Reputable Lawyer Defends People Charged With Child Abuse or Neglect
Accomplished criminal defense attorney serves parents and guardians in Orlando
Parents and adult guardians have a duty to provide love and support for the children in their care. The failure to do so can cause irreparable harm to vulnerable youngsters. At The Law Offices of Tad A. Yates, P.A., we often see families torn apart by child abuse investigations. During a divorce, one parent may accuse the other of child abuse to win a custody battle. Although the state has an interest in protecting kids from abuse and neglect, officials can be overzealous and intolerant in their enforcement of state laws and regulations, sometimes in violation of parents’ rights. If you have been accused of child abuse or neglect, you face the loss of your children as well as criminal charges and prison time. Mr. Yates advocates aggressively for your rights. Wherever possible, he negotiates solutions to help restore your family.
Florida laws on child abuse
In Florida, child abuse is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Child abuse can consist of any of the following:
- The 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
- 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
Any of the foregoing means doing something to hurt a child deliberately or doing something reckless that a reasonable person would know could hurt a child. For example, if you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol with a child in your car, authorities could charge DUI and child abuse.
Many people, because of their occupations, are mandatory reporters of child abuse. For example, teachers who see suspicious bruises on a child must report suspected abuse. They can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor for failure to so report. Mandatory reports, filed out of fear of such sanctions, can often place innocent parents under investigation.
Under certain circumstances, aggravated child abuse can be charged. This is a first-degree felony that occurs when someone does one of the following:
- Commits aggravated battery on a child, which is the intentional touching of another person with the intent to inflict great bodily harm or with a deadly weapon
- Willfully tortures, maliciously punishes or willfully and unlawfully cages a child
- Knowingly or willfully abuses a child and in so doing causes great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement to the child
Aggravated child abuse is punishable by up to 30 years in prison, 30 years of probation and a $10,000 fine.
Child neglect laws in Florida
Child neglect occurs when a parent or guardian does not provide for a child’s physical and emotional needs or fails to protect a child from danger. Penalties for neglect are as follows:
- Child neglect without aggravating factors — This offense is a third-degree felony, calling for five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
- Child neglect with great bodily harm — This offense is a second-degree felony, calling for 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
With so much at stake, you need a seasoned criminal defense lawyer with a track record of success in tough cases like yours. You can rely on Mr. Yates to put forth a robust and aggressive defense that challenges every element of the case against you.
Contact a skilled criminal law attorney in Orlando for defense to child endangerment crimes
The Law Offices of Tad A. Yates, P.A. provides aggressive criminal defense representation for clients accused of child abuse or neglect in the Orlando area. For reliable counsel, call the firm at 407-608-7777 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.