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Child Abuse / Neglect

During particularly contentious divorce or child custody cases, one parent may falsely accuse the other of abusing or neglecting the couple’s child. An individual may file a child abuse report with local authorities based on complete speculation or in a deliberate effort to undermine the other person’s custody rights.

The state of New York takes all child abuse accusations very seriously and fully investigates them to remove children from dangerous situations and file criminal charges when necessary. The specific crime that an alleged offender is charged with can vary depending on the nature of the abuse or neglect involved, but a conviction carries steep immediate and long-term penalties.

Lawyer for Child Abuse / Neglect Arrests in Queens, NY

If you think that you might be under investigation or you were already arrested in New York City for allegedly abusing or neglecting a child, it will be in your best interest to not make any kind of statement to authorities until you have legal representation. Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner can investigate the allegations against you and fight to protect your parental rights.

Queens criminal defense attorney Rochelle S. Berliner represents clients facing all kinds of domestic violence charges in New York City, including Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and many surrounding areas. She can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.


New York Child Abuse / Neglect Information Center


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Child Abuse / Neglect Charges in New York City

Cases of alleged child abuse or neglect within New York City are investigated by the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). Outside the city, reports may be investigated by Child Protective Services (CPS).

After a report of alleged abuse or neglect has been filed, ACS or CPS will investigate to determine if the child needs to be removed from the alleged offender’s home. Under New York Family Court Act § 1012(e), an abused child is defined as a child less than 18 years of age whose parent or other person legally responsible for his or her care:

  • inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon such child physical injury by other than accidental means which causes or creates a substantial risk of death, or serious or protracted disfigurement, or protracted impairment of physical or emotional health or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ, or
  • creates or allows to be created a substantial risk of physical injury to such child by other than accidental means which would be likely to cause death or serious or protracted disfigurement, or protracted impairment of physical or emotional health or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ, or
  • commits, or allows a sex offense to be committed against such child; allows, permits or encourages such child to engage in any act described in New York Penal Law § 230.25, 230.30 and 230.32;  commits any of the acts described in New York Penal Law § 255.25, 255.26 and 255.27;  or allows such child to engage in acts or conduct that constitutes sexual performance by a child.

New York Family Court Act § 1012(f) defines a neglected child as a child less than 18 years of age either who has been abandoned, in accordance with the definition and other criteria set forth in New York Social Services Law § 384-B.5, by his parents or other person legally responsible for his care or whose physical, mental or emotional condition has been impaired or is in imminent danger of becoming impaired as a result of the failure of his parent or other person legally responsible for his care to exercise a minimum degree of care either:

  • in supplying the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter or education in accordance with the provisions of part one of article sixty-five of the education law, or medical, dental, optometrical or surgical care, though financially able to do so or offered financial or other reasonable means to do so;  or
  • in providing the child with proper supervision or guardianship, by unreasonably inflicting or allowing to be inflicted harm, or a substantial risk thereof, including the infliction of excessive corporal punishment;  or by misusing a drug or drugs;  or by misusing alcoholic beverages to the extent that he loses self-control of his actions;  or by any other acts of a similarly serious nature requiring the aid of the court;  provided, however, that where the respondent is voluntarily and regularly participating in a rehabilitative program, evidence that the respondent has repeatedly misused a drug or drugs or alcoholic beverages to the extent that he loses self-control of his actions shall not establish that the child is a neglected child in the absence of evidence establishing that the child's physical, mental or emotional condition has been impaired or is in imminent danger of becoming impaired as set forth in New York Family Court Act § 1012(f)(i).

Even if the investigator does not uncover evidence of abuse or neglect, a motion may still be filed in Family Court if the investigator determines that the child is at risk. When an investigator does find evidence of alleged abuse or neglect, it can lead to criminal charges also being filed against the alleged offender.


