Child Abuse Lawyer
Child abuse and neglect are among a number of severe issues which cause harm to children within the United States — it crosses all levels of social status and cultural backgrounds. According to the American Society for the Positive Care of Children (American SPCC), there were more than 7.5 million reports of child abuse in 2017. Child abuse laws within the State of Florida, as with child welfare laws of other states, maintain severe penalties for the prosecution against individuals who commit child abuse and neglect.
If you believe that your child has been abused or neglected by a legal caregiver, a parent, a guardian, or another individual, contact our child injury law firm. The Galione Law Firm, P.A. is a dedicated advocate for victims of child abuse in North Central Florida — we represent the rights and interests of child abuse victims. The attorneys with our firm work diligently to ensure the legal protection and safety of victims of child abuse. Contact a child abuse lawyer with our firm today.
How Does Florida Define Child Abuse?
Under Florida Statute § 827.03, the law regards a number of different actions — as well as certain types of inaction — as child abuse, aggravated child abuse, and child abuse through neglect. With regard to the neglect of a child, the law states that negligence towards a child may be based on repeated conduct or on a single incident or omission which results in serious physical or mental injury or substantial risk of death to a child. For more information about the terminology used within the following definitions, contact a child abuse lawyer with our firm.
Child abuse occurs when there is intentional infliction of physical or mental injury upon a child; when there is an intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child; and when there is active encouragement of any person to commit an act that either directly results in — or could reasonably be expected to result in — physical harm or mental injury to the child, such as sexual abuse, physical abuse, and emotional abuse.
Aggravated Child Abuse
Aggravated child abuse is characterized by extreme physical violence towards a child. It occurs when an individual commits acts of aggravated battery to a child or when a person willfully tortures, maliciously punishes, or willfully and unlawfully cages a child. This form of child abuse also occurs in cases in which a person knowingly and/or willfully abuses a child, resulting in the child experiencing a number of harmful effects, such as great bodily harm, permanent physical disability, permanent mental disability; and/or permanent disfigurement.
Neglect Of A Child
Neglect of a child is characterized by a caregiver’s failure or omission to provide a child with adequate care, supervision, and services required to maintain the child’s physical, mental, emotional, and educational health which include, but are not limited to, food, nutrition, clothing, shelter, supervision, medicine, and medical services — all of which a prudent individual would consider essential for the well-being of the child. Negligence also occurs when a caregiver fails to make a reasonable effort to protect the child from abuse, neglect, or exploitation by others.
What Are The Elements Of Proof In A Child Abuse & Neglect Case?
In order to convict an individual of child abuse, aggravated child abuse or neglect, Florida prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed each element of the following acts. Depending on the specific circumstances, the outcome of a child abuse case will likely depend upon the skill and comprehensive counsel of the child’s legal advocate. For experienced assistance with your child’s case, consult our child abuse attorneys.
- The alleged abuser inflicted physical harm or mental injury to a child who is younger than 18 years of age; and
- Committed an intentional act which did or could be reasonably expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child who is younger than 18 years of age; or
- Actively encouraged another individual to commit an act which resulted in physical or mental injury to the child, or could be reasonably expected to result in such an injury to a child who is younger than 18 years of age.
Penalties For Child Abuse In Florida
Aggravated child abuse, child abuse and negligence are each categorized as a type of felony offense in the State of Florida. The grade of the offense depends upon the specific crime of which the alleged offender is accused. A person may be charged with a first-degree felony if he or she is convicted of aggravated child abuse in Florida, which is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Penalties for those who are charged with child abuse — a second-degree felony — includes punishment of up to 5 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Offenses for the third-degree felony of the neglect of a child in Florida carry penalties of up to five years in prison and to $5,000 in fines.
In addition, the child injury lawyers with our Florida law firm can provide parents or guardians of abused or neglected children with legal assistance for filing a civil lawsuit against the individual who caused harm to the child. A civil lawsuit offers a unique opportunity for families with abused children to demand restitution from those who have failed to provide a child with a reasonable degree of support, care, and necessary items which are required to ensure the well-being and health of the child. A civil suit may be filed either in conjunction with or separately from criminal prosecution for charges of abuse and neglect. Contact us today to discuss your case with legal counsel at our firm.
How A Child Abuse Lawyer Can Help
The impact of child abuse and neglect is often severe with regard to a child’s physical well-being, emotional stability, and psychological development. Abused children may require counseling, help from child protective services, and legal advocacy. Knowing how to find assistance for situations which involve crimes against children can be difficult, but resources are readily available with The Galione Law Firm, P.A. If the child’s well-being is in immediate danger, please contact the local authorities immediately — for cases in which there is the likelihood present of child abuse or neglect, contact a child abuse prevention organization, such as Childhelp. Your next call should be to a legal advocate for victims of child abuse and neglect with our law firm. We are committed to assisting families that are recovering from injuries and harm which are inflicted as a result of abusive behavior and neglect. Contact us to discuss your case today.