Child Abuse

Florida Defense Lawyer

Child Abuse – Neglect – Aggravated Child Abuse – Child Sexual Abuse – Child Pornography – Child Internet Pornography – Exploitation of a Minor

Prosecutors never show mercy to people accused of child abuse, sexual abuse, or child pornography, though they are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Since it’s a hot topic, certain child abuse cases can become very public very quickly, putting the accused in front of thousands or even millions of pointing fingers as a subject of criticism, ridicule, and slander.

At a time like this, you must be highly discerning and resist the temptation to tell your side of the story to everyone who will listen. It is imperative to your defense that you take these allegations seriously from the start and immediately consult an experienced defense attorney. Don’t make any statements to babysitters, teachers, healthcare professionals, police, or the Department of Children and Families concerning accusations of child abuse until you consult a knowledgeable attorney.

Responding to Allegations of Child Abuse
First off, when you’re accused of deliberately harming a child, you should never answer the charges on your own. Prosecutors, law enforcement, and representatives from the Florida Department of Children and Families will send large amounts of intimidating rhetoric your way; don’t take the bait.

Remember two things when this happens: You do not have to submit to whatever they say just because they say it. Second, the less you talk back, the better your defense will be.

Because there is such a stigma attached to the idea of an adult intentionally harming a child, the law and the public take every child abuse complaint seriously. Based solely on the word of a five-year-old, you could face years of prison time, forced parenting classes, probation, sizable fines, and permanent termination of parental rights.

Depending on the nature of the child’s injuries and his or her mental state, child abuse may qualify as a felony offense under Florida Statutes Section 827.03. Anyone who knowingly harms a child without inflicting permanent injury could still be convicted of a third-degree felony, which carries a sentence of five years in Florida prison and a fine of $1,000.

Palm Beach County Attorney
In the State of Florida, abuse, neglect, and exploitation includes the following acts when committed by any caregiver:

Failure to provide a child with proper supervision, food, water, medicine, and other care necessary to the child’s physical and mental health

Failure to make the effort to protect a child from abuse, exploitation, or harm from someone else, resulting in physical or mental injury

Leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle

Maliciously inflicting physical or mental pain and injury on a child

What About Spanking?
Technically, it is not against the law to spank children in the State of Florida, especially since the Florida courts have deemed spanking “reasonable punishment” in recent cases. However, the issue is always under the debate, not to mention subject to the random interpretations of politicians, judges, prosecutors, and police.

Still, if you use your hand, a paddle, or a belt to administer corporal punishment to a child, you may be investigated for child abuse, especially if the spanking leaves a mark.

To determine if a spanking crossed the line into abuse, officials consider the child’s age, the method the parent or caregiver used to administer the spanking (belt, switch, paddle, etc.), and whether the spanking left bruises or marks.

Even if you’re arrested for spanking your child, it is challenging for the State to prove abuse to the point of an actual conviction, especially if you have a knowledgeable and tenacious defense lawyer protecting your rights.

Florida Child Abuse Defense Attorney 
If you are the subject of any child abuse, exploitation, or neglect investigation in South Florida, don’t take any chances. To clear your good name and present a powerful and effective defense, please call defense attorney Charles Mead  at (561) 362-6677 in Boca Raton, (561) 366-9565 in West Palm Beach, or (954) 493-7474 in Fort Lauderdale for a free and confidential initial consultation.

Why take chances with your future?

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