Unfortunately, it is easy for a parent to be accused of child abuse in the state of Florida, just as it is in other states. Something as simple as a bruised knee or elbow reported by a school teacher or neighbor could end in catastrophe. Once police have been notified of suspected child abuse, an investigation may be conducted by the Florida Dept. of Children and Families. Ultimately, your child could be taken away from you for allegations of something you did not do. If you have been accused or are under investigation for child abuse, contact Adams & Luka immediately. We aggressively defend our clients in pursuit of the truth, working diligently to protect your legal rights and freedom.
In Florida, the line between parental discipline and child abuse can be vague. Unlike a decade or two ago when spanking was an accepted form of discipline, physically striking a child in this day and age can get you arrested for child abuse. In situations where parents divorce or separate and have a dispute over custody, one parent may accuse the other of child abuse. Regardless of the situation, the best way to protect your reputation and freedom is to work with a capable and qualified Orlando child abuse defense lawyer.
Unlike child neglect, abuse involves any act or threatened act that is willful and results in physical, mental, or sexual harm or is likely to significantly impair the child's physical, mental, or emotional health. Not only may your child be taken from you, parental rights may be terminated through a court action. We know how a family unit can be dissolved all too easy due to wrongful allegations. Let us defend your rights today!Defenses to Charges of Child Abuse in Florida
The defense your attorney will work with you to develop will depend on the unique facts of your case. Ultimately, whether you have been accused of abusing a child in a physical, emotional, or sexual manner we will work diligently to challenge the evidence and prevent the prosecution from proving the elements of the crime. Some examples of common defenses to child abuse include:
The injury was caused by an accident or other circumstances not considered child abuse. A child may have sustained an injury due to an accident, such as falling from a bicycle while you were helping train him/her to ride. Another example of accidental circumstances would be if your child is prone to injuries or broken bones because of a medical condition, and becomes involved in a fight with another child that results in injuries.
False allegations. If you did not inflict physical, emotional, or sexual harm on a child, the natural defense is that you simply did not do it. This is a common defense, as many parents are wrongly accused of abusing their children, particularly those in dysfunctional families.
Parent's right to discipline. Parents in Florida do have the right to discipline their children, however spanking or any physical discipline used must not result in bodily injury or anything more serious than slight bruising.
This is not an all-inclusive list of defenses strategies; there are many that may be effective in defending you against child abuse allegations.Penalties for Child Abuse in Orlando & Central Florida
When a first-time offender is found guilty of child abuse in Florida, he or she may face a maximum of 15 years in prison. This offense is charged as a 3rd degree felony if no serious bodily harm or permanent disfigurement or disability occurred. Penalties may also include a monetary fine of $10,000. However, if the defendant has been convicted twice prior on charges of aggravated child abuse, the punishment becomes more harsh. The defendant may then face a minimum of 15 years in prison, or more.Contact Adams & Luka Immediately
As trusted Orlando child abuse defense lawyers, we understand that in addition to serious criminal penalties, a conviction can result in a stigma that follows you for life. Your career and reputation may be ruined; repeated allegations may result in your child being removed from you by the state's DCF. At Adams & Luka, it is our goal to provide every client with vigorous, effective legal guidance and representation. Call us today for unsurpassed legal support and a free consultation at (407) 872-0307 or (352) 787-2101.