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West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer > West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer > West Palm Beach Abuse & Neglect Lawyer

West Palm Beach Abuse & Neglect Lawyer

Abuse and/or Neglect of a child or of the elderly can constitute a criminal offense.  Abuse requires the intentional infliction of injury where as neglect is the failure or omission to provide proper care.  Where the abuse or neglect result in serious injury, the government can increase the severity of the crime charged.  Simple abuse or neglect is punishable by up to 5 years in prison.  When the crimes become aggravated, the punishment increases to as much as 30 years in prison, contact our experienced West Palm Beach abuse & neglect lawyers today.

Florida Abuse & Neglect Statute

Florida Statute, 827.03 Abuse and Neglect

(1) “Child abuse” means:
(a) Intentional infliction of physical or mental injury upon a child;
(b) An intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child; or
(c) 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.
A person who knowingly or willfully abuses a child without causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(2) “Aggravated child abuse” occurs when a person:
(a) Commits aggravated battery on a child;
(b) Willfully tortures, maliciously punishes, or willfully and unlawfully cages a child; or
(c) Knowingly or willfully abuses a child and in so doing causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child.
A person who commits aggravated child abuse commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(3)(a) “Neglect of a child” means:
1. 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
2. A caregiver’s failure to make a reasonable effort to protect a child from abuse, neglect, or exploitation