Child Abuse in Florida
Florida Statute §827.03(2)(c), states that Child Abuse is defined to include an act, which is considered to cause or causes mental or physical injury to children or a child.
A child is defined as a person aged below 18. A caregiver is defined to include a household member, parent, or any other adult with the responsibility for ensuring the welfare of the child.
It is worth noting that this ‘child abuse' may be committed by any person. The accused does not always have to be someone with a custodial or parental relationship with the victim. Therefore, what would normally have constituted a regular misdemeanor battery in case the victim had been over the age of 18, can be charged as Child Abuse, depending on the discretion of the prosecutor.
This offense is a Felony of the Third Degree within the state of Florida. The court may impose any of these following penalties in any combination:
Fine not exceeding $5000
Probation period not exceeding 5 years
Imprisonment sentence not exceeding 5 years
An imprisonment sentence not exceeding a statutory maximum period of 5 years may also be imposed on the convict.
Applicable Specific Defenses
Apart from trial defenses and pretrial defenses, which may be raised during a criminal case, there are some defenses that are specific to this charge:
Any parent or a person in loco parentis, like a teacher, is allowed to discipline children who are under their control, provided it is within reasonable limits. However, if such a discipline results in an injury any serious than just minor bruising, the right of parental privilege stands forfeit.
Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Larry Avallone
If you've been charged or arrested in the Daytona Beach area, contact Larry Avallone, who is an expert Criminal Defense Lawyer in Volusia County. My initial consultation is free. I am ready to provide legal advice regarding the next steps in your case.