The accusation of child abuse is a serious charge. Whether you are guilty or not, these charges can affect your reputation or career. You never want to take these accusations lightly. It is crucial to hire a skilled criminal defense lawyer to act on your behalf. Alexander Smith-Johnson has the experience to be your Kissimmee defense attorney in these cases.
Under Florida law, child abuse is defined as an “intentional action causing physical or mental harm, including actions that a reasonable person would believe capable of causing damage to the child’s physical or mental health, or encouraging anyone else to do anything that could be reasonably expected to cause such harm.”
Aggravated child abuse is another serious offense. With this crime, the abuse results in permanent disability, physical harm, or permanent disfigurement of the child. Florida prosecutors will also charge an individual with this crime if the child has been caged, tortured, or aggravated battery has been committed against a child.
Another aspect of aggravated child abuse involves harming the emotional well-being of a child. These offenses can include obscene language towards the child to degrading the child in a private or public setting.
Neglecting a child is another offense in the state of Florida. If a caregiver failed to provide the child with the proper supervision, care, or services to maintain their physical and mental health, then the individual could be charged with neglect.
Any gross neglect of a child also falls into the child abuse category. Gross negligence includes the following:
The parent or caregiver must make a reasonable effort to protect the child from exploitation, neglect, or abuse from another individual.
Child abuse can include sexual exploitation, emotional abuse, and violence. This offense produces non-accidental physical injuries to the child. Some examples of physical abuse include:
Sexual abuse is also covered under Florida’s child abuse laws. Any sexual contact is considered abuse. These crimes include:
Any type of child abuse in Florida is considered a felony. No matter the specific circumstances or charge, it is a serious offense. The penalties for child abuse will vary depending on the severity of injuries to the minor. If there have been previous child abuse convictions, then the penalties will increase.
If the abuse did not result in any serious physical harm or permanent disfigurement, child abuse is a third-degree felony. You can face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Aggravated child abuse is a first-degree felony, and it carries some of the severest punishments in the state. If convicted, you can be sentenced to pay a $10,000 fine and face up to 30 years in prison.
Some other penalties can include:
Some of these charges could even end up in civil court. However, criminal charges are the most severe accusations. You want to have experienced legal representation for any case that involves child abuse.
In some cases, you may have disciplined your own child. It might have been observed by another individual who called law enforcement. You can claim parental right to discipline in Florida. However, any physical discipline cannot result in bodily injury more than a slight bruise.
In custody battles and other legal civil matters, there could be a false accusation of child abuse to alter the facts of the case. Often the other party in a civil case will claim sexual, physical, or emotional harm to the child as a way to get the court on their side.
Children can also be injured as a result of an accident or playing with friends. If the child sustained an injury during playtime, such as falling off a bicycle, that is not considered child abuse. However, a teacher or other individual may have seen the injury and filed a complaint. You need to present this proof to the court to defend your name.
Some children are prone to broken bones due to a medical condition, or they may have “roughhoused” with another child. All these circumstances can lead to injuries that were not due to child abuse.
A criminal defense attorney in Kissimmee can help you defend against any of these child abuse accusations.
Child abuse is a serious claim in the state of Florida. If you don’t have the right representation, you could face prison time, hefty fines, and damage to your reputation. Along with that, you could lose custody of your children. You never want to head to court by yourself with these charges. Only an experienced lawyer in Kissimmee can help you reach a successful outcome in your case.
Alexander Smith-Johnson has represented defendants against these claims. He will examine the evidence, speak to witnesses, and craft a defense for your case. There is so much on the line when you are accused of child abuse. Time is essential in these cases. You need to consult with an experienced attorney immediately!
If you have been charged with these crimes, contact Alexander Smith-Johnson, Kissimmee’s premier criminal defense attorney.