Child Abuse and Aggravated Child Abuse in Florida
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Being accused of child abuse in Florida can appear just as serious as a conviction. Mere allegations can cause significant damage to your professional reputation and personal life. Not only can a conviction lead to serious criminal penalties such as prison time or expensive fines, but it can also result in losing custody of your children.
In order to protect your rights, reputation, and future, having the Law Offices of Greg Rosenfeld, P.A. on your side can ensure you obtain the most favorable outcome in your case. Our West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer has defended clients in more than 50 trials, giving him the legal experience to help you either get your entire case dismissed or get your charged reduced significantly.
Florida Child Abuse and Aggravated Child Abuse Laws & Penalties
According to state law, Child Abuse is defined as an intentional act that causes, or could be reasonably expected to cause, physical or mental injury to a child. This crime is a third-degree felony, punishable by a maximum five-year prison term, five years of probation, and a $5,000 fine.
Aggravated Child Abuse involves one of three possible scenarios:
- Committing an aggravated battery on a child;
- Willfully torturing, maliciously punishing, or caging a child; or
- Abusing a child in a manner that causes great bodily harm or personal disability.
Aggravated child abuse is a first-degree felony, which carries a prison term of up to 30 years, 30 years of probation, and a maximum $10,000 fine.
A conviction for child abuse or aggravated child abuse can have serious ramifications regarding the custody of one’s children.
In Florida, a person does not have to be a parent to be charged with child abuse or aggravated child abuse. However, the “parental privilege” is a common defense to child abuse and aggravated child abuse. Parents and authority figures, such as teachers, are allowed to reasonably discipline a child. However, discipline that causes serious harm isn’t protected under the parental privilege.
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If you’re in the middle of a messy divorce, your spouse may accuse you of child abuse in order to obtain full custody of the children. On the other hand, a teacher or a doctor could call the police after becoming suspicious of child abuse without understand the complete story. No matter what situation led to your allegations, our experienced attorney can investigate your case, gather supporting evidence, find weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, and clear your name.
For more information about our legal services, contact us today to discuss your case.