Hard to believe, but spanking your child in certain circumstances can get you arrested for a felony in Connecticut.
Many of the best Greenwich, Wilton and Stamford Connecticut criminal lawyers and attorneys routinely see felony Connecticut Risk of Injury arrests under CGS 53-21 when parents go a little bit too far in physically disciplining their children.
While spanking, slapping your child, or hitting them with a belt are not automatically against the law in Connecticut, it can and does lead to felony Risk of Injury arrests in Connecticut when the discipline leaves a temporary mark or bruise.
So if you’ve been arrested in Connecticut for Risk of Injury for spanking or physically disciplining your child (often called corporal punishment by the courts and top Connecticut criminal lawyers), keep reading to learn if and how to get these charges dismissed quickly and cost-effectively.
How do these Connecticut spanking / corporal punishment cases find their way into Connecticut police departments?
Usually the call to the police originates from a Connecticut Department of Children & Families (DCF) “mandated reporter.” This is someone who has regular interaction with your child and who is required by Connecticut law to call DCF if they even suspect child abuse or neglect. Once that report is made to DCF, the police are also usually notified and they will then go interview your child—without you present—while they are at school or day care.
It’s hard to believe that your child’s own words can get you arrested in Stamford, Greenwich or elsewhere in Connecticut for spanking or discipline, especially when your child is only interviewed for 10-20 minutes and can sometimes be asked leading questions.
As many of the best Connecticut Risk of Injury criminal lawyers and attorneys are learning, Connecticut police and DCF investigators don’t take any chances when children are involved and will often “kick the can” of your case to the criminal courts for further monitoring and investigation, despite the fact that getting arrested for felony child abuse / Risk of Injury CGS 53-21 can destroy your professional reputation and sometimes cost you your job and livelihood.
Connecticut police and prosecutors strongly discourage any kind of physical discipline, including spanking, slapping or any kind of contact with your child. As a result, they have zero tolerance for excessive discipline and police now have marching orders to make immediate arrests, or apply for arrest warrants in Connecticut when a child reports excessive physical discipline that leaves marks and bruises that can be proven in court (almost always by photographs).
Accusations of past bruising or marks will usually not lead to an arrest—as Greenwich, Wilton and Stamford Connecticut police too often hear stories and accusations from angry and jilted ex-wives and ex-husbands of years-old child abuse. You typically won’t get arrested for Risk of Injury for these kinds of stale / dated accusations, especially when they don’t even originate from the child whose health and safety are at issue.
As the best Connecticut DCF investigation law firms know all too well, accusations of child abuse or excessive spanking that don’t lead to an arrest must still be investigated by Connecticut DCF social workers and agents. If the child abuse / spanking report is called in anonymously to the Connecticut DCF hotline, then expect a 45 to 60 day assessment (or even a higher-risk “full investigation”) to commence quickly.
A DCF investigator will oftentimes speak to your child at school without you present, and then will show up unannounced at your front door late in the day to catch you off guard to try and interview you and your entire family, without your lawyer present.
That’s when you should politely take their contact information and tell them you will call them to schedule an interview after you’ve had a chance to consult with a top Connecticut DCF attorney lawyer who knows how to push back against heavy-handed DCF demands and safety plans. You have the right to an attorney for a DCF interview, so be sure to exercise that right before you agree to anything with DCF. Follow this link for more on getting your Connecticut DCF investigation dismissed.
So if you’re being investigated or have been arrested in Connecticut for Risk of Injury / CGS 53-21 for spanking or physically disciplining your child, contact one of the Risk of Injury / Corporal Punishment criminal lawyers at Mark Sherman Law today.