Under NRS 432B.150 the term “excessive corporal punishment” may constitute abuse or neglect. It may result in physical or mental injury constituting abuse or neglect of a child. In many of these cases, Child Protective Services (CPS) investigators in Clark County, Nevada, consider any mark on the child (that than from a swat to the buttocks) to be a sign of excessive corporal punishment.
In many cases, school officials or child care providers will report a suspected case of child abuse. Because school officials and child care providers are considered mandatory reporters for suspicion of child abuse and neglect, the failure to report the suspected abuse could result in a misdemeanor charge.
Las Vegas Child Abuse Lawyer
If you are charged with child abuse in Las Vegas, Nevada or any of the surrounding areas throughout Clark County, including Paradise and Henderson, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Pariente Law Firm, P.C.. Michael Pariente represents parents and other child care providers accused of child abuse. After an allegation, it is important not to talk to anyone about the charges until you have retained an attorney who can fight to protect your rights and work to prevent an unjust prosecution.
Call (702) 966-5310 today to schedule a consultation.
Overview of Child Abuse Laws in Nevada
- Two Types of Child Abuse under NRS 200.508(1)
- Nonaccidental Physical Injury
- Nonaccidental Mental Injury
- Sexual Abuse
- Sexual Exploitation
- Negligent Treatment or Maltreatment
- Mandatory Reporting Laws Related to Child Abuse in Nevada
- Resource Center for Child Abuse in Nevada
NRS 200.508(1) provides in relevant part:
[a] person who willfully causes a child who is less than 18 years of age to suffer unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering as a result of abuse or neglect or to be placed in a situation where the child may suffer physical pain or mental suffering as the result of abuse or neglect [is guilty of a felony].
NRS 200.508(1) sets forth alternative means of committing the offense.
The first requires the State to prove that:
- a person willfully caused;
- a child who is less than 18 years of age;
- to suffer unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering;
- as a result of abuse or neglect.
The second requires the State to prove that:
- a person willfully caused;
- a child who is less than 18 years of age;
- to be placed in a situation where the child may suffer physical pain or mental suffering;
- as the result of abuse or neglect.
The fourth element of both alternatives, “abuse or neglect,” is specifically defined by NRS 200.508(4)(a).
NRS 200.508(1) criminalizes five different kinds of abuse or neglect of a child:
- nonaccidental physical injury;
- nonaccidental mental injury;
- sexual abuse;
- sexual exploitation, and
- negligent treatment or maltreatment.
The first type of abuse or neglect—nonaccidental physical injury— is the most common type of child abuse prosecuted in Nevada. “Physical injury” is defined in NRS 200.508(4)(d) as “[p]ermanent or temporary disfigurement” or “[i]mpairment of any bodily function or organ of the body.”
NRS 200.508(2) punishes a person who is responsible for a child’s safety or welfare and “allows” or “permits” a child “to be placed in a situation where the child may suffer physical pain or mental suffering as the result of abuse or neglect.” (Emphasis added.) When the basis of a child abuse charge is nonaccidental physical injury, physical injury is an element of the offense that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. See NRS 200.508(1), (2), (4)(d).
The courts have determined that “[t]he statutory definition of ‘physical injury’ set forth in NRS 200.508(4)(d) is more limited than a layperson’s common understanding of the term … [therefore, it is] incumbent upon the prosecutor to provide the statutory definition of this element” to the grand jurors when seeking an indictment for child abuse that is based on nonaccidental physical injury. See Casillas v. State, 63749, 2014 WL 1678414 (Nev. Apr. 25, 2014). For purposes of Nevada’s child abuse statute the term “physical injury” is defined as:
- A sprain or dislocation;
- Damage to cartilage;
- A fracture of a bone or the skull;
- An intracranial hemorrhage or injury to another internal organ;
- A burn or scalding;
- A cut, laceration, puncture or bite;
- Permanent or temporary disfigurement; or
- Permanent or temporary loss or impairment of a part or organ of the body.
Under NRS 432B.070 the term “mental injury” is defined as “an injury to the intellectual or psychological capacity or the emotional condition of a child as evidenced by an observable and substantial impairment of the ability of the child to function within a normal range of performance or behavior.”
