Fairfax, Virginia Family Law Attorney Claudia Zucker Discusses False Allegations Of Child Abuse
One of the most cruel and desperate acts that one parent can perpetrate against the other is to place an anonymous call to Fairfax County's Child Protective Service Hotline and make a false allegation of child abuse or neglect. Often times false reports of abuse are the work of the other parent or a family member or friend who is desperate to discredit the custodial parent. In some cases, the caller may be trying to strip one of the parents of his or her visitation rights or some other parental benefit. False reports of abuse are not only unethical; they also result in harsh retribution before a court when the perpetrator attempts to use it as a weapon against the other parent in litigation.
What Should I Do If I'm Falsely Accused of Abuse or Neglect?
Most parents are devastated when they learn that they are the subjects of CPS investigations-particularly if they know that the accusations are false. However, while they can never take an abuse or neglect allegation lightly, CPS investigators from Fairfax and other counties are aware that individuals often make false claims to manipulate the system to their advantage. If you are falsely accused of abuse or neglect, there's an excellent chance that it's because you are, or were recently, involved in a contentious legal battle over the child or children in question. If this is the case, you should contact the family law attorney who represents you. While a Virginia family law attorney is unlikely to also defend clients against criminal charges, he or she will be able to provide you with invaluable advice to help you protect your legal standing as a parent. If the CPS investigator sustains the charges, or turns the matter over to police, your family law attorney can assist you in locating proper representation to prove your innocence.
What Is My Recourse If I Am Falsely Accused of Abuse or Neglect?
As a parent, you do have rights if you are falsely accused of child abuse or neglect in the Commonwealth of Virginia. § 63.2-1513 of the Virginia Code makes it a misdemeanor for anyone over the age of fourteen to file a false report of child abuse for a first offense, and a felony for a second offense. Furthermore, the statute requires the respective child protective service agency to purge the record of the false child abuse report. If the party who made the false report has any contact with your child, you should notify your family law attorney of the pending charges against your accuser.
If you have been falsely accused of child abuse or neglect in Fairfax County or anywhere else in Virginia, you are the victim of a crime. Notify your family law attorney immediately so that he or she can assist you in dismissing the allegations and establishing a new parental plan.
Virginia Divorce and Family Law Attorney Claudia Zucker
Do you need a divorce attorney? Do you have questions about false allegations of child abuse? We invite you to contact us today at (703) 596-1005. We're always just a phone call away.