Child Abuse Lawyer
Child abuse or neglect is a very serious matter. When you’re faced with allegations of abuse or neglect, you don’t want to face these charges alone. A skilled family law and criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville will help you navigate these charges.
Whether you’re facing legitimate charges or false allegations, the Department of Children and Family Services will get involved, along with the State Attorney’s Office and the police. The allegations could have come from something as simple as a nosy neighbor calling the authorities because they saw bruises on your child. Of course, in other cases, they could come from something rather extreme, such as a child found in a cage or a closet.
Just like with any other criminal charges, just placing blame and alleging you abused or neglected a child doesn’t make the allegations well founded. Sometimes, dirt and bruises on a child may lead to an overbearing individual reporting to the police. Years ago, it wasn’t the same and if you were a child without a bruise or two, it simply meant you hadn’t been outside playing enough. Today, it’s different and society is far more alert when it comes to child abuse and neglect.
Defining Child Abuse
In Florida, child abuse is categorized as child abuse through neglect, aggravated child abuse or simple child abuse. Each category comes with a different punishment and the punishment also depends on how much bodily harm was inflicted on the child.
Child Abuse Through Neglect
When a caregiver fails to provide a child with adequate care or supervision leading to mental or physical damage to the child, it may be considered child abuse through neglect. This includes providing adequate food, clothing, shelter, medicine, medical services, supervision, and nutrition.
Neglect can also happen when a caregiver fails to make a reasonable effort to protect the child from exploitation, abuse or neglect caused by another person.
Aggravated Child Abuse
When someone commits aggravated battery on a child, it is considered aggravated child abuse. This may also include willfully torturing, willfully caging or maliciously punishing a child. Another form of aggravated child abuse is found when someone knowingly or willfully abuses a child and causes permanent disability, permanent disfigurement or great bodily harm to the child.
Simple Child Abuse
Any act to intentionally inflict physical injury or mental injury upon a child is considered to be simple child abuse. This could also be an intentional act that could reasonably lead to mental or physical injury. Another form of simple child abuse includes actively encouraging someone to commit an act that could reasonably result in a mental or physical injury to the child.
Hiring an Attorney Immediately
Sometimes, cases of child abuse or neglect are precipitated by someone with an ulterior motive. This could be a disapproving grandparent, your ex-spouse or someone else looking for revenge or an opportunity to earn custody of your child. Even someone that doesn’t share your lifestyle or beliefs could make false allegations against you.
At Tassone, Dreicer & Hill, we’ve worked with many clients facing allegations of child abuse or neglect. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys in Jacksonville understand how unfounded allegations should be handled. Often, early diligence on our part leads to charges not being filed or discovery of evidence that can be leveraged to ensure the state drops any filed charges.