Can the state charge a parent for being an accomplice to child abuse? - Criminal Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

Free Answers to your Legal Questions by Lawyers.
ask »


Can the state charge a parent for being an accomplice to child abuse?

When one parent abuses a child, can the state charge the other parent as accomplice? What are your thoughts on this issue?

Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Contact this Attorney Now

In theory yes. In practice it depends on all the facts and circumstances.

Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/12/2011

Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Contact this Attorney Now

I would recommend retaining an attorney for this matter. This response does not contain specific legal advice. If you need specific legal advice, you should consult with an attorney. Speaking generally, yes, the State can charge a parent as being an accomplice to child abuse. However, simply because a person is charged does not mean that they will ultimately be convicted. Anyone charged is presumed innocent until proven guilty and the prosecutor needs to prove any such allegations beyond a reasonable doubt. Child abuse allegations may also draw the attention of DHS or other state protective service agencies, which means that hiring an effective attorney may be vital not only in a pending criminal case but to ensure that a person retains their parental rights as well.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/5/2011

Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Contact this Attorney Now

Yes it is possible for this to occur. The factual circumstances would be important to determine if there was another person who could be held responsible for a criminal act in addition to the actual perpetrator.

Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 9/21/2011

Answer By Maury Beaulier
Beaulier Law Office
Contact this Attorney Now

Yes. Allowing abuse to occur with knowledge could result in criminal charges as well as a child protection action to remove the children from that parent's care.

Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 9/20/2011

Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
Contact this Attorney Now

That's a complicated issue but it happens all the time. On one hand it makes sense since parents often act in concert in child raising. But the other side of the coin is that often the parent doing the abusing is also abusive to the spouse as well. Even if the abused spouse is also abusive to the children, there can also be issues in that the other parent is acting under duress and not participating voluntarily.

Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 9/19/2011

Answer By Duncan T Pham
D T Pham Associates, PLLC
Contact this Attorney Now

Yes, given sufficient evidence.

Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 9/19/2011

Answer By Steve Freeborn
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
Contact this Attorney Now

It depends upon the particular facts. If the facts of the case justify it, then absolutely the other parent can be charged. Knowing that the abuse is taking place and not doing anything about it can very well be a crime.

Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 9/19/2011

Answer By Gerald E. Smith
Law Office of Gerald E. Smith
Contact this Attorney Now

The State (Prosecution Agency) can always file on the other parent as an accomplish (or aider and abettor) but it doesn't necessarily mean they will prevail. I deal with the DA's office doing this all the time. It may require that the non-offending parent take it to trial in order to prevail. Also, as is common, each case is unique and an attorney can not guarantee the out come.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/18/2011

Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
Contact this Attorney Now

Yes, there is a charge for failing to prevent an "injurious environment." So, if one parent actively abuses a child and the other parent turns a blind eye, the second parent can be charged. The charge is only a class two misdemeanor.

Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 9/18/2011

Answer By Gregory Casale
Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
Contact this Attorney Now

If the other parent was or should have been aware of the abuse then they too can be charged.

Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 9/18/2011

© 2017 MH Sub I, LLC. All rights reserved.
Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy | IB Cookie Policy