Rowayton Mandated Reporter Lawyer

Connecticut state law designates various people who work with children in a professional capacity as “mandated reporters.” These people are required by law to immediately report to the State Department of Children and Families (“DCF”) any reasonable suspicion they have that a child is being mistreated, abused, or neglected.

If you are a “mandated reporter” under Connecticut law and have been accused of failing to fulfill this obligation, you may quickly find yourself facing serious criminal charges. By working closely with a Rowayton mandated reporter defense lawyer, you will give yourself far better chances of getting a favorable resolution for your case than you would ever likely have representing yourself or with only a public defender on your side.

What Does State Law Say About “Mandatory Reporters”?

Connecticut General Statutes (“C.G.S.”) §17a-101 lists no fewer than 41 different types of professionals who are considered “mandated reporters” if they see any evidence of a child being abused, neglected, or uncared for at home. Broadly speaking, though, the law places this responsibility on people who perform jobs where they regularly interact with children, including but not limited to:

  • Pediatricians and other medical professionals;
  • School teachers and employees;
  • Police officers;
  • Clergy members;
  • Daycare workers;
  • Social workers;
  • Youth sports coaches; and/or
  • Employees at juvenile correctional facilities.

Anyone considered to be a “mandated reporter” must report any reasonable suspicion they have of a child being mistreated either to local law enforcement or to the DCF’s careline within 12 hours at most, and include with their report information like identifying details for the child, what injuries or mistreatment they believe the child has sustained, and how they learned about those injuries or mistreatment. As a Rowayton mandated reporter defense attorney can further explain, though, reporting is only required by law if a mandated reporter learns about a child being abused or neglected “in the ordinary course of their employment or profession.”

Understanding Criminal Charges for Failure to Report

According to C.G.S. §17a-101a, a designated mandated reporter who fails to report suspected child abuse or neglect within 12 hours of becoming aware of it may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor offense. This means that a conviction could result in maximum criminal sanctions of up to one year in jail and $2,000 in fines.

However, this offense becomes a Class E felony carrying up to three years of prison time and $3,500 in fines if the mandated reporter in question:

  • Had actual knowledge that a child has been abused or neglected;
  • Is a school employee who had actual knowledge that a student had been sexually assaulted;
  • Failed to make a report through intentional inaction or through gross negligence; or
  • Had one or more previous criminal convictions for failure to report.

Assistance from a mandated reporter defense lawyer in Rowayton can be key to handling both types of charges in the most effective way possible.

Get in Touch With a Rowayton Mandated Reporter Attorney Today

If you regularly work with or interact with children in the course of your employment, you are very likely considered a “mandated reporter” under Connecticut state law. If you have this designation but fail to act in accordance with it, you may face criminal charges which—if they lead to a conviction—could possibly lead to facing jail times, fines, or even a permanent label as a convicted felon.

Put simply, this is a very serious matter that warrants a strong response both in and out of court, and you have help available in building a comprehensive defense strategy from a knowledgeable Rowayton mandated reporter lawyer. Call today to learn how Mark Sherman Law could assist you, and click here to read what some of our past clients have said about their experience with our team.

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