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Plainfield, IL domestic violence defense attorney child abuse

In response to news about several children who were killed by family members in 2019, the state of Illinois has made several updates to the laws that went into effect on January 1, 2020. These new rules address situations involving child abuse, and they are intended to make children safer when they are returned to the custody of a parent or guardian from foster care.

Child abuse is automatically considered aggravated battery in Illinois, a criminal offense that can be punished as a Class X felony. Abusers can face up to 30 years in prison, making aggravated battery of children one of the most severe crimes in Illinois.


Joliet, IL child abuse defense lawyer

The state of Illinois has a low tolerance for child abuse. Even actions that may seem like reasonable forms of discipline could result in child battery or domestic violence charges if they are misinterpreted. These accusations can be devastating to the parent who is being accused, especially if the family is split. In these cases, the allocation of parental responsibilities can be altered so that the child does not see the alleged abuser again. For those who are wrongly accused, they could lose precious time with their young ones. This is why a thorough investigation by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is important when defending against such charges.

Understanding Child Abuse Allegations

Illinois law classifies child abuse as an “aggravated battery of a minor.” This charge is defined legally as any person over 18 years of age causing bodily harm and/or permanent disfigurement to any minor under 13 years of age or someone who is severely mentally impaired.


Illinois defense attorney, child neglect law, Illinois criminal lawyer,The Illinois Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (“Act”) is an important but seldom referenced law that affects both criminal law and family law. Created in 1975, the potentially broad reach of this law was recently revealed in a child abuse case perpetrated by a Lake County, Illinois teacher. In this case, the teacher is accused of sexually abusing students. Though the teacher has fled the country, he was finally located in Bosnia, and is being held in custody while authorities attempt to extradite him back to the U.S. However, what has legal professionals in awe is the fact that three teachers who allegedly were told by students that the abuse was occurring are being accused of willfully and knowingly failing to report the abuse. They are being charged under the Act's requirement that teachers and other parties be considered “mandatory reporters” of acts of abuse and neglect committed against children.

The Illinois Abuse and Neglected Child Reporting Act

The Act has rarely been enforced in criminal courts, but now three Ingleside teachers are being charged for violating the Act's mandatory reporting requirement for certain professionals. Under the Act, mandated reporters include those in the fields of education, medicine, law enforcement, child care, clergy, social services, and mental health. As a result, teachers who know of any child abuse or neglect have a duty to report the acts and concerns to law enforcement. Since 1986, mandated reporters have been required to sign a statement that acknowledges their understanding of the Act. In 2013, the Act was amended to require that teachers complete mandate reporting training upon their initial employment as a teacher, and then again every five years. What has been unique about the current case is the fact that the Act is most often used to prosecute failure to report abuse in civil cases, yet the Act has rarely been used to charge teachers.

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