Can a statement from a young child who says he was abused physically be used if he does not understand the difference between the truth or a lie?

My child had fallen and he this red mark on his back. He also had this mark on his arm. He told the school he was beaten, he fell on a Monday and was attending school. He told the school this on a Thursday. 2 days later he says he made a mistake, he is very sorry, said the wrong thing, he just did not want to take the morning school bus. I believe he was being picked on, but he also does not fully understand the difference between truth/lie fact/fiction. I was still charged as if I hit him, when he fell and I was keeping him from hurting himself further, mark on his arm, I grabbed him.

Asked on June 26, 2012 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A statement from a child no matter how young he or she is can be used in evidence against a third person. The issue is how believable the child is and whether he or she knows the difference between the truth or a lie. In essence, what you have written about is a credibility issue with respect to your child which has gotten you in trouble.

I suggest that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney with respect to your matter.


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