Child Abuse & Neglect

questions & answers

Question: I have been charged with child neglect in Pima County and am scared to death about what may happen at the court date! Two incidents have been recorded...the twins broke the lock on the back door and ran out of the apt, were picked up by a neighbor 5 mintues later and taken to the apt complex office - #2 was a call made stating that the children were unattended to for over an hour outside (which is not true) - advice on how to handle the court date?

Answer: Decisions about child custody are determined by the court based on the facts before the court and what is in the best interest of the child. This website cannot give legal advice nor determine what a specific court will decide. Neglect is defined by Arizona Revised Statute 8-201 (http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/8/00201.htm&Title=8&DocType=ARS). The court will consider evidence of domestic violence as being contrary to the best interests of the child. The court will consider the safety and well-being of the child and of the victim of the act of domestic violence to be of primary importance. The court will consider a perpetrator's history of causing or threatening to cause physical harm to another person. To determine if a person has committed an act of domestic violence the court will consider all relevant factors including the following (A.R.S. 403.03 (http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/25/00403-03.htm&Title=25&DocType=ARS)): 1. Findings from another court of competent jurisdiction. 2. Police reports. 3. Medical reports. 4. Child protective services records. 5. Domestic violence shelter records. 6. School records. 7. Witness testimony. Depending on where a person lives in Arizona, there are various services available to assist individuals who cannot afford an attorney. Visit the family and children section (http://azlawhelp.org/subtopic.cfm?mc=1) of this site and select the relevant county from the “FIND FREE LEGAL HELP” drop down menu to view a list of available services in that county. An alphabetical list of legal service providers will appear under the legal assistance  portion of this website. In addition, you can review the article on this site titled, “Where to Find an Attorney for Specific Legal Advice (http://www.azlawhelp.org/articles_info.cfm?mc=5&sc=35&articleid=129)." Some of the family courts (http://www.azcourts.gov/AZCourts/AZCourtsLocator.aspx) provide self service centers or lists of attorneys who can assist a person with completing forms.  To find out how the law applies to a specific situation, contact an attorney directly.

QUESTIONS

  • I have been charged with child neglect in Pima County and am scared to death about what may happen at the court date! Two incidents have been recorded...the twins broke the lock on the back door and ran out of the apt, were picked up by a neighbor 5 mintues later and taken to the apt complex office - #2 was a call made stating that the children were unattended to for over an hour outside (which is not true) - advice on how to handle the court date?

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OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
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    866-553-0893
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