Under NRS 432B.100 the term “sexual abuse” upon child includes:
- Incest under NRS 201.180;
- Lewdness with a child under NRS 201.230;
- Sado-masochistic abuse under NRS 201.262;
- Sexual assault under NRS 200.366;
- Statutory sexual seduction under NRS 200.368;
- Open or gross lewdness under NRS 201.210; and
- Mutilation of the genitalia of a female child.
Under NRS 432B.110 the term “sexual exploitation” is defined as forcing, allowing or encouraging a child:
- To solicit for or engage in prostitution;
- To view a pornographic film or literature; and
- To engage in:
- Filming, photographing or recording on videotape; or
- Posing, modeling, depiction or a live performance before an audience, which involves the exhibition of a child’s genitals or any sexual conduct with a child, as defined in NRS 200.700.
“[N]egligent treatment or maltreatment of a child” occurs if a child is “without proper care, control and supervision.” NRS 432B.140, listed in NRS 200.508(4)(a).
The definition of this kind of abuse or neglect encompasses conduct that does not necessarily result in actual physical pain or mental suffering. If there is no physical pain or mental suffering as a result of the negligent treatment or maltreatment, then the defendant cannot be charged under the first theory of liability in NRS 200.508(1). But criminal liability will still attach in that scenario under the second theory in subsection 1 if the defendant placed the child in a situation where the child may suffer physical pain or mental suffering as the result of the negligent treatment or maltreatment.
Under NRS 432B.140 the term “negligent treatment or maltreatment” occurs if a child has been:
- is without proper care, control and supervision; or
- lacks the subsistence, education, shelter, medical care or other care necessary for the well-being of the child;
- because of the:
- faults or habits of the person responsible for the welfare of the child or
- the neglect or refusal of the person to provide them when able to do so.
Federal requirements that each state have laws concurring the reporting and investigating child abuse and neglect. These requirements on the states are mandated by the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA). These laws in the State of Nevada are intended to protect children and are found under Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) Chapter 432B. The statutes define the term “child abuse” and “neglect.” The statutory scheme also authorizes child protection and law enforcement agencies to investigate reports of alleged child abuse and neglect.
In Nevada, different types of abuse or neglect of a minor child include: physical and mental non-accidental injury; all forms of sexual abuse or sexual exploitation; and negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child under age of 18 caused or allowed by a person responsible for his welfare.
For certain professionals such child care providers, doctors, nurses and other health care professionals, mental health care professionals, social workers, clergy,, any adult employed by an entity that provides organized activities for children, among others) who discover or suspect child abuse or neglect in their professional capacities, are required to report the abuse/neglect to a child welfare agency or a law enforcement agency within twenty-four hours. Any other person not specifically named may make a report of any known or suspected child abuse/neglect. A report is to be made by telephone or other means and is to be followed be a written report as soon as possible.
Clark County Child Protection on Child Abuse – read more about child abuse investigations by the Child Protective Services (CPS) investigators in Clark County, Nevada. CPS is a division of the Clark County Department of Family Services (DFS). CPS investigates reports of child abuse and neglect throughout Las Vegas and Clark County. CPS is part of the Clark County Department of Family Services (DFS). In Nevada, abuse or neglect of a child means physical and mental non-accidental injury; sexual abuse or sexual exploitation; or negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child under age of 18 caused or allowed by a person responsible for his welfare.
The Nevada Registry on Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse – Information on the mandated reporting requirements for child abuse and neglect cases. Learn more about Nevada Revised Statute 432B.220, which mandates reports of suspected abuse and requires the reports must be made within 24 hours of becoming aware of such a concern. Child care providers in Clark County, Nevada, are required to report a suspicion of abuse and/or neglect within one hour of becoming aware of such a concern.
DCFS – Report Suspected Child Abuse – Information from the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Child and Family Services on reporting suspected child abuse or child neglect, new releases, and programs to prevent child injuries and fatalities. Find online forms from the Clark County Department of Family Services.
Reporting Child Abuse – Information from the Nevada Child Seekers on mandated reporting requirements. Find information on spotting signs of physical, emotional or sexual abuse. Advice on what to do if a child tells you about abuse and how to make a report.
Finding a Child Abuse Defense Attorney in Clark County, Nevada
If you are being investigated for child abuse then you should seek out the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney before speaking a Child Protective Services (CPS) investigators in Clark County, Nevada. CPS is a division of the Clark County Department of Family Services (DFS).
Call (702) 966-5310 to discuss your case today.