Child Behavioral Issues and Domestic Violence Assaults: A Defense Lawyer’s | Attorney’s Perspective.
When domestic violence investigations or charges involve child behavior issues between parents or stem from assaults on children, the criminal defense lawyers | attorneys in our office recognize that the reasons and situations surrounding these kinds of cases run the full gambit. We have handled cases that involve children with a variety of behavioral issues and mental disorders and genetic issues, undiagnosed disorders, males who lose their temper with children, parent disputes over discipline, as well as cases driven by cultural, familial and even philosophical differences in parenting style. It is as important for families to recognize that there are a whole host of reasons that can contribute to behavioral issues as much as the child’s behavioral issues. It is necessary that all parties, including our criminal defense lawyers | attorneys, keep an open mind and recognize that any necessary change does not happen overnight. We find parents who love their children have a difficult time being objective about the situation: that is why retaining an experienced and independent lawyer | attorney to act as counsel is wise and necessary. The criminal defense lawyers | attorneys in our office know each family’s situation is unique and we find taking the time to actively listen to our clients up front is the best way to approach domestic violence cases involving discipline issues and assault. Our overriding goals are to minimize the consequences and take steps to prevent further court intervention.
Each culture and parent brings different tolerances and approaches to parenting but the law draws some bright line boundaries. We have seen a number of cases involving serious violence but many private retained cases involve tension and buildup to an isolated incident. Most of these cases involve discipline or a reaction that exceeds the defenses allowed in RCW 9A.16.100. Our lawyers | attorneys have dealt with quite a few misdemeanor child assault cases where the physical discipline of a child exceeds what is allowed by law as RCW 9A.16.100 which allows for children to be physically disciplined, but certain behaviors are presumed unreasonable:
“The following actions are presumed unreasonable when used to correct or restrain a child: (1) Throwing, kicking, burning, or cutting a child; (2) striking a child with a closed fist; (3) shaking a child under age three; (4) interfering with a child’s breathing; (5) threatening a child with a deadly weapon; or (6) doing any other act that is likely to cause and which does cause bodily harm greater than transient pain or minor temporary marks. The age, size, and condition of the child and the location of the injury shall be considered when determining whether the bodily harm is reasonable or moderate. This list is illustrative of unreasonable actions and is not intended to be exclusive.”
Defense lawyers | attorneys who handle child assault charges and discipline cases must be experienced in these dynamics and issues. Counsel handling these kinds of cases must also be aware of this and take additional time to listen. There are reasons domestic violence discipline cases happen and all parties must remain cognizant of the underlying problems that must change to move forward. The onus for change will be on the party who is charged and it takes family support to do this.
The lawyers in our office have dealt with a wide variety of domestic violence cases involving child discipline issues, parental disputes surrounding child discipline and child assault cases. Our lawyers know criminal cases are rarely as simple as the police reports claim and our clients hire us because they want dependable and committed counsel who will make sure their rights are protected. The lawyers/attorneys in our office have a unique blend education, courtroom experience, knowledge and styles. Consultations are free but a poor choice in counsel is not. The first step is an appointment.