If you are arrested as a caregiver who puts a child in a dangerous position by your actions or inactions, our legal team is here to make sure both sides of the story are heard in court. The case against you for child neglect could be a misunderstanding, a mistake, a temporary lapse in judgment, or an accident.
Even if your conduct was intentional, you are entitled to due process under Florida law. Our office can set up a consultation with one of our Weston child endangerment Lawyers who can explore possible defenses to your charge. To begin discussing the details of your case with a knowledgeable Attorney at Leifert & Leifert, call today.
Florida Laws Concerning Child Endangerment
Child endangerment is codified as child neglect under Florida Statutes Sec. 827.03. Caregivers can be charged with neglecting children if their needs are not met as a reasonable person would meet them. Some examples of child neglect include:
- Withholding love and affection
- Abandoning a child for extended periods, such as going to work and leaving a toddler along at home
- Withholding medical or dental care
- Failure to dress a child properly
- Failure to feed a child
Cases of child endangerment in Florida have included leaving children in hot cars during the summer, which can lead to heatstroke and death; parents who parked in a secluded area to do drugs with children in the vehicle; and a mother whose child complained of tooth pain and was found to have numerous rotten teeth. A caregiver can be charged with neglect in Florida for one incident or an ongoing pattern of acts or omissions. A local defense Attorney experienced in child neglect or abuse cases could evaluate your situation and guide you through the criminal justice system.
Child Neglect is a Felony in Florida
In building a neglect case, the prosecutor may have a child evaluated for signs of neglect. According to University of Florida Health, a neglected child will often:
- Exhibit bizarre behavior, including depression
- Abuse alcohol or drugs
- Not go to school regularly
- Be unwashed, smell bad, and wear dirty clothes
- Tell someone that no one takes care of them
Depending on the severity of the neglect, the state will charge the caregiver with a third-degree or second-degree Felony. A third-degree Felony is charged when the child is not irreparably harmed. It carries a penalty of up to five years in prison or probation and a fine of up to $5,000. A second-degree Felony is charged when the child suffers significant harm. It carries a penalty of up to fifteen years in prison or alike time on probation and up to a $10,000 fine. In both cases, parental rights could be temporarily or permanently revoked. Parents may be required to attend parenting classes before getting their children back. An Attorney could explain how the state evaluated your situation and determined your charges.
Contact a Weston Child Endangerment Attorney
Since child endangerment is considered a Felony that could result in prison time, fines, and sanctions, you need the help of one of our Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert if you have been charged with child neglect.
A Weston child endangerment Lawyer could take you step by step through the criminal justice system. Our legal team can schedule your initial consultation at no charge. Sit down with us for advice about your situation.