Child abuse is a very serious crime. We have seen it in the movies, and heard horror stories on the news. What happens if you are accused and arrested for child abuse? What do you need to know? First it is important to note that just like most crimes, there are levels of child abuse that address the severity of the crime committed. It is important to understand the different levels, and to understand what charge you could be facing. Florida Statute 827 outlines these different levels, child abuse and aggravated child abuse, and the consequences you will face if you are convicted of those crimes.
Florida statute outlines child abuse as the following:
- When someone intentionally inflicts physical or mental injury upon a child;
- When someone commits an intentional act that could be reasonably expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child;
- When someone actively encourages any other person to commit an act that would be reasonably expected to result in physical or mental injury of the child.
If you are accused and convicted of child abuse without great bodily harm, you will be facing a felony in the third degree. A felony in the third degree is punishable by up to five years in prison, and up to $5,000 in fines.
The crime of child abuse escalates in severity depending on how severe the abuse of the child was. This is can be determined by the level of harm caused to the child. If the abuse is severe, the crime becomes aggravated child abuse. Florida statute defines aggravated child abuse as the occurring when:
- A person commits aggravated battery on a child.
- Willfully tortures, maliciously punishes, or willfully and unlawfully cages a child;
- Knowingly or willingly abuses a child and in doing so causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child.
According to the statute outlined above, maliciously means to do something wrongfully, intentionally, and without legal justification or excuse. If you are convicted of aggravated child abuse, you will be facing a first degree felony charge. A first degree felony is punishable by prison sentence of up to 30 years, and up to $10,000 in fines.
The crime of child abuse is serious. A prison sentence, especially one as long as 30 years, is something that disrupts and impacts your life forever. In addition, no one wants to carry around the label of a “child abuser.” If you are charged with child abuse or aggravated child abuse, you need to take it seriously. You need someone on your side who will fight for you, and has the experience to help you put your life back together after your arrest. Attorney Matthew Thompson has years of experience. First serving a prosecutor, Attorney Thompson has trial experience and first-hand knowledge of how the State works in these types of cases. Matt Thompson has handled many child abuse cases before, and brings that experience to your case. He will craft a custom defense specifically for you, to defend your ways the way you deserve. For a free consultation, call Thomson Law today at (386) 463-4LAW (4529), toll free at (877) 934-4LAW (4529), or text Attorney Thompson directly at (386) 337-2219. Your consultation can be scheduled in DeLand or Daytona Beach, depending on your location, we make it easy and convenient for you to get the legal representation you need.