A conviction of child abuse can alter your life forever. The penalties associated with child abuse are incredibly serious. It’s a felony-level crime, which means you could spend time in prison and be court ordered to pay thousand-dollar fines. Not only that, but you could lose custody of your children as a result of the conviction.
Even simple allegations of child abuse can shatter someone’s daily life. Many people are refused from jobs, housing opportunities and have issues in their interpersonal relationships. If you or someone you know has been charged with child abuse, it’s highly recommended you secure trusted legal representation immediately.
Defense Attorney for Child Abuse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Child abuse accusations can have a life changing impact on your life. If you’ve been charged with child abuse or a domestic violence crime, it’s important you speak to an experienced defense attorney. Find a skilled and passionate attorney with Meltzer & Bell. Our legal team are equipped to fight for your case using our extensive resources.
Call us now at (954) 765-6585 and we will set up your first consultation free. We will sit with you and answer any and all questions you have regarding the case. Meltzer & Bell represents people throughout the Fort Lauderdale area including Pembroke Pines, Miramar, Coral Springs and Hollywood.
Overview of Child Abuse in Florida
- Child Abuse & Aggravated Child Abuse Elements in FL
- Florida Penalties for Child Abuse & Aggravated Child Abuse
- Additional Resources
Child Abuse & Aggravated Child Abuse Elements in Florida
Florida legislation implemented stringent laws to deter people from harming or neglecting their child. Because of this, the penalties for child abuse are incredibly harsh. The Florida Statutes Section 827.03 state you’re guilty of child abuse if you:
- Intentionally inflict physical or mental injury or injuries on a child;
- Commits an intentional act that any reasonable person would expect for it to result in a physical or mental injury on the child; or
- Encouraging a person to commit any sort of child abuse or act that any reasonable person would know will result in mental or physical injury
The charges can be enhanced to aggravated child abuse if certain factors existed during the crime. You are considered guilty of aggravated child abuse if you:
- Commit aggravated battery on a child;
- Maliciously punish, willfully torture, or willfully and unlawfully cage a child; or
- Willfully and knowingly abuse a child and cause great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child
The term “mental injury” refers to harm that has an impact on the intellectual or psychological capacity of the child as evidenced by their discernible and substantial impairment for the ability to function normally.
You can also be found guilty of child abuse for neglecting a minor. According to Florida law, a person has committed child neglect if they:
- Fail to provide the child with care, supervision and services necessary to maintain their physical or mental health, which isn’t limited to food, clothing, nutrition, shelter, supervision, medicine or medicine services that a reasonable person would know is essential to a child’s wellbeing; or
- Fail to make a reasonable effort to protect the child from neglect, abuse or exploitation by another person
Florida Penalties for Child Abuse & Aggravated Child Abuse
The penalties for child abuse are incredibly serious. Child neglect or abuse that doesn’t cause great bodily harm is a third-degree felony, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
If the abuse results in great bodily harm, the charges are elevated to a second-degree felony. A second-degree felony can result in in up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Aggravated child abuse is a first-degree felony which can result in up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Childhelp – Visit the official website for Childhelp, a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing child abuse and assisting victims. Access their site to learn more about their approach, prevention programs, intervention programs, and treatment programs.
Florida Child Abuse Laws – Visit the official website for the Florida Senate to read more about the child abuse statute. Access the site to learn more about the legal definitions, types of exper testimony, and the penalties of child abuse and neglect.
Child Abuse Defense Lawyer in Broward County, FL
If you or someone you know has been charged with child abuse in Florida, it’s important you secure legal representation. To find experienced legal representation, contact our attorneys at Meltzer & Bell. We have been practicing and representing clients in courts for years.
Visit our offices and schedule an appointment by calling (954) 765-6585. We will answer your legal questions and formulate an effective defense for your case. Our attorneys at Meltzer & Bell defend people throughout the greater Broward County area including Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Coral Springs.
This article was last updated on September 4, 2019.