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