Defending allegations of child neglect and child cruelty require specialist legal advice from a criminal solicitor with expertise in this area of the law.
Both the police and social services will be involved in any case involving child neglect or child cruelty.
Child cruelty is defined as exposing a minor (below the age of 18) to danger, by committing an act or omission – ie not carrying out activities needed to care for or protect a child.
Not everyone facing charges of child neglect or child cruelty will be guilty of the charges, however – in some cases, social services or the police will have been alerted by a concerned member of the public.
It is vital to seek legal advice as soon as possible, as in the early stages of an investigation – or Section 38 enquiry by social services or pre-proceedings meetings – errors and misjudgements can be made by a defendant, which may affect the outcome of a case at a later stage.
The allegations may involve children being physically abused, not allowed to attend school, confined to the home and not allowed out, made to carry adult work regularly (with or without payment) or not cared for – for example, children going unwashed, not being provided with a bed to sleep in or a clean home, or being denied adequate clothing, enough food, or access to healthcare.
The law on child neglect and child cruelty is complex – the 1933 Children and Young Persons Act, England and Wales covers neglecting to provide a child with housing, clothing, food or medical care, but other types of neglect and/or child cruelty may be prosecuted under different laws.
In some cases, children may be emotionally neglected – or subjected to extreme physical violence or even torture, involving serious or frequent injuries.
An investigation into child neglect or cruelty is likely to involve doctors, teachers and housing officials – and expert witness statements from medical, psychological and forensic experts.
Duncan Lewis has successful Family law, Child care law, Housing and Immigration departments, all of which may be relevant to a case involving allegations of child neglect or child cruelty.
A conviction for child cruelty or neglect may rest on whether there is a history of cruelty or neglect – or whether an incident is a “one-off”.
In some cases there may be injuries which could have been caused, accidentally – or a child may have an underlying and undiagnosed medical problem which makes them vulnerable to injury in the daily course of their life.
There may also circumstances – known as mitigating circumstances – in which a defendant might have acted in self-defence against a young adult and caused injury, or caused accidental injury to a child.
Duncan Lewis crime lawyers offer robust criminal defence services to those facing child neglect and cruelty allegations – and our in-house children lawyers can also advise on children taken into Local Authority care as a result of child cruelty or child neglect, and how to deal with a pre-proceedings interview with social services.
The Duncan Lewis Crime Department is ranked in Legal 500 2014 for its General Crime and White Collar Fraud Work.
Duncan Lewis crime lawyers have acknowledged expertise in case building based on a sound knowledge of the criminal justice system – and the ability to assemble compelling evidence and documentation in criminal cases involving child neglect and child cruelty allegations.
Duncan Lewis represents clients at Police Stations, Magistrates’ Courts, Crown Courts, and at Appeal Courts such as the Court of Appeal – and has highly experienced Higher Court Advocates with a background in conducting serious matters such as murder and rape.
Clients do not have to wait until they have been arrested to contact Duncan Lewis about any criminal charges – our team can advise from the initial stages of a police inquiry, or if it is likely a client may be arrested to face a criminal charge involving child neglect and child cruelty.
Duncan Lewis crime lawyers can also advise on Civil Liberties matters such as wrongful arrest, false imprisonment and prisoners’ rights in custody – as well as advising on appeals against conviction or sentencing for child neglect and/or cruelty convictions.
All Duncan Lewis criminal solicitors are highly trained and highly experienced – and are dedicated to offering the best criminal defence services to our clients at police stations, courts and prisons.
There are Duncan Lewis offices nationwide – including more than 20 offices across London and the southeast and in all major cities across England and Wales.
A member of the Duncan Lewis criminal defence team can usually reach a client at a police station or court within 45 minutes to offer expert legal advice on all criminal charges and for police interview under caution.
We aim for the best possible outcome for clients facing charges involving child neglect and cruelty – call Duncan Lewis any time on 020 7923 4020 for expert legal advice.
For 24/7 help at a police station in England and Wales, call the Duncan Lewis Emergency Hotline on 020 7275 2036.
Duncan Lewis is a leading provider of Legal Aid criminal defence services – Legal Aid is means tested and may only be available in certain circumstances.
Duncan Lewis can advise further on Legal Aid at the initial client meeting.
In cases where a client may not be eligible for Legal Aid, Duncan Lewis criminal solicitors offer competitively-priced fee levels for private client representation – with fixed fees and advance notice of any costs whenever possible.
In some criminal cases, after the event insurance may be an option and Duncan Lewis will advise on an appropriate level of insurance to cover the potential costs of defending a criminal case and to pay any costs imposed by the court.
Call Duncan Lewis Criminal Solicitors to discuss child neglect and child cruelty charges on 020 7923 4020.