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Child Abuse / Neglect Penalties in Queens

The types of criminal charges that may be filed against a person accused of child abuse or neglect in New York depend on the specific acts that were allegedly committed or injuries the alleged victim suffered. Some of the crimes an alleged offender may be charged with following a child abuse or neglect investigation include:

  • Endangering the Welfare of a Child: (1) If an alleged offender knowingly acts in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a child less than 17 years old or directs, authorizes such child to engage in an occupation involving a substantial risk of danger to his or her life or health, or (2) being a parent, guardian or other person legally charged with the care or custody of a child less than 18 years old, fails or refuses to exercise reasonable diligence in the control of such child to prevent him or her from becoming an "abused child," a "neglected child," a "juvenile delinquent" or a "person in need of supervision," as defined in the Family Court Act, the person commits the Class A misdemeanor offense of Endangering the Welfare of a Child under New York Penal Law § 260.10. A conviction is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
  • Unlawfully Dealing With a Child: (1) If an alleged offender permits a child less than 18 years of age to enter or remain in a place, premises or an establishment where sexual activity or activity involving controlled substances or marijuana is maintained or conducted, and he or she knows or has reason to know that such activity is being maintained or conducted; or (2) he gives or sells or causes to be given or sold any alcoholic beverage to a person less than 21 years of age, the person commits the Class A misdemeanor of Unlawfully Dealing With a Child under New York Penal Law 260.20.  A conviction is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
  • Abandonment of a Child: If an alleged offender, being a parent, guardian, or other person legally charged with the care or custody of a child less than 14 years old, and he or she deserts such child in any place with intent to wholly abandon such child, that person commits the Class E felony offense of Abandonment of a Child under New York Penal Law § 260.00. A conviction is punishable by up to four years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
  • Reckless Assault of a Child: If an alleged offender, being 18 years of age or more, recklessly causes serious physical injury to the brain of a child less than 5 years old by shaking the child, or by slamming or throwing the child so as to impact the child's head on a hard surface or object, that person commits the Class D felony offense of Reckless Assault of a Child under New York Penal Law § 120.02. A conviction is punishable by up to seven years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
  • Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child: (1)If an alleged offender, over a period of not less than three months in duration, (a) either engages in two or more acts of sexual conduct with a child less than 11 years old or, (b) being 18 years old or more, engages in two or more acts of sexual conduct with a child less than 13 years old, that person commits the Class D felony offense of Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the Second Degree under New York Penal Law § 130.80. A conviction is punishable by up to seven years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
  • Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the First Degree: If an alleged offender, over a period of not less than three months in duration, either (a) engages in two or more acts of sexual conduct, which includes at least one act of sexual intercourse, oral sexual conduct, anal sexual conduct or aggravated sexual contact, with a child less than 11 years old, or (b) being 18 years old or more, engages in two or more acts of sexual conduct, which include at least one act of sexual intercourse, oral sexual conduct, anal sexual conduct or aggravated sexual contact, with a child less than 13 years old, that person commits the Class B felony offense of Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the First Degree under New York Penal Law § 130.75. A conviction is punishable by up to 25 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
  • Predatory Sexual Assault Against a Child: If an alleged offender commits the crime of rape in the first degree, criminal sexual act in the first degree, aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree, or course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree, as defined in this article, and the alleged victim is less than 13 years old, that person commits the Class A-II felony offense of Predatory Sexual Assault Against a Child under New York Penal Law § 130.96. A conviction is punishable by up to life in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

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New York Resources for Child Abuse / Neglect Crimes

Queens Child Advocacy Center | Queens District Attorney's Office — The Queens Child Advocacy Center was established “to coordinate and expedite the investigation, prosecution, and delivery of treatment services in cases of child sexual abuse and serious physical abuse, while ensuring that victims receive effective and immediate support.” Visit this section of the Queens County District Attorney's Office’s website to learn more about the center as well as many of the other related divisions and bureaus of the office. You can also find all press releases the office has issued since 1998 as well as a phone directory for the office.

Queens Child Advocacy Center
112-25 Queens Blvd.
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 575-1342

CPS Frequently Asked Questions | New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) — On this section of the OCFS website, you can find answers to frequently asked questions about child abuse. Learn how to report child abuse and/or maltreatment. You can also find additional information about the definitions of child abuse and maltreatment as well as a CPF manual.


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Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner | Queens Child Abuse / Neglect Defense Attorney

Were you arrested or do you believe that you could be under investigation for alleged child abuse or neglect in New York City? Even if you are completely confident in your innocence, you should still avoid saying anything to authorities without legal counsel. Contact Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner as soon as possible.

Rochelle S. Berliner is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Queens who aggressively defends individuals throughout Queens County, Bronx County, Kings County, and New York County. Call 718-261-5600 or fill out an online contact form to receive a free initial consultation that will allow our attorney to review your case and answer all of your legal questions.


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Free Consultation

Submit your information using this form to schedule a free consultation with attorney Rochelle Berliner.

Name* Phone* Email* Subject* Message*

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