Child abuse offenses are among the most heavily prosecuted offenses in Florida. If charged with this offense, you should expect the State to do whatever it takes to obtain a conviction. Considering the severity of the offense, it is imperative that you take the necessary action to give yourself an opportunity to defense yourself.
For help with building an offense, get in touch with a Weston child abuse Lawyer today. One of our determined Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert could review the facts of your case in order to gain a better understanding of your case.
How Does the Law Define Child Abuse?
Violence against a child can be physical or mental, and anyone who believes that a child is the target of mistreatment may report their suspicions to the police. Often teachers, coaches, and others who spend large parts of the day with children witness the effects of abuse and initiate investigations by contacting authorities.
Florida law classifies child abuse as a Felony, which means anyone convicted of mistreating a child will serve time in jail. Florida statutes define the types of mistreatment that rise to the level of criminal activity.
Generally, abuse is any intentional acts, omissions, or threats that injure a child mentally, physically, or sexually and result in the impairment of the child’s physical, emotional, or mental well-being. Florida Statutes Annotated § 827.03(1)(a) explains aggravated child abuse in detail – aggravated battery, willful torture, malicious punishment, unlawful imprisonment, conscious participation in conduct that one knows will cause substantial injury or permanent disability or disfigurement.
Other actions that may amount to a criminal activity include:
- Contributing to the delinquency or addiction of a minor
- Misappropriation of child support payments
Penalties for Child Abuse Convictions
While each case’s facts and circumstances will influence the particular sentence imposed upon any given individual, all child abuse convictions fall under Felony guidelines. At a minimum, child abuse is a third-degree Felony and carries a maximum sentence of five years of probation or imprisonment and a $5,000 fine. For convictions on aggravated child abuse, a first-degree Felony, the offender faces maximum jail time of 30 years and a $10,000 fine.
Responding to Child Abuse Allegations
While no one wants to see a child hurt and suffering, the fact that a child experiences an injury does not automatically mean that someone abused them under the law. Those charged have the right to respond to the allegations and defend themselves.
Things are not always as they seem, and people looking out for the best interests of children may misunderstand the situation. The suspect’s actions may have been unintentional or in self-defense, or they may fall prey to false accusations. Sometimes, prosecutors may feel pressured to score a conviction and may proceed with insufficient or questionable facts.
Parents also have the right to discipline their children. This parental privilege may shield the accused from prosecution. The defense does not excuse or permit excessive or unreasonable contact with a child under one’s care. Still, it does allow parents and guardians to appropriately punish children if they misbehave without crossing the line into criminal conduct.
Criminal Attorneys familiar with local child abuse laws review the circumstances of their clients’ cases to take full advantage of the facts, identify appropriate defenses, and craft strategies focused on the best possible outcomes.
Consult with a Weston Child Abuse Attorney
Allegations of child abuse do not just jeopardize your freedom but your future and reputation as well. With so much to lose, you should consider meeting with a seasoned Weston child abuse Lawyer soon. Early involvement of a dependable defense litigator puts you in the best position to protect yourself. Start fighting for your rights by contacting one of our Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert Today