Child Neglect2018-11-24T03:16:54+00:00

Child Neglect and Abuse Attorney

St Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney
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Child Neglect and Abuse

Child neglect and abuse can be heartbreaking. However, false or exaggerated allegations are sometimes made and that’s when you need a child neglect and abuse attorney.

A criminal defense attorney can defend people that have been accused regardless of the situation. Divorced spouses, grandparents and ex-partners have been seen to use false allegations as a weapon of revenge or in an attempt to earn custody of a child. When scenarios like these happen, a child neglect lawyer can fight for the accused’s innocence.

Child Neglect and Abuse Attorney in Pinellas County

Sean McQuaid is a Criminal Defense Attorney and named partner at Battaglia Ross Dicus & McQuaid, P.A. and has been consistently recognized by his peers, courts and the community as a premier lawyer in Criminal Defense Law.

For 60 years Battaglia Ross Dicus & McQuaid, P.A. has been providing outstanding legal assistance to Pinellas County and is nationally ranked by US News and World Reports as a Tier 1 Law Firm.

Sean McQuaid’s experience and knowledge can defend unfounded allegations and reduce penalties that will severely damage your future and reputation.

What is Child Neglect and Abuse in Florida?

In Florida, the charges have different categories depending on the crime and behavior of the accused. Punishments vary depending on circumstance and the severity of the abuse.

Child Neglect

Child neglect is the failure to protect and provide necessary support for a child, which could potentially result in physical or mental injuries or death. We see this most commonly when a parent is driving DUI and the child is in the car. In Florida law, it is defined as:

  • 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.

Child Abuse

Child abuse is when a person acts in a way that does OR potentially could result in injury to the child.

Florida Statute §827.03 describes child abuse as being 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.
Child Neglect and Abuse Attorney
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Aggravated Child Abuse

Aggravated child abuse charges are for severe cases of abuse that involve violent behavior. Florida law defines it as:

  • Commits aggravated battery on a child;
  • Willfully tortures, maliciously punishes, 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

Criminal Defense for Child Neglect and Abuse

There are often grounds for a strong defense when claims are false or exaggerated. Common defenses include:

Misinterpreted Bruises

Many parents are wrongly accused of child abuse for injuries that had nothing to do with them. Allegations can be made by school teachers/nurses, friends or neighbors who misinterpret unrelated bruises and scratches as signs of abuse.

Injuries caused by an accident

Children run into things, fall off bikes or get involved in fights. Even if the accused was present during the accident, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are guilty.

Ulterior Motives

Family members and ex-lovers can sometimes have selfish motives in an attempt to bring legal trouble to the accused. When this is the case, this evidence must be uncovered by a lawyer.

Penalties for Child Neglect and Abuse in Florida

Both child abuse and neglect crimes are felonies in the State of Florida. The felony grade differs depending on the severity of the offenses.

Aggravated Child Abuse

A first-degree felony, with a punishment of up to 30 years in prison up to a $10,000 fine.

Child Neglect that causes physical injuries

A second-degree felony with up to a 15-year prison sentence and up to a $10,000 fine.

Child Neglect or Abuse without physical injuries

A third-degree felony with up to 5 years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.

Why You Should Hire a Child Neglect and Abuse Lawyer in Pinellas County

If you are falsely accused of child neglect or abuse, then you deserve to have the charges dropped. Your future is at stake as a criminal record, fines and potential prison sentence can cause long-term turmoil.

Criminal defense attorney Sean McQuaid will investigate your case and fight to prove whether the accusations are false or exaggerated.

A Child Neglect and Abuse Defense Attorney will:

  • Navigate complicated Florida Law with expert knowledge
  • Fight to clear your name of any unfounded allegations
  • Collect the evidence that will help your defense
  • Handle paperwork and procedures on your behalf
  • Minimize any penalties
  • Attempt to drop charges without even going to court

The importance of a criminal defense lawyer in a child abuse case can’t be stressed enough. You owe it to your children to make the matter right.

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