Child Abuse / Neglect
Prosecutors in Florida take all allegations of child abuse very seriously and will usually pursue maximum punishments for alleged offenders. Many of these types of cases are based solely on the testimony of witnesses to alleged abuse.
Some parents face criminal charges simply for disciplining their children. It is also not uncommon for alleged offenders to be accused of abuse by former spouses during contentious divorce or child custody proceedings.Lawyer for Child Abuse or Neglect Arrests in Miami-Dade County, FL
Have you been falsely accused or do you believe that you could be currently under investigation in Florida for alleged neglect or abuse of a child? You should not say anything to authorities without legal representation. Contact The Hoffman Firm as soon as possible.
Miami criminal defense attorney Evan A. Hoffman represents clients accused of domestic violence offenses in Key Biscayne, North Miami, Opa-locka, Miami Beach, and many other surrounding areas in Miami-Dade County. He can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (305) 249-0090 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
North Miami Child Abuse and Neglect Information Center
- What is the difference between child abuse and child neglect?
- What kinds of punishments do people face for being convicted of these crimes?
- Where can I learn more about child abuse in Miami-Dade County?
Child Abuse and Neglect Charges in Florida
Florida Statute § 827.03 defines child abuse as:
- Intentional infliction of physical or mental injury upon a child;
- An intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child; or
- Active encouragement of any person to commit an act that results or could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child.
Aggravated child abuse occurs when an alleged offender:
- 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.
Neglect of a child can be based on repeated conduct or on a single incident or omission that results in, or could reasonably be expected to result in, serious physical or mental injury, or a substantial risk of death, to a child. 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.
Penalties for Child Abuse or Neglect in Miami-Dade County
Child abuse and child neglect are both felony offenses in Florida. The grade depends on the specific crime that the alleged offender is accused of.
Possible penalties can include:
- Aggravated child abuse is a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000;
- Willful neglect of a child or neglect a child by culpable negligence that causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000;
- Knowing or willful child abuse, willful neglect of a child, and neglect a child by culpable negligence without causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child are all third-degree felony offenses punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
It is important to understand that Florida Standard Jury Instructions do provide an exception for “corporal punishment” that states it is not a crime for a parent or a person who is acting in place of a parent of a child to “impose reasonable physical discipline on a child for misbehavior under the circumstances even though physical injury resulted from the discipline.”
Florida Resources for Child Neglect
Child Abuse | Miami Dade Office of the State Attorney — Learn more about reporting child abuse or neglect in Miami-Dade County on this website. You can also find information relating to child sexual abuse, including contact information for information, referral, or crisis intervention. The website also allows to you to download a guide for victims and witnesses that contains information about the State Attorney Office’s Victim Access Network (VAN).
Miami-Dade Office of the State Attorney
E.R. Graham Building
1350 NW 12th Avenue
Miami, FL 33136
Abuse Hotline | Florida Department of Children and Families — Any individual who suspects that a child has been abused by any person in Florida is required to report that to the Florida Abuse Hotline. You can report abuse online through this website or find multiple contact phone numbers. The website also contains information about the Florida Abuse Hotline and its mission as well as the mission of the Department of Children and Families.
If you have been arrested or believe that you may be under investigation for alleged abuse or neglect of a child in Florida, it is in your best interest to have legal representation before making any kind of statement to authorities. The Hoffman Firm can investigate your case and prove allegations were false or exaggerated, possibly resulting in the criminal charges being reduced or dismissed.
Evan A. Hoffman is a criminal defense attorney in Miami who helps clients all over Miami-Dade County, including Aventura, Hialeah, South Miami, Coral Gables, and several other neighboring communities. Call (305) 249-0090 or fill out an online contact form today to set up a free initial consultation that will let our former prosecutor review your case.