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What are the penalties for child abuse?

The penalties for the crime of child abuse in New York City vary depending on the circumstances, including whether or not the accused has had prior convictions of child abuse. A law enacted in 2013 provides for much harsher punishment if the accused was convicted of child abuse within the past ten years. The old law permitted only a three-year look-back into a person’s criminal record with respect to child abuse.

The crime of deliberately injuring a child under the age of 11 if the person has previous convictions of child abuse, is currently a felony. It is punishable by a maximum prison sentence of four years. If a person was not previously convicted, the person will be charged with a misdemeanor, which is punishable by a maximum prison sentence of one year.

Other potential penalties and/or consequences if you are accused of child abuse are:

  • Requirement to register as a child sexual offender for the duration of a person’s lifetime
  • Termination of parental rights
  • Destroyed reputation
  • Supervised visits with child
  • Loss and enjoyment of a child
  • Extended involvement with a child protective services agency

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