Child abuse is one of the most common violent crimes that takes place in Florida and it is greatly unreported. In fact, one in four children suffers child abuse, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Child abuse has been linked to tremendous suffering later on in the child’s life, including impaired learning ability, low self-confidence, depression, anxiety, poor social skills, poverty and suicide. This means that when a mother or father, or any other person, is charged with child abuse, state prosecutors will do all that they can to ensure that the defendant serves as long of a prison sentence as possible. You need an experienced, highly competent legal team at your side if you have been charged with child abuse, and the lawyers of the Tison Law Group are prepared to offer you just that.
Defining Simple Child Abuse
Under Florida statute 827.03, child abuse occurs when a parent or caregiver causes intentional physical or mental injury to a child, acts in a way that would reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury, or encourages any other person to act in a way that would be reasonably expected to cause mental or physical injury to the child. Simple child abuse, when the child does not suffer from great bodily harm, is a third-degree felony, which is punishable by up to a five-year prison sentence and fine of $5,000. If the child is seriously injured, the charge will be upgraded to aggravated child abuse.
Defining Aggravated Child Abuse
Aggravated child abuse is an even more extreme charge than simple child abuse. It occurs when a parent or caregiver tortures, punishes, unlawfully cages a child, commits aggravated battery on a child, or knowingly and willfully abuses a child and causes permanent disfigurement, great bodily harm or permanent disability to the child. Aggravated child abuse is a first-degree felony, punishable by a maximum of 30 years in state prison and a fine of $10,000.
Child neglect is similar to child abuse and aggravated child abuse but is a different charge altogether. Child neglect is the failure to provide proper care, supervision or services that a child needs to maintain their physical and mental health. Neglect also occurs when the caregiver or parent fails to make a reasonable effort to stave off abuse or neglect from another person. While a serious charge in and of itself, it may be a better option than facing a child abuse charge in court.
Call the Impassioned Criminal Defense Lawyers of Tison Law Group Today
Child abuse is a serious allegation, and if you have been arrested or are under investigation for child abuse, you need to act quickly to protect yourself. Even if these allegations are completely unfounded, and you and others know of their ridiculousness, your life could soon be upended nonetheless if you go without legal help. An experienced Tampa Bay criminal defense lawyer is your best option for beating these charges and the lawyers of the Tison Law Group have assisted countless clients in the past by remaining strong and relentless both in and out of the courtroom. Call us today to schedule a consultation.