What Constitutes Child Abuse in Maryland

The Different Types of Child Abuse

What Constitutes Child Abuse in Maryland?In Maryland, an adult may be charged with child abuse for a variety of reasons. State law defines child abuse to involve “physical injury” suffered by a person under the age of 18 as a consequence of cruel or inhumane treatment. Child abuse can also be charged where the child’s health or welfare was either harmed or threatened by a malicious act. To constitute child abuse, the act must be intentional.

Maryland identifies four different types of child abuse:

  • Child physical abuse, where a parent or guardian inflicts an intentional injury on the minor. Typical claims involve hitting, kicking or shoving a child, as well as throwing objects at or using objects to cause physical harm or injury
  • Child emotional abuse, where a parent or guardian intentionally communicates with a minor in ways that cause feelings of worthlessness, fear or lack of desirability
  • Child sexual abuse, which includes intentional sexual contact or behavior with or in the presence of a minor
  • Child neglect, where a parent or guardian engages in a pattern of intentionally failing to provide a child with the basic necessities of life, including food, hydration, shelter and medical care

Proven Maryland Child Abuse Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has protected the rights of criminal defendants in Maryland for more than 40 years, including people charged under Maryland law with child abuse. SuperLawyers has named him one of the top 100 lawyers in Maryland and The American Lawyer Magazine has also cited him as a Top-Rated Lawyer.

Attorney Smith has been AV-rated (the highest possible) by his colleagues in the legal profession under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System for more than three decades. He has also received Martindale-Hubbell’s prized Client Distinction Award, an accolade earned by less than 4% of all attorneys nationwide. He carries a 10.0 (Superb rating) as a trial lawyer from AVVO and has also earned AVVO’s Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars.

A well-known and respected trial attorney, Jonathan has a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of Maryland criminal law and procedure. He knows how to effectively gather and preserve evidence and will take all necessary measures to ensure that law enforcement officers did not violate your constitutional rights.

Contact an Experienced Baltimore County Child Abuse Defense Lawyer

At the law offices of Jonathan Scott Smith, we aggressively advocate for criminal defendants throughout the greater Baltimore area and across the state of Maryland, including people charged with any type of child abuse. Contact our office by e-mail or call 410-740-0101 to arrange a meeting. We handle cases throughout Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.


  • Jonathan Scott Smith 10490 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 200 ,Columbia, MD 21044-4960

  • Call for consultation 410-740-0101