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Child Abuse

Child Abuse, Child Negligence in Florida

Child abuse is the criminal and unlawful treatment of a minor by an adult. This includes any intentional infliction of physical or mental injury or distress upon the child, or the encouragement of another to commit such an act. Examples are striking a child, excessively screaming at a child, sexually abusing or molesting a child, neglecting a child, starving for a child, and many other acts or encouragement thereof. This is a criminal act that often goes unpunished or unnoticed, as it predominantly occurs in the home, and is a matter of the intimate family, a place where criminal law enforcement is reluctant to intervene. To prove the criminal violation of Child Abuse, the State Attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the criminal suspect intentionally inflicted physical or mental injury upon the victim, or committed an intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to the victim, or actively encouraged another person to commit an act that resulted in or could reasonably have been expected to result in physical or mental injury to the victim. The victim must have been under 18 years of age. To prove the criminal violation of Aggravated Child Abuse, the State Attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the criminal suspect committed aggravated battery upon the victim, willfully tortured the victim, maliciously punished victim, willfully and unlawfully caged the victim, or knowingly or willfully committed child abuse upon the victim and in so doing caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement. The victim must have been under 18 years of age. In order to prove that an aggravated battery was committed, the State must prove that the criminal suspect intentionally touched or struck the victim against the will of the victim, or caused bodily harm to the victim, and in so doing, the criminal suspect intentionally or knowingly caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, or used a deadly weapon. A weapon is a “deadly weapon” if it is used criminally or threatened to be used criminally in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm. “Willfully” means knowingly, intentionally, and purposely. “Maliciously” means wrongfully, intentionally, and without legal justification or excuse. Maliciousness may be established by circumstances from which one could conclude that a reasonable parent would not have engaged in the damaging acts toward the child for any valid reason and that the primary purpose of the acts was to cause the victim unjustifiable pain or injury. “Child Abuse” means the intentional infliction of physical or mental injury upon a child, an intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child, or active encouragement of any person to commit an act that results or could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child. To prove the criminal violation of Aggravated Child Abuse by committing Aggravated Battery upon a child, the State Attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the criminal suspect committed a battery against the victim by intentionally touching or striking the victim against his or her will, causing bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or permanent disability to the victim, or used a deadly weapon. The victim must have been under 18 years of age. A weapon is a “deadly weapon” if it is used criminally or threatened to be used criminally in a way likely to produce death or great bodily harm. To prove the criminal offense of Neglect of a Child with great bodily harm, permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, the State Attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the criminal suspect willfully or by culpable negligence failed or omitted to provide the victim with the care, supervision, and services necessary to maintain the victim’s physical or mental health or failed to make a reasonable effort to protect the victim from abuse, neglect, or exploitation by another person, and in doing so, the criminal suspect caused great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the victim, where the criminal suspect was a caregiver for the victim, and the victim was under the age of 18. The criminal offense of Neglect of a Child may be based on repeated conduct or on a single incident or omission that resulted in, or reasonably could have been expected to result in, serious physical or mental injury, or a substantial risk of death, to a child victim. “Caregiver” means a parent, adult household member, or other person responsible for a child’s welfare. To prove the criminal offense of Neglect of a Child without great bodily harm, permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, the State Attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the criminal suspect willfully or by culpable negligence failed or omitted to provide the victim with the care, supervision, and services necessary to maintain the victim’s physical or mental health, or failed to make a reasonable effort to protect the victim from abuse, neglect, or exploitation by another person, where the criminal suspect was a caregiver for the victim, and where the victim was under the age of 18. Neglect of a child may be based on repeated conduct or on a single incident or omission that resulted in, or reasonably could have been expected to result in, serious physical or mental injury, or a substantial risk of death, to a child. Every person has a duty to act reasonably toward others. If there is a violation of that duty, without any conscious intention to harm, that violation is negligence. Culpable negligence is more than a failure to use ordinary care for others. For negligence to be called culpable negligence, it must be gross and flagrant. The negligence must be committed with an utter disregard for the safety of others. Culpable negligence is consciously doing an act or following a course of conduct that the criminal suspect must have known, or reasonably should have known, was likely to cause death or great bodily harm.

If you have been charged with Child Abuse in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, or Miami Dade County, you should consult an experienced competent Fort Lauderdale Child Abuse lawyer who can represent you in criminal court. Kenneth P. Hassett of Hassett and Associates, P.A. is a criminal defense attorney who represents clients in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Miami Dade County, and the rest of South Florida. Having a criminal defense lawyer to represent you in criminal court is advantageous, especially when charged with serious criminal offenses. Contact Hassett and Associates, P.A. for an immediate free consultation 24 hours per day seven days per week with a criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with these criminal offenses.

827.03 Abuse, aggravated abuse, and neglect of a child; penalties.

827.035 Newborn infants.

Disclaimer

The information on this page does not represent legal advice. Florida Statues obtained from Online Sunshine, www.leg.state.fl.us, the official site of the Florida Legislature. Because the law is continually changing, some of the provisions contained herein may be out of date. It is always wise to seek counsel from an experienced criminal attorney like Kenneth Hassett.

If you have been charged as an Accessory After the Fact or a Principal in the First Degree to a criminal offense in Broward or Miami-Dade County, call Criminal Defense Attorney Kenneth P. Hassett.