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How to Defend Yourself Against False Child Abuse Allegations

Posted on in Divorce

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When a child suffers from physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual abuse, these actions can impact them mentally and emotionally for the rest of their life. Because of this, child abuse accusations are taken extremely seriously in the state of California. While all child abuse accusations should be heard and respected, there are times when these claims are false. There are a number of reasons why a person may fabricate an allegation, including cases in which a spouse attempts to secure child custody rights during a contentious divorce case. If you have been accused of child abuse, you should speak to a skilled legal professional as soon as possible. 

Child Abuse Accusations in California

In the state of California, there is a thorough process through which accusations of child abuse are analyzed. Under the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA), an allegation of abuse can come from several parties, such as a child’s teacher or coach. Once an accusation is made, it will be investigated by a social worker. The social worker will determine whether or not the case is unfounded, inconclusive, or substantiated. In the event that the case is deemed substantiated, meaning that the investigator believes the abuse accusations are more likely than not to be true, the case will be turned over to the California State Department of Justice. The Department of Justice will add information from the case to the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI). After the case is added to the CACI, the alleged abuser will be notified that their information has been cataloged. 

Reacting to a CACI Notification 

Hearing that you have been added to the Child Abuse Central Index can be very concerning, yet it is of the utmost importance to act with composure and urgency. Do not attempt to contact the person who you believe made the accusation of child abuse. Additional disputes could be detrimental to your case. 

The first step you should take is to hire an attorney you can trust. Your attorney will assist you in filing for a CACI hearing to contest the findings of the Department of Justice. Why should you challenge the CACI? For one, even if accusations of child abuse are fabricated, they may still seem legitimate enough to be viewed as substantiated. Secondly, being listed on the CACI can have life-changing ramifications, including difficulty finding housing and securing employment. Contesting these accusations in a hearing may be necessary to ensure that you do not have a permanent stain on your record. 

Contact a Skilled Los Gatos Child Abuse Defense Attorney 

If you are facing accusations of child abuse, you need a skilled legal advocate on your side. Attorney Benita Ventresca has a nuanced understanding of child abuse law in the state of California. She understands how a false accusation can impact you for the rest of your life. To schedule a complimentary initial consultation and learn about your legal options for contesting child abuse claims, contact our compassionate Los Gatos family law attorney today at 408-395-8822. 

Source:

https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/ss/ap/childabusereportingguide.asp 

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