Falsely Accused of Child Abuse?
Accusing someone of engaging in child abuse when the accusation is entirely false can have devastating consequences for the individual. Even the mere allegation that he or she engaged in child abuse can have a serious impact on his or her personal and professional life. Unfortunately, allegations of child abuse are made falsely in many different scenarios. The person making the false report may wish to take revenge on the defendant, or they may make a false allegation to get the upper hand in a child custody dispute. At Stok Kon + Braverman, our Fort Lauderdale child abuse lawyer has assisted many clients with defending their rights when they have been falsely accused of child abuse. We know how frustrated you are to be involved in this situation. Let our legal professionals help you fight for the justice that you deserve.Take Action When Falsely Accused of Child Abuse
Under Florida law, there are clear prohibitions against making a false child abuse claim. Florida makes it a crime to knowingly or willfully make a false report or encourage someone else to make a false report of child abuse. If you are convicted of making a false claim of child abuse, it is punishable as a third-degree felony with up to five years in prison. There may also be significant fines for each time that a false report was made. The law lists specific reasons that are deemed inappropriate when it comes to making a claim of child abuse, including an intent to harm, embarrass, or harass the target. It also lists financial gain, acquiring custody, or other personal benefits as improper reasons for making a claim of child abuse without sufficient supporting facts.
False accusations of child abuse not only can affect an individual’s career and standing in the community but also can irreversibly damage the individual’s relationship with the child or children involved. This situation becomes even more dire if there are previous reports of child abuse or domestic violence between the parent and the child. Not all situations involving false claims are immediately clear. The judge may need to investigate the claim before he or she determines that the accusation is false. If there is any suspicion regarding the veracity of the child abuse allegation, the judge may require supervised visitation or other oversight mechanisms to determine whether the allegations are completely false. Even this type of interference in the parent-child relationship can have serious consequences for the relationship.
In many situations, a judge may err on the side of being cautious when allegations of child abuse are involved, especially if there is some evidence supporting the allegations. If a judge determines that an allegation of child abuse is false, however, there are serious consequences that the accuser could face, including losing time with the child.
If you have been falsely accused of child abuse, it is critical that you contact a child abuse lawyer immediately to protect your rights and freedoms, especially your relationship with your child. It is also important to keep your cool and not react emotionally when confronted with the allegations. Starting a fight or resorting to violence could only bolster the false report. Although you may be tempted to speak to the authorities in an attempt to clear your name, this can be damaging for your position in the long term. Consulting an attorney prior to speaking with the authorities, or letting your attorney speak with them on your behalf, can help ensure that the situation is resolved quickly and that the false report is exposed.Retain a Knowledgeable Fort Lauderdale Attorney to Protect Your Rights
At Stok Kon + Braverman, we have seen the serious damage that a false report of child abuse can have on the target. We provide responsive and compassionate legal representation, regardless of the situation that you are facing. If you are currently involved in a dispute surrounding child abuse, a dependency proceeding, or another legal matter involving your child, we are here to assist you with asserting your legal rights. We serve people in cities such as Fort Lauderdale, Boynton Beach, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, Tamarac, Weston, Plantation, Pompano Beach, Hallandale Beach, Davie, and Coconut Creek. To set up a free consultation*, contact us online or call us at 954-237-1777 or 561-736-7117.