When there is a report to the county agency of suspected abuse, the county agency is required to refer suspected cases of abuse to the appropriate law enforcement authority.  In many cases when the child lives criminal charges of assault, aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child are filed against the father of the child or the boyfriend of the mother.  Normally a defendant will face a mandatory five year minimum sentence for these charges.  When the baby dies, the charge is murder or manslaughter and these sentences can be much longer like 20 to 40 years for third degree murder to life imprisonment and even the death penalty for first degree murder.  Many attorney’s have no idea how to defend allegations of shaking and make the mistake of trying to challenge when the “shaking” allegedly took place in an attempt to raise reasonable doubt that it was the defendant who committed the “shaking”.  This approach rarely, if ever, works.  Judges and juries are justifiably outraged when a little child is abused and they will generally hold the defendant accountable if there is no alternative explanation for the injuries.

What most defense attorneys are not able to do is challenge the diagnosis that the injuries could only have been caused by shaking.  There is significant scientific controversy surrounding the medical idea that a baby can be shaken hard enough by a human to cause a subdural hematoma at all or at least without first injuring the baby’s neck.  (See The Triad of Doubt of Shaken Baby Syndrome).    In addition, an attorney needs to look at the underlying medical information and not simply look at the reports of the child abuse “expert” or even the reports of the radiologists.  It has been found in many cases that alleged fractures and other injuries do not actually exist even though initial reports say the injuries are suspected or say they are actually there based on initial studies.   In other cases, once the allegations of abuse are made, any meaningful search ceases for a medical or metabolic condition that could account for the subdural/retinal hemorrhage or fragile bones and non-abusive fractures.  The allegation that a baby has been shaken is a defensible charge if the defense attorney knows the medical literature and about shaken baby syndrome and its controversies.

If the parent is accused of abusing their child, not only does the parent face possible criminal charges, they potentially face losing custody of their children through a dependency petition filed by the countychild support proceedings to reimburse the county for having custody of their child and a ChildLine report.

If you have been charged criminally in such a case, you may want to consult with Mr. Freeman about your case.  Mr. Freeman practices law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  Mr. Freeman has also consulted in criminal and family court cases across the United States (outside of Pennsylvania and New Jersey)  and Canada.  You can contact Mr. Freeman at mark@markdfreemanlaw.com or 1-800-580-0084.

This web page is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.   You should consult a competent attorney your specific case.

Pennsylvania Counties:

Adams County Lackawanna County
Allegheny County Lancaster County
Armstrong County Lawrence County
Beaver County Lebanon County
Bedford County Lehigh County
Berks County Luzerne County
Blair County Lycoming County
Bradford County McKean County
Bucks County Mercer County
Butler County Mifflin County
Cambria County Monroe County
Cameron County Montgomery County
Carbon County Montour County
Centre County Northampton County
Chester County Northumberland County
Clarion County Perry County
Clearfield County Philadelphia County
Clinton County Pike County
Columbia County Potter County
Crawford County Schuylkill County
Cumberland County Snyder County
Dauphin County Somerset County
Delaware County Sullivan County
Elk County Susquehanna County
Erie County Tioga County
Fayette County Union County
Forest County Venango County
Franklin County Warren County
Fulton County Washington County
Greene County Wayne County
Huntingdon County Westmoreland County
Indiana County Wyoming County
Jefferson County York County
Juniata County
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  • Mark Freeman is an attorney that got involved in defending those accused of shaking a child when a close friend was charged with child abuse for allegedly shaking his son.
  • After spending hundreds of hours investigating, reading medical journal articles and speaking with doctors from around the country about shaken baby syndrome, Mark confirmed with science what he knew in his heart, that his friend was innocent and that the doctors were wrong.
  • Since that first case, Mark has vigorously defended innocent parents of false charges of child abuse, regained custody of children for innocent parents and has defended innocent parents of criminal charges. Mark is now pursuing civil rights lawsuits in cases where false accusations of child abuse resulted in the violation of parents' civil rights.
  • Mark is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and consults with local attorneys in other states. Email Mark at mark@markdfreemanlaw.com or call Mark at: 1-800-580-0084