Child Abuse & Neglect: Virginia Law
Family life can be complicated. Depending on the situation, it might not always be clear what course of action you should pursue. That’s why consulting with legal counsel is so important. Here are a few scenarios and suggestions to consider.
In an Emergency:
- If you and/or a family member or acquaintance are in immediate danger, dial 911 and immediately seek assistance from law enforcement.
Non-Emergencies: If You Suspect Possible Abuse/Neglect:
- If you are in an abusive situation, or you suspect that a family member or acquaintance might be suffering any type of abuse or neglect, we encourage you to immediately contact an attorney specializing in this area of law. The attorney can then advise you on whether or not law enforcement or the Virginia Department of Social Services should be contacted.
- Why contact a lawyer first instead of calling the police or Social Services? Mainly because making what turns out to be an unfounded allegation can actually backfire. A lawyer can help you look at a situation through the eyes of the court and justice system, clarify what Virginia law does and doesn’t cover, and — if the lawyer concludes that involvement of law enforcement and/or Social Services is warranted — can assist you in communicating with the appropriate authorities.
If You’re Being Accused:
- Take any accusation seriously and get legal representation, even if you believe an allegation is misguided or stems from a misunderstanding. Such charges can have long-term, life-changing consequences for you and for others.
- Virginia’s statutes and case law — not to mention societal norms and perceptions — have evolved over time. Situations that might have been considered a personal family matter or benign “free range” parenting many years ago can sometimes be seen as abuse or neglect today.
WE CAN HELP
Partner Rebecca Janet Wade has extensive experience with laws involving physical abuse, assault and injury, emotional abuse, threats of violence, protective orders and more.
- Wade is a zealous advocate for abused and neglected children.
- She understands that there are often false allegations made to gain an advantage in a divorce or custody case. She has the experience to tell the difference between authentic and contrived accusations.
- Her work defending the mother of a young child left in a hot car seat received considerable media attention.
- She specializes in criminal and civil domestic violence cases, both defending clients who are facing that charge as well as representing victims of domestic violence.
- She speaks fluent Spanish and has represented over 100 native Spanish speakers, helping them through the legal process in their native language and is knowledgeable about the immigration consequences of any criminal convictions.
When you’re ready to call, we’re ready to help. Reach us at 703-836-9030, or contact us here.
Family Abuse Attorney
Ms. Wade has represented clients charged with a wide range of offenses from traffic offenses to serious felonies such as aggravated malicious wounding, drug distribution, and sex crimes. Ms. Wade has tried over two dozen jury trials and hundreds of bench trials. Additionally, Ms. Wade has experience handling appeals and has appeared numerous times at the Court of Appeals of Virginia and the Supreme Court of Virginia, earning victories in both Courts.