Family Lawyers Defending Parents in Neglect and Abuse Cases

Article 10 of the Family Court Act governs neglect and abuse. The purpose of this Article is to protect children from injury or mistreatment and to safeguard their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The various sections of Article 10 provide the due process of law for determining when the state may intervene against the wishes of a parent on behalf of a child for the child’s protection. “Children” are defined, for the purposes of Article 10, as individuals under the age of 18. Abuse and neglect are two separate and distinct legal categories. Neglect occurs when a parent or other legally responsible person acts or fails to act in such a way as to impair (or likely impair) the physical, mental, or emotional condition of the child. Forms of actionable neglect include failure to supply adequate food, clothing, or shelter. Neglect can also take the form of:

  • Medical neglect
  • Educational neglect
  • Excessive Corporal Punishment
  • Misuse of drugs or alcohol
  • Abandonment
  • Domestic Violence

The above list does not encompass all forms of neglect but represents those types of neglect most commonly charged in Family Court. Abuse occurs when a parent or other person legally responsible for a child’s care:

“inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon a child physical
injury other than by accidental means which causes or
creates a substantial risk of death or serious or protracted
disfigurement, protracted impairment of physical or
emotional health, or protracted loss or impairment of the
function of any bodily organ, or …

creates a substantial risk of physical injury, disfigurement
or impairment… or

commits or allows to be committed against the child certain
specified sexual acts.”

In Family Court, neglect and abuse cases are prosecuted by the Department of Social Services by a deputy county attorney. Parents charged with neglect or abuse could have their child removed from their care or could be placed under the supervision of the Department of Social Services for a period of time. Counseling or therapy may be ordered as part of a disposition for offending adults. Not all parents charged with abuse or neglect are actually guilty of such behavior. If you find yourself charged with any such acts, you need to engage the services of a qualified attorney immediately. Defending such allegations in Family Court requires the assistance of an attorney who is familiar with this area of law. Very few attorneys practice in this area. At Mangi& Graham, LLP, partners Robert C. Mangi and James J. Graham have decades of experience defending parents charged with abuse or neglect. Sometimes acts of neglect or abuse constitute crimes and may be referred to a criminal court for prosecution.

Contact us to book a confidential free consultation with one of our family lawyers in Nassau County. They will be happy to answer to your questions about the legal process and your case.