If someone injures a child or allows someone else to injure a child in his or her custody, he/she is guilty of child abuse under Utah Code 76-5-109. The seriousness of the child abuse charge depends on the extent of the child’s injury, how the adult allegedly inflicted the injury, and possibly other factors. Being charged with child abuse in Utah is a very serious legal situation. You will need effective legal representation for abuse or neglect of a child with a disability.
Protect your rights! If you face trial for this crime, you will need to hire the best attorney for disabled child abuse or neglect in Salt Lake City to build a compelling case for your defense.
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- What Constitutes Child Abuse in Utah?
- Criminal Penalties for Child Abuse Crimes in Utah
- Additional Consequences of Child Abuse Conviction in Utah
- Contact the Best Child Abuse Defense Lawyer, Salt Lake City, UT
Contact Wasatch Defense Lawyers for guidance as soon as possible after you are charged with child abuse in Utah.
What Constitutes Child Abuse in Utah?
Under Utah child abuse law, serious injuries that define some of the worst child abuse include, for example:
- Burn injuries
- Broken bones
- Organ damage
- Bleeding in the skull (from shaking or striking)
- Malnutrition, starvation
- Symptoms of physical torture
- Injury with a dangerous weapon
- Severe emotional harm
- Severe health impacts
- Impairment of physical functioning
- Impairment of mental functioning
Child abandonment is a different offense but is addressed in the same section of the Utah criminal code as child abuse.
Criminal Penalties for Child Abuse Crimes in Utah
Many considerations are weighed in sentencing for a child abuse conviction. Any existing records of prior criminal convictions, or mitigating factors, like mental health issues, can potentially cause sentences to be lengthened or shortened. Aggravating factors, like acting with cruelty, can cause the sentence to be enhanced to more severe punishments.
Child abuse crimes may be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony in Utah, depending on the severity of the child’s injury, the way the injury was caused, and possibly other factors:
|Misdemeanor Abuse or Neglect|
Class A misdemeanor
Utah Code 76-5-109(3)(a)
|Up to 1 year in jail|
Up to a maximum fine of $2,500
|Recklessly (disregarding a serious avoidable risk)||Class B misdemeanor|
Utah Code 76-5-1093(b)
|Up to a maximum of 6 months in jail|
A fine of up to $1,000
Negligently (not exercising necessary care for the circumstances)
|Class C misdemeanor|
Utah Code 76-5-109(3)(c)
|Up to a maximum of 3 months in jail|
A fine of up to $75
|Felony Abuse or Neglect|
|Intentionally inflicted (severe injury)||Second Degree Felony|
Utah Code 76-5-109(2)(a)
|Up to a maximum of 15 years in prison|
Up to a maximum fine of $10,000
|Recklessly caused (severe injury)||Third Degree Felony|
Utah Code 76-5-109(2)(b)
|Up to a maximum of 5 years in prison|
Up to a maximum fine of $5,000
+ a 90% surcharge
Restitution: In addition to prison time and huge fines, the court may require you to pay restitution for medical expenses and other costs. (Utah Code Ann. 77-38a-301)
Additional Consequences of Child Abuse Conviction in Utah
Beyond the risk of a long prison sentence, huge fines, and having a criminal record, after being convicted of child abuse, there are other serious impacts of a criminal conviction to be expected on your life. You might be prohibited from working in your chosen field, and you may find that important relationships with family and friends and your larger community have been irreparably damaged.
Best Child Abuse Defense Lawyer, Salt Lake City, UT
If you face charges of abusing a child, you are innocent until proven guilty. You need a highly-skilled child abuse lawyer to protect your rights. The first thing you must do is obtain the best legal help for abuse or neglect of a disabled child Utah has to offer. Sawtooth Defense Lawyers can help you. Our child abuse defense team has a strong track record in the Utah criminal courts.