Finding out that your child has been abused can be one of the most devastating experiences. It can be even worse to find out that the abuser was someone you and your child trusted, like an educator or caregiver. All of a sudden, you might not know who to trust or what to do. If you or your child have experienced child sexual abuse, you do not have to go through this terrifying time alone. A compassionate, experienced Orange County child sexual abuse lawyer can stand up for you and your child.
Tragically, situations of child sexual abuse are all too common in Orange County. Oftentimes, people who are close to a child and are entrusted to care for a child are the ones who end up hurting them. You may also find that it is people of power in institutions like churches and schools that abuse their power and take advantage of children. For example, there are several situations in which a child may be abused by a caretaker:
If you or your child suffered sexual assault in one of the above institutions, you might be worried that it will be your word against theirs, and you will not be able to effectively hold a powerful person accountable. This is not the case. When you have a dedicated child abuse attorney working on your case, they will do everything they can to fight for your child.
Children are often too young to understand what exactly is happening to them when they are being abused. Adult abusers might also tell the children not to speak about what is happening, that it is a good thing, or that they need to do it in exchange for something. As a result, many children might not report their abuser or understand that they have even been abused until years later.
The California court understands that children might not recognize abuse or be able to report the abuse that they have endured for many years. There is, thus, a long statute of limitations on child molestation cases in Orange County.
If you have endured child sexual abuse in Orange County, you have until your fortieth birthday to pursue charges against your abuser or five years after the abuse is discovered to take legal action, whichever is the later of these dates.
If you discover that you or your child has been subject to sexual abuse, you might feel overwhelmed with emotions. Try your hardest to remain calm and know that there are child molestation attorneys out there who will do everything in their power to help you hold the abuser involved accountable for their horrendous actions.
To officially report the abuse, you will need to file a sexual abuse claim. When you reach out to a child sexual abuse attorney, they can walk you through everything you need to file that claim and take care of filing it for you. After you file a claim, an investigation will commence into the abuser. This process will look different depending on the context.
For instance, Child Protective Services (CPS) might remove the child from their home if their primary caregiver is proven to be an abuser. This would not be a concern in a situation of therapist abuse in which the abuse was occurring outside of the home. When you initially consult with your attorney, they can help you understand what to expect from the legal process with respect to your family’s specific context.
Orange County takes all forms of child molestation seriously, and anyone who sexually abuses children will face harsh consequences. There are some cases in which an act might be classified as a misdemeanor, like in a case of sexual harassment in which there was no contact with the child. In most cases, however, you will find that cases of child molestation are classified as felonies. If the abuser is convicted of a child molestation misdemeanor, they will have to spend up to a year in jail and pay up to $5,000 in fines.
If they are convicted of a felony, they will have to spend several years in prison, and their sentence will depend on their criminal history and the severity of the crime they are convicted of. For instance, if they have been convicted of sex crimes or other crimes in the past, then they will likely have to serve more time than if they have a clear record.
If you are trying to hold someone accountable for child sexual abuse, you might be in for a tough legal battle in a complex legal system. While you are dealing with the intense emotional ramifications of the abuse, the last thing you need is to try to fight for justice all by yourself.
An experienced legal professional with in-depth knowledge of the legal system is a useful asset for reducing stress and ensuring that you do everything you possibly can to punish someone for their actions. Your lawyer can help with all aspects of the legal process, such as:
You deserve to pursue justice for all of the pain and suffering your family has endured at the hands of an abuser. Take some of the stress and responsibility off of yourself and rely on a knowledgeable attorney to take the necessary steps that lead to the abuser getting what they deserve.
At the Corrales Law Group, we understand how difficult this time may be for you and your family. If you want to pursue legal action against someone who abused your child, we can respectfully listen to your situation and provide informed legal advice on how to proceed. As we take care of the legal technicalities of advocating for your child, you can focus on processing and healing.
Our lawyers have many years of experience successfully standing up for people who have endured horrible abuse. We will do everything in our power to fight for justice for your family. Every staff member at our office is fluent in Spanish and English and can translate anything you need. Get in touch with our office today to speak with a seasoned attorney about your case.
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