Child Abuse / Neglect
Anytime a child, neighbor, or teacher accuses an individual of child abuse or child neglect, law enforcement will more than likely conduct an investigation. Sometimes individuals can be arrested for child abuse based solely on the word of another party. With such little evidence required, innocent individuals are frequently charged with this offense. If you have been accused of child abuse or child neglect, it is essential that you contact a knowledgeable domestic violence defense attorney as soon as possible.
West Palm Beach Child Abuse Defense Attorney
A conviction for child abuse or child neglect in Florida carries severe penalties such as years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines. If you have been charged with child abuse or child neglect in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, or the surrounding areas in Palm Beach County, take the important first step in your defense by contacting Andrew D. Stine, P.A. immediately.
Andrew Stine is an experienced and qualified West Palm Beach defense lawyer with a decade of criminal defense experience. Contact Stine today at 561.880.4300 to ensure that you have an attorney on your side that will fight for your freedom.
Child Abuse/Neglect Information Center
- Definition and Penalties for Child Abuse in Palm Beach County
- Definition and Penalties for Child Neglect in West Palm Beach
If law enforcement feels as if they have enough probable cause and evidence to believe that an individual is guilty of child abuse, they can make an arrest, and have that individual charged with child abuse. However, in order to be convicted of the offense, the prosecution must be able to prove that the defendant:
- Caused mental or physical harm to a child under the age of 18
- Intentionally committed an act that one could reasonably expect to cause mental or physical harm to a child under the age of 18
- Encouraged or assisted another individual in the commission of an act that caused or could have caused mental or physical harm to a child under the age of 18.
In most cases, child abuse is considered a third degree felony. However, depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, it can be upgraded to a first degree felony. If an individual intentionally abuses a child without causing any serious injury, he or she can be charged with a third degree felony. If convicted, an individual faces up to a five year prison sentence, and/or up to a $5,000 fine.
If an individual intentionally tortures, imprisons, abuses, or maliciously punishes a child and causes serious bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement, he is guilty of aggravated child abuse. This is a first degree felony that is punishable by up to 30 years in prison, and/or a $10,000 fine.
According to Fla. Stat. § 827.03, an individual is guilty of committing child neglect when he or she fails to make a reasonable effort to protect a child from being abused, neglected, or exploited by another person. An individual can also be charged with child neglect if he or she does not provide the child with the proper care, supervision, and services that are necessary for a child’s physical and mental well being.
Anyone who causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement to a child, as a result of child neglect, is guilty of a second degree felony. An offense under this classification can lead to up to 15 years in prison, and/or up to a $10,000 fine.
If an individual’s child neglect doesn’t lead to any great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement, the individual can be charged with a third degree felony. This is punishable by up to 5 years behind bars, and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
Exercise Your Right to an Attorney
If you have been arrested and charged with child neglect or child abuse in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Park, Lantana, North Palm Beach, Pahokee, Palm Beach, Palm Springs, Tequesta, or the surrounding areas in Palm Beach County, exercise your right to an attorney and contact Andrew D. Stine, P.A. immediately.
Andrew Stine is a skilled and qualified West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer with over a decade of experience, and will work tirelessly to defend you against your charges. Call 561.880.4300 today to set up your free consultation.