Abuse

Criminal abuse laws in Kentucky are geared at protecting the most vulnerable members of society: children and those who have severe physical or mental limitations.

Abuse in any form is a serious issue, but everyone suspected of such behavior is entitled to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. There are (at least) two sides to every story and anyone accused of a crime has the right to have their side heard. False allegations, claims, and charges abound where abuse is concerned, and have led to unnecessary investigations, arrests, and trials.

If you’ve been accused of abuse, securing good legal representation early in the process is crucial to your case. Come to the Kentucky criminal child abuse defense attorneys at the Carman Law Firm to discuss the charges, review the circumstances of your arrest, and make a plan for defending your rights.

The founder and managing partner of our firm, Dan Carman, has wide-ranging experience from when he served in the United States Marine Corps as defense counsel, prosecutor, legal assistance attorney, and in-house counsel for an infantry battalion. This background gives him a valuable understanding about both sides of the legal process, which can be very beneficial to his clients. He knows how the Kentucky Criminal Justice system operates and will personally handle your case each step of the way. Call his office at (859) 685-1055 or complete this convenient online form for a free initial consultation.

Kentucky criminal law breaks abuse down into three degrees. The most serious is criminal abuse in the first degree. This Class C felony occurs when a person intentionally abuses another person or permits another person of whom he has actual custody to be abused and thereby:

  • Causes serious physical injury; or
  • Places him in a situation that may cause him serious physical injury; or
  • Causes torture, cruel confinement or cruel punishment

to a person who is 12 years of age or less, or who is physically or mentally helpless.

Criminal abuse in the second degree is a Class D felony. The law prohibits substantially the same behavior as in the first degree, however the required mental state is “wanton” rather than “intentional.” This means that the accused was aware that there was a substantial and unjustifiable risk that something might occur, yet he or she consciously disregarded such risk.

Categorized as a Class A misdemeanor, criminal abuse in the third degree addresses the same behavior as the more serious degrees except the abuse is committed “recklessly.” This mental state requires that the accused failed to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk that something might occur, which a reasonable person would have noticed.

The penalty that can be imposed for a Class A misdemeanor is up to 365 days in jail and a maximum fine of $500. For a Class D felony, a defendant can be sentenced to between one and five years in prison. A Class C felony is punishable by five to ten years in prison. In addition to jail time, people who are convicted of felonies are sentenced to pay corresponding fines.

Criminal charges turn on the unique facts of each case, which is why you need an experienced and effective KY abuse lawyer by your side. For example, false abuse allegations can arise in a divorce proceeding where one party wishes to harm the other. Ex-spouses unhappy with custody agreements may also lodge fake complaints of child abuse. Sometimes, the alleged abuse victim fails to tell the truth because they don’t understand the seriousness of their statements or they are unduly influenced by parents, teachers, relatives, or social workers. This includes allegations of abuse that are grounded in good faith, yet which further investigation reveals are unsubstantiated.

Other defenses revolve around the necessary intent’s not being present, mistaken identity, and procedural issues. At a minimum, a skilled lawyer with the right set of facts may be able to get a reduction in your charge to a less serious offense.

We Can Help

An advocate in your corner who will thoroughly review and investigate the factual and the legal issues in your case can make all the difference. From Kentucky misdemeanors to federal charges and felonies, the Lexington-based Carman Law Firm has the knowledge and experience necessary to obtain the best possible resolution of your criminal charges. KY abuse defense attorney Dan Carman provides aggressive representation with proven results to clients throughout the state in communities such as Richmond, Winchester, Georgetown and Nicholasville. A native of Lexington and a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law, Dan is dedicated to helping those in his community who may find themselves struggling with serious allegations. Not all criminal charges have to end in convictions. Contact him today and tell him your side of the story. Call (859) 685-1055 or fill out this online contact form.