Child Abuse and Neglect
Nothing and no one in our society is worthy of more protection and shielding from harm than our children. In instances where there has been legitimate abuse, it should be stopped and the guilty party be punished. Unfortunately, it is quite common that an innocent person is accused of this crime and left to their own devices to defend against the allegation. When an allegation is made that a child has been abused or neglected, not only will the Department of Children and Family Services get involved but so too with the police and State Attorney’s Office. These allegations can range from a nosey neighbor calling the police to report bruises on a child, to charges in extreme and heinous circumstances where a child is found locked in a closet or a cage. As with any other violent criminal allegation, and in some instances more often, pointing a finger and alleging that this crime has occurred does not necessarily mean that the allegation is well founded. Bruises and dirt on children today can lead to an overbearing individual making a police report whereas for the children of yesteryear, the idea of not having a bruise somewhere meant you weren’t outside roughhousing enough. Times have changed and so too has the alertness of others on behalf of children. Tampa child abuse attorney, Jason Mayberry, is experienced in the kind of allegations people make on behalf of children. The Tampa criminal lawyers at The Mayberry Law Firm are diligent in their investigation and defense of unfounded allegations. We won’t let you become a victim of an overbearing lunatic making unfounded allegations.How Does Florida Define Child Abuse?
Child abuse in Florida is categorized as aggravated child abuse, simple child abuse, and child abuse through neglect. Punishment will depend on categorization and the amount of bodily harm inflicted upon the child.
Aggravated Child Abuse occurs when a person:
- Commits aggravated battery on a child;
- Maliciously punishes, willfully tortures, or willfully and unlawfully cages a child; or
- Knowingly or willfully abuses a child and in so doing causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child.
Simple Child Abuse occurs when a person:
- Intentionally inflicts mental or physical injury upon a child;
- An intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child;
- Active encouragement of a person to commit to commit an act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child.
- 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, food, nutrition, clothing, shelter, supervision, medicine, and medical services that a prudent person would consider essential for the well-being 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.
Unfortunately, often these cases are precipitated by an individual with a bad ulterior motive. Your spouse in a divorce, disapproving Grandparents, or a scorned ex-lover are all capable of pointing a finger out of revenge or in an effort to earn custody of a child. An individual not sharing your beliefs or lifestyle may also have an interest in rocking you to your core.
Our Tampa criminal attorneys understand how to handle unfounded allegations. Our policy of early diligence in our cases has often led to charges not being filed against our clients or the discovery of evidence to leverage the State into dropping the charge or offer a great deal during the pendency of your case.
Don’t try to navigate this accusation alone. Contact the Tampa child neglect lawyers at The Mayberry Law Firm today. Contact us at 813-444-7435.