A Maryland Lawyer Referral Service refers many cases to silvermanthompson.com. As a Maryland Criminal Attorney or Maryland Criminal Lawyer I regularly handle cases involving allegations of both sexual child abuse and physical child abuse. In most physical child abuse cases, the issue of the parental discipline privilege is central to the defense. I had a case last week in Baltimore County in which my client was charged with child abuse as well as misdemeanor assault but before I get to that particular case I think an overview of the law on child abuse as well as the parent discipline privilege will be helpful.
The Child Abuse Section of Maryland Criminal Code was last Amended in 2002. In this Amendment the Legislature separated child abuse into two degrees, first and second degree. First degree child abuse states that a parent or any other person with permanent or temporary custody of a child may not cause the death or “severe physical injury” of a child. Severe physical injury is defined by the Code to mean brain injury or bleeding within the skull, starvation, or physical injury that creates a substantial risk of death or causes permanent or protracted serious disfigurement or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ. First degree child abuse is a felony and any person convicted under this section is subject to imprisonment of up to 25 years.
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