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Arizona Child Abuse Laws

Arizona child abuse laws criminalize physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of minors and also require certain third parties with knowledge of the abuse to report it to the authorities. In Arizona, professionals with access to children (such as teachers and pediatricians) are required to report suspected cases of child abuse. The Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) investigates reports of child abuse (and neglect) in the state.

According to the Arizona DCS child abuse and neglect can occur in different forms, including:

  • Physical abuse -- non-accidental physical injuries such as bruises, broken bones, burns, cuts or other injuries.
  • Sexual abuse -- when sex acts are performed with children. Using children in pornography, prostitution or other types of sexual activity is also sexual abuse.
  • Neglect -- when children are not given necessary care for illness or injury; leaving young children unsupervised or alone, locked in or out of the house, or without adequate clothing, food, or shelter. Allowing children to live in a very dirty house which could be a health hazard may also qualify as neglect.
  • Emotional abuse of a child -- severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal or improper aggressive behavior as diagnosed by a medical doctor or psychologist, and caused by the acts or omissions of the parent or caretaker. • Exploitation -- use of a child by a parent, guardian or custodian for material gain.
  • Abandonment -- the failure of the parent to provide reasonable support and to maintain regular contact with the child, including providing normal supervision, when such failure is intentional and continues for an indefinite period.

The following table touches on the basics of Arizona child abuse law. See Child Abuse Overview to learn more.

Code Section 13-3620, 8-201
What Constitutes Abuse Infliction or allowing of physical injury, impairment of bodily function or disfigurement, serious emotional damage diagnosed by a doctor or psychologist, and as evidenced by severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or aggressive behavior caused by acts or omissions of individual having care and custody of child
Mandatory Reporting Required By Physician, resident, dentist, chiropractor, medical examiner, nurse, psychologist, social worker, school personnel, peace officer, parent, counselor, clergyman/priest
Basis of Report of Abuse/neglect Observation or examination of child discloses reasonable grounds to believe minor is a victim of injury or abuse
To Whom Reported To peace officer or child protective services of the department of economic security
Penalty for Failure to Report or False Reporting Class 1 misdemeanor

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact an Arizona criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the law(s) you are researching.

Arizona Child Abuse Laws: Related Resources

Get Professional Legal Help With Your Child Abuse Charges

You may feel that the criminal odds are stacked against you in an Arizona child abuse case, but the good news is that there may be several defenses available to you. The best way to handle your case is to have a good criminal defense lawyer on your side who can explain the law and represent you in court. Start the process today by contacting an experienced Alabama criminal defense attorney.

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