability on the part of a parent, guardian, legal custodian or other person exercising temporary or permanent control over a child, 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.”

This means that if you’re responsible for a child (even if you’re not the child’s birth parent) and you fail to ensure the child is cared for (again, for reasons other than poverty), the state can find you guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. However, you can be subject to further criminal charges, such as when neglect results in bodily harm or great bodily harm, or when it results in death. Each of those outcomes results in felony charges for you.

Related: Wisconsin laws on child neglect

What Should You Do if You’re Accused of Child Neglect?

If the state of Wisconsin accuses you of child neglect, you may want to get in touch with an attorney as soon as you can. Whether you made a mistake or someone is completely wrong about you, a lawyer may be able to help you. Call our office at 414-383-6700 to schedule your free consultation with an experienced, caring and knowledgeable attorney. We’ll answer your questions and begin developing a strategy that gets you and your children the best possible outcome.

Attorney Carlos Gamino

By |2021-11-23T11:53:03-06:00October 4th, 2021|Criminal Law|Comments Off on Child Neglect Charges in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Laws on Child Neglect

Wisconsin Laws on Child Neglect - Wisconsin Criminal and Family Law Attorney

By Carlos Gamino

Under Wisconsin law, physical neglect is defined as “failure, refusal or inability on the part of a parent, guardian, legal custodian or other person exercising temporary or permanent control over a child, 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.”

The law is pretty clear. It says that anyone who is responsible for a child’s welfare who fails to ensure the child’s welfare is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

However, if:

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

Each of those carries serious penalties, including imprisonment and hefty fines.

Who Reports Child Neglect?

In the state of Wisconsin, any concerned party can report child neglect to the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. Some people are required to report child abuse or neglect if they see it—they’re called mandated reporters—and they include:

  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Medical examiners
  • Dentists
  • Chiropractors
  • Optometrists
  • Acupuncturists
  • Medical or mental health professionals
  • Social workers
  • Marriage and family therapists
  • Professional counselors
  • Public assistance workers, such as some financial and employment planners
  • Teachers
  • School administrators
  • School counselors
  • Some mediators
  • Childcare workers in daycare centers, residential care centers for children and youth, or in some group homes
  • Daycare providers
  • Alcohol or other drug abuse counselors
  • Physical therapists and their assistants
  • Occupational therapists
  • Dieticians
  • Speech and language pathologists
  • Audiologists
  • Emergency medical technicians and other first-responders
  • Police and law enforcement officers
  • Court-appointed special advocates

What Happens to People Who Are Accused of Child Neglect?

The fact is that child neglect is a serious allegation in the state of Wisconsin—and if you’ve been accused of it, even if you’re innocent—it’s a good idea to get in touch with a child neglect defense attorney in Milwaukee who understands our laws and the way our court system works.

If someone has accused you of child neglect, call us as soon as possible at 414-383-6700 or get in touch with us online. We’ll evaluate your case and help you get the best possible outcome.

Carlos Gamino

By |2021-07-27T20:07:31-05:00November 23rd, 2019|Criminal Law, Juvenile Law|Comments Off on Wisconsin Laws on Child Neglect

What is Neglect

What is Neglect - Wisconsin Family Lawyers

By Carlos Gamino

Under Wisconsin state law, neglect is a failure, refusal or inability for a parent to provide care, food, clothes, medical care or shelter for their child. Further, neglect must endanger the physical health of the child.

If you’re facing charges of neglect, you may find it necessary to talk to a Milwaukee criminal defense attorney who can help you.

What Kinds of Cases Does Wisconsin Review for Neglect?

Unfortunately, false reports of neglect are too common in Wisconsin. The state is required to review any report of child neglect that causes government representatives to suspect actual or threatened neglect.

The term threatened neglect allows caseworkers to remove children from their homes, even if actual neglect has not occurred.

Who Are Mandated Reporters?

People in certain occupations are required to report what they believe is neglect during the course of their professional duties. Even if one of these people’s suspects that neglect is likely to occur, he or she must report it. People in these professions are called mandated reporters because they are required by law to make such reports.

The following occupations are mandated reporters:

  • Teachers
  • Social workers
  • Child care workers
  • Nurses
  • Law enforcement
  • Dentists
  • Therapists
  • Substance abuse counselors

What to Do if You’re Facing Neglect Charges

Child neglect is a very serious crime in the state of Wisconsin. If someone accuses you of committing it, it may be in your best interest to talk to an attorney who understands child abuse and neglect laws in our state. The consequences can be harsh – you could even lose custody of your children and face jail time if the state finds you guilty of neglect.

If you are facing neglect charges in Milwaukee, call us at 414-383-6700 or contact us online. We may be able to help you.

By |2021-07-27T21:30:15-05:00November 21st, 2019|Family Law, Juvenile Law|Comments Off on What is Neglect

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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