Child Abuse and Neglect

Crimes Against Children

Crimes against children are prosecuted particularly harshly in comparison to other crimes. Convictions for these kinds of crimes can carry life sentences, as well as permanently damage someone’s reputation. It is because of this that our team at Pallegar Law, P.A. is committed to defending anyone who has been falsely or incorrectly charged with child abuse or neglect. A mere accusation can alert local law enforcement, Department of Children and Family Services (DCF), and the State Attorney’s office. If you have been accused of a crime involving children, act now. Contact an aggressive Sarasota attorney specializing in child abuse and child crimes at Pallegar Law, P.A.

Child Abuse

There are three categories that child abuse crimes can fall into in the state of Florida: simple child abuse, aggravated child abuse, and child abuse through neglect. Simple child abuse occurs when someone intentional inflicts harm on a child (either mental or physical), commits an intentional act that could result in mental or physical harm, or encourages someone else to commit an act that could result in mental or physical harm.

Aggravated child abuse occurs when someone commits aggravated battery on a child (intentional acts causing great bodily harm). It also occurs when someone intentionally and willfully tortures, punishes, or cages a child, or when someone abuses a child, causing great bodily harm or disfigurement.

Child Neglect

The crime of child neglect relies upon the caregiver of a child to act in a neglectful way. In this case, neglect is defined as the failure to act in a responsible, reasonable way, and therefore putting the child’s life or health at risk. Examples of child neglect are: failing to provide a child with proper care or services such as food, clothing, shelter, supervision, or medicine. Child neglect also occurs if a caregiver does not make reasonable efforts to protect the child from danger, abuse, or neglect by someone else.

Penalties for Child Crimes

The neglect of a child or child abuse without great bodily harm is considered a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years imprisonment and fines of up to $5,000. Neglect of a child resulting in great bodily harm is considered a second-degree felony, punishable by 15 years in prison and fines of $10,000. Aggravated child abuse is considered a felony in the first degree, punishable by up to 30 years imprisonment and fines of up to $10,000.

Defenses to These Crimes

In order to convict someone of child abuse or neglect, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed every element of the crime. Defending these crimes involves identifying mitigating factors in the case—elements that sow the seeds of doubt. It must be proven that the offense was willful, intentional, and purposeful, and caused some kind of harm to the child. Possible defenses include: accidental injury, false accusation, abuse from another person, injuries caused by unrelated medical problems, or reasonable discipline from a caregiver.

If you or someone you know has been charged with child abuse or neglect, contact an experienced Sarasota child abuse attorney at Pallegar Law, P.A. today.

Call Pallegar Law, P.A. Today

If you have been accused or charged with a child- related crime, call a knowledgeable Sarasota child abuse attorney at 941-893-5816.

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