Pensacola, Florida Child Abuse and Neglect

Seek Legal Aid from a Pensacola Child Abuse and Neglect Attorney

Florida’s child abuse laws are designed to protect children from serious harm, but unfortunately, many claims of abuse are unfounded or exaggerated. Given the sensitive nature of these situations, child abuse and neglect are felony offenses that carry harsh penalties if convicted. You may therefore require the assistance of a knowledgeable child abuse and neglect attorney in Pensacola, FL.

Charges of child abuse and neglect can cause significant turmoil in your household. If you are found guilty, you might face severe penalties like jail time, fines, and child custody restrictions. You should get legal representation as soon as possible if you are under investigation or are facing accusations of child abuse and neglect.

Brightwell Law PLLC’s Pensacola child abuse and neglect attorney is knowledgeable about the processes involved in such instances. Contact our law firm right away if you have inquiries concerning your charges or need legal representation.

What is Child Abuse and Neglect?

Child abuse and neglect refer to any act or omission that causes harm, potential harm, or threat to a child’s health, survival, development, or dignity. This can include physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

  • Physical abuse involves inflicting physical harm or injury to a child, such as hitting, kicking, or burning them. 
  • Emotional abuse involves damaging a child’s self-esteem through constant criticism, belittlement, or ignoring their emotional needs. 
  • Sexual abuse involves any sexual activity with a child, including touching, exposure, or forcing a child to participate in sexual acts. 
  • Neglect involves failing to provide adequate care, such as failing to provide adequate food, shelter, clothing, or medical care.

Child abuse and neglect can have serious long-term effects on a child’s physical and mental health, as well as their emotional and social development. It is important to report suspected abuse or neglect to the appropriate authorities, such as child protective services or law enforcement, so the child can be protected and receive the help and support they need. Another wise option is to get in touch with a family law attorney in Florida.

What does the Florida Statute say about Child Abuse and Neglect?

Section 827.03 of the Florida Statutes deals with child abuse, child neglect, and aggravated child abuse. To prove child abuse, the State must demonstrate:

  • The defendant either intentionally caused physical or mental injury to the victim, intentionally did something that could have been reasonably expected to cause physical or mental injury, or actively encouraged another person to behave similarly.
  • The victim was under the age of 18.

When a weapon is used or the victim’s injuries are extremely serious, the situation is considered to be aggravated. On the other side of the spectrum, the following factors establish the offense of child neglect:

  • The Defendant failed to provide the care, supervision, and services needed for the victim’s physical or mental health, either intentionally or through culpable negligence, or defendant failed to make a reasonable attempt to protect the victim from such.
  • The Defendant did this in a way that resulted in severe physical injury, long-term incapacity, or disfigurement.
  • The Defendant was a caregiver of the victim.
  • The victim was under the age of 18.

What are the Penalties for Child Abuse Charges in Florida?

Child abuse and neglect are considered felonies in Florida. Child abuse and neglect are regarded as third-degree offenses if there are no aggravating factors. A $5,000 maximum fine and up to 5 years in prison are possible punishments. Penalties for more severe instances of child abuse and neglect will be more severe.

Extreme violence could result in harsher punishments. In other words, you might be subject to higher penalties if the child sustains a serious physical injury, permanent disfigurement, or disability. Florida has the following punishments for child abuse and neglect:

  • Child abuse great bodily harm (1st degree felony), maximum imprisonment of 30 years and a maximum fine of $10,000.
  • Child neglect great bodily harm (2nd degree felony), maximum imprisonment of 15 years and a maximum fine of $10,000.
  • Child neglect without aggravating factors (3rd degree felony), maximum imprisonment of 5 years and a maximum fine of $5,000.
  • Child abuse (3rd degree felony), maximum imprisonment of 5 years and a maximum fine of $5,000.

Depending on the specifics of your case, you may also have to deal with the following:

  • undergoing a thorough investigation
  • maybe being separated from your children
  • enroll in and finish parenting classes

In Florida, you will not be qualified to have your record sealed if you are found guilty of child abuse or granted a withhold of adjudication. Whether you are divorcing or battling for custody of your children, having a criminal record may also impact how these cases turn out and other aspects of your life.

The earlier you hire reputable legal counsel, the more time your attorneys will have to develop a compelling defense for you. Contact a Pensacola child abuse and neglect attorney now.

What are the Effects of Child Abuse and Neglect?

Abuse and neglect in all forms leave lasting scars. While some of these wounds may be physical, emotional wounds can have an adverse influence on a child’s sense of self, their ability to form new relationships, and their capacity to perform well at work, home, and school.

A child who has experienced abuse or neglect may experience:

Difficulty in relationships and a lack of trust

Who can you trust if you can’t trust your parents? Without this foundation, it is exceedingly challenging to learn to trust others or identify those who may be trusted. This may make it challenging to establish connections as an adult. Due to the adult’s lack of understanding of healthy relationships, it may also result in unhealthy relationships.

Core feelings of “worthlessness”

It is quite challenging to go past these core feelings if you were often taught as a child that you are stupid or no good. Because they don’t think they are worth more, abused children may abandon their education as they get older or choose low-paying employment. Due to the stigma and guilt associated with sexual abuse, survivors frequently suffer from a sense of being broken.

Troubles with emotion regulation

Children who have been abused are unable to feel safe. As a result, the emotions are repressed and express themselves unexpectedly. Adult abuse survivors may have unexplainable anxiety, depression, or anger. To dull the uncomfortable feelings, they could turn to drink or drugs.

Why Do I Need a Child Abuse and Neglect Attorney in Pensacola, FL?

There are several reasons why you may need a child abuse and neglect attorney in Pensacola, FL, including:

  • Legal experience: A child abuse and neglect attorney in Pensacola, FL, will have the legal experience necessary to navigate the complex laws and regulations governing child abuse and neglect cases. 
  • Protection of your rights: If you have been accused of child abuse or neglect, a Pensacola attorney can help protect your rights and ensure that you receive fair treatment under the law. 
  • Support and guidance: Having a Pensacola attorney by your side can help you navigate the legal system, provide you with resources and referrals to other professionals, and offer emotional support throughout the process.
  • Advocate for your child: If your child has been the victim of abuse or neglect, a Pensacola attorney can help you advocate for their rights and ensure that they receive the care and support they need. 

Overall, a child abuse and neglect attorney in Pensacola, FL, can be an invaluable resource for anyone dealing with these types of cases. They can provide you with legal experience, protect your rights, offer emotional support, and advocate for your child’s well-being.

Do not hesitate to call our Florida law firm, or get in touch with us through the chat box located at the lower right of our homepage website.

Call our Pensacola Child Abuse and Neglect Attorney Now!

Whether it occurs within or outside of the house, our child abuse and neglect attorney in Pensacola, FL is aware that dealing with child abuse and neglect can be a very difficult situation.

Victims of child abuse and neglect may suffer lifetime impacts, including harm to their well-being. Despite the fact that their physical wounds may heal, victims of traumatic abuse or neglect may suffer from a multitude of long-term effects. Childhood trauma affects the development of the nervous and immune systems, as well as causes emotional and cognitive delays.

Let Brightwell Law PLLC to assist in protecting you or a loved one in order to stop child abuse and neglect. Contact us right away

We also offer the residents of Pensacola, Florida the following services aside from Family Law

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