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RECENT VERDICTS :

Statutory Rape (Dismissed) :: Murder (Reversed on Appeal, Mistrial, Client Freed on Time Served) :: Murder (Client Exonerated) :: Fraud by Public Official (Client Exonerated) :: Rape (Charge Reduced to Misdemeanor; Probation) :: Assault with Intent to Murder (Dismissed at Trial) :: Medicare Fraud and Abuse (Dismissed) :: Child Abuse Charge v. Police Official (Dismissed Before Trial) :: DUI Murder Charge (Reduced to Misdemeanor; Probation) :: Federal Indictment of Sheriff (Dismissed with Prejudice at Trial) :: Truck/Car Wreck Causing Quadriplegia (Multi-Million Dollar Settlement) :: Medicare Fraud and Abuse Investigation (Dismissed) :: Illegal Gambling Charges and Criminal Forfeiture (Dismissed and Property Returned) :: Theft of Property, 1st Degree (Dismissed) :: Assault (Dismissed) :: Capital Murder (Reduced to Manslaughter) :: Domestic Violence (Dismissed) :: Unlawful Possession of Marijuana; Public Intoxication (Dismissed) :: Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance (Dismissed) :: Domestic Violence (Dismissed) :: Domestic Violence; Harassment; Criminal Coercion (Dismissed) :: Driving Under the Influence (Dismissed) :: Criminal Trespassing; Disorderly Conduct (Dismissed) :: Trafficking Marijuana; Traffic Cocaine (Cases Dismissed) :: Failure to Register (Dismissed) :: Federal Unlawful Distribution of a Controlled Substance; 3 Counts (Acquittal-Dismissed with Prejudice) :: Federal Unlawful Possession of Controlled Substance-Crack Cocaine (Dismissed) :: Rape, 1st Degree (Dismissed) :: Public Intoxication (Dismissed) :: Theft of Property (Dismissed) :: Time Restrictions Employment; Minor Employed/Alcoholic Beverages Sold (Dismissed) :: Minor in Possession (Dismissed) :: Assault, 2nd Degree (Dismissed) :: Theft of Property (Dismissed) :: Driving Under the Influence (Dismissed) :: Sexual Abuse, 1st Degree (Amended to Misdemeanor Harassment) :: Attempted Rape 1st Degree, Sodomy 1st Degree, Attempted Burglary (Attempted Rape amended to Assault 3rd, Remaining cases Dismissed) :: Assault (Dismissed) :: Driving Under the Influence, 2nd Offense (Dismissed) :: Domestic Violence (Dismissed) :: Gambling Possession; Gambling Promoting; Criminal Forfeiture; Unlawful Possession of Firearm; Unlawful Possession of Marijuana and Unlawful Possession of Paraphernalia (All Felony Charges Dismissed; Unsupervised Probation on Misdemeanor Charges; Forfeiture Property Returned) :: Domestic Violence/Harassment (Dismissed) :: Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance (Dismissed) :: Theft of Property, 1st (Amended to the Misdemeanor charge of Theft of Property, 3rd) :: Interfering with Custody (Amended to the Misdemeanor charge of Obstruction of Government Operations) :: Unlawful Distribution of a Controlled Substance (Unsupervised Probation Granted; Dismissal of Unlawful Distribution of Marijuana and Possession of Paraphernalia) :: Theft of Property (Dismissed) :: Sexual Abuse of a Minor (Dismissed) :: Harassing Communications (Dismissed) :: Sexual Abuse, 1st Degree (Amended to Misdemeanor Harassment) :: Unlawful Possession of Marijuana (Dismissed) :: Capital Murder (Acquittal) :: Making Terrorist Threat; Domestic Violence 3rd (Dismissed on Plea to Public Intoxication) :: Child Abuse 1st Degree (No Billed) :: Harassment (Dismissed)

When accusations of rape are at issue in child custody proceedings, P.1

Child custody disputes are, as readers know, among the most contentious disputes dealt with in family courts. It makes sense that it would be so: children are very dear to their parents, and so they can easily be seen as possessions and be used as a way to get back at a partner.

Custody disputes between unmarried persons present their own unique challenges, including the establishment of paternity. The challenges are particularly difficult in cases where a rape survivor is facing her attacker in court, or when a man is falsely accused of fathering a child by rape. Should states provide special protection to women who claim to have become pregnant by rape, and what requirements should be met in order for termination of parental rights to be granted?

The reality is that, at present, there are 15 states which have no laws in place to provide for the termination of an alleged rapist’s parental rights. Alabama is among these states. This means that 35 states do have laws to terminate the parental rights of an alleged rapist, though 24 of them require a rape conviction in order for terminate parental rights to be a possibility. The other states only require “clear and convincing evidence” that the child was conceived by rape, which is a very high civil standard of proof. Some states make certain exceptions for the termination of parental rights, such as cases involving statutory rape.

What complicates these cases even more is that the most important issue in child custody cases is actually not the desires and rights of the parents, but the best interest of the child. In our next post, we’ll continue looking at this issue and why parents accused of rape need work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect their rights.  

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The Bloomston Firm
2151 Highland Avenue South Suite 310
Birmingham, AL 35205

Toll Free: 877-315-0043
Phone: 205-994-6142
Fax: 205-212-9701
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