Munchausen By Proxy

Munchausen by Proxy

Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy is frequently labeled as “medical child abuse.” These cases were seemingly widespread in the 90s, and now parents in Mississippi and across the nation are still dealing with the accusations and allegations of this insidious form of child abuse. Traditionally, Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy happens when a parent or caregiver, through a desire for attention or sympathy, causes his or her child to be sick or to have symptoms of a certain illness, whether well known or obscure. Unfortunately, these are difficult cases because, some illnesses are truly inexplicable, and obviously, not all parents with sick children are engaging in child abuse in order to get attention from their community and medical providers.

Child Abuse Charges

It’s important to understand that Munchausen by Proxy charges are considered child abuse. If convicted, you could be facing all the same implications and repercussions as a parent who has been convicted of child abuse. The outcome of such cases can impact custody and could even send you to prison, so the sooner you speak with a lawyer about your case, the better. Child abuse charges, in any form, can spell devastation for families. In cases were false accusations occur, it’s essential to get the ball rolling on your defense immediately. Caring for a sick child shouldn’t land you in jail.

Investigations of Alleged Munchausen by Proxy

Due to the nature of this crime, investigations can be very difficult. There are often a variety of different investigating agencies involved. From child services to medical professionals, there is often a lot going on in Munchausen by Proxy cases. Your lawyer can stay abreast of any investigative developments and make sure your rights are being protected. The prosecution may try a variety of investigative tactics to try to prove that you have a hand in your own child’s illness.

Medical History of Child

In many cases, the medical history of the child will be called into question. Unfortunately for parents who truly have children with inexplicable illnesses, this can present a problem. These cases are fraught with complexities and difficulties where it comes to actual evidence of abuse. Investigators might also interview family members, friends, neighbors and others in your social community. While many of these details can certainly add to the timeline of a child’s illness, it’s important to understand that not all accounts from these sources will be either reliable or in anyway proving that Munchausen by Proxy was going on in your case.

What About False Accusations?

False accusations are a huge problem, especially for parents who have children with actual illnesses. Just because a child is sick, perhaps more often than some other children, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the parents or caregivers are inducing the symptoms. There are rage genetic disorders that are very difficult to diagnose, and with more research emerging about childhood illnesses and diseases every day, it’s important that police, child services and other authorities not immediately jump to the conclusion that could be most damaging to children and families in the long run.

Insufficient Evidence of Munchausen by Proxy

The burden of evidence rests on the prosecution, but so many Munchausen by Proxy cases are heavily influenced by circumstantial and emotional evidence. The idea that a mother, father or caregiver would try to poison or otherwise injure a child is abhorrent enough for the authorities and community members to get out the torches and pitchforks in the absence of real and concrete admissible evidence. Your criminal defense lawyer can stay on top of these matters and make sure you’re not being railroaded as emotions and tensions in the community run high.

Implications of a Conviction

The implications of a conviction are incredibly severe. Essentially, you can expect your child to be taken away from you. In most cases, there will be jail time, fines and probation. If you’re divorced or separated, this could impact future custody issues. When you’re child is older, he or she will have to make peace with the fact that their primary caregiver was convicted of making them sick. There are so many facets to cases involving allegations of Munchausen by Proxy, so the sooner you get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer, the better.

When to Call a Lawyer in Jackson

After any kind of child abuse charges, you need to get with your attorney immediately. Your child’s future is on the line, so take these charges very seriously and get a proven professional on your side. If you have been arrested and charged with Munchausen by Proxy or any other type of child abuse in or around the Jackson Metro Area, contact Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 265-7766 for an immediate consultation.


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