If you have been charged with injury or neglect to child in Idaho, it is imperative that you seek the advice and counsel of a lawyer with expertise in this area of the law. Jared B. Martens of Martens Law Office, P.C. has defended numerous charges of child abuse, neglect and injury to child.
Injury and neglect to children can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor depending upon the severity of the circumstances. If a child has suffered great bodily injury or death, the prosecutor will charge the crime as a felony. If there are allegations that you placed a child in circumstances that were likely to cause great bodily injury or death, the prosecutor is also likely to bring felony charges for child abuse. The prosecutor must show that you willfully caused or permitted the child to be placed in a position that either caused or was likely to cause great bodily injury, suffering, or death before they can charge you with a felony. The penalties for a felony injury to child carry up to ten (10) years in the Idaho State Penitentiary. Obviously, the charges are serious and an experienced criminal defense attorney is essential to defend these charges. Felony injury to child charges is not as common as misdemeanor injury and neglect to children charges.
Misdemeanor injury and neglect to children charges are charged relatively frequently in Idaho. We see the charge often in Boise, Nampa, and Caldwell. First, if you are pulled over and charged with driving under the influence "DUI" the arresting officer is likely to add a second charge of injury or neglect to child, even though the child was never injured or hurt. While this may not be as serious as a felony, you could still be sentenced to a thousand dollar fine and up to a year in jail. In addition, a conviction for neglect and/or injury to child looks horrible on your criminal record. If you work in the medical field a conviction will likely cost you your job and it will bar you from ever again working in the medical or health care field. If you are a nursing student or working toward a career in the medical field your future career will end before it has ever started. The same situation would present itself to anyone in the teaching field.
Many times an officer will charge someone with misdemeanor injury to a child for simply disciplining their child. Many times no true child abuse has occurred. There are many instances of people being charged with a misdemeanor for spanking their children, even if there are no marks or bruises. If there are marks or bruises, then the prosecutor will probably charge the offense as a felony. In one instance we had to defend a mother who was charged with injury and neglect to children because she left her sixteen (16) year old child home alone while she was at work. While she was gone the child had an asthma attack and drove himself to the hospital. The doctor had a knee-jerk reaction and called the police. The police then charged the mother with injury and neglect to children. We got the charge dismissed. It's a good thing too. The mother is a nurse.
Whether you are rightfully or wrongfully charged with neglect and/or injury to child, do not attempt to handle the case on your own. Allegations of Child Abuse are serious charges. The consequences of this charge will have lasting effects on your life. It will cause chaos in your personal and professional life. In many instances it will be a career stopper. Contact Martens Law Office, P.C. and speak with Jared B. Martens about the facts and circumstances of your case. Contact us online or call (208) 344-0994.