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Child Neglect

Child neglect is a serious crime that has many life changing consequences. If you have been arrested for child neglect, it is important to understand what you have been charged with, and what consequences you could be facing.

What is Child Neglect?

Florida statute 827 defines child neglect as the following:

  • A caregiver’s failure or omission to provide a child with the care, supervision, and services necessary to maintain the child’s physical and mental health including but not limited to items or services that a reasonable person would consider essential for the wellbeing of the child, or;
  • A caregiver’s failure to make a reasonable effort to protect a child from abuse, neglect, or exploitation by another person.

Ultimately, Child Neglect is committing a crime by omission. Failing to take care of a child when you are the caregiver.

Who is Considered a Caregiver?

A caregiver is a person who is responsible for the health and physical/mental wellbeing of a child. A caregiver does not necessarily mean “parent”, though parents certainly fall within that category.

Child Neglect v. Child Abuse

Both child neglect and child abuse are outlined in Florida Statute 827. Sometimes, in the media, it seems as though the terms are used interchangeably. What is the difference between child neglect and child abuse? The important distinction is in the action of the crime. Child abuse is an action taken against a child. Child neglect is a failure to act for the child. An example of the difference would be the following: the action of striking a child can be child abuse. Child neglect would be failing to provide food for the child. The difference between the two is in the action, or lack thereof. The two crimes also have different consequences.

Child Neglect Consequences

Child neglect is a serious crime, that has life altering consequences. A person who is charged and convicted of child neglect with great bodily harm to the child, will be facing a charge of a felony in the second degree. A second degree felony is punishable by up to fifteen years in prison, and a $10,000 fine. A person who is charged with child neglect without great bodily harm to the child, will be facing a charge of a felony in the third degree. A third degree felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

These consequences are severe and can change your life forever. If you are charged with child neglect, you need someone on your side who has the experience to fight for you. Attorney Matthew Thompson has been practicing law for over 13 years. He has handled numerous child neglect cases, both as a defense attorney and a prosecutor. He brings this knowledge to your case to craft a defense unique to what your case needs. For a free consultation with attorney Matthew Thompson, call our office 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.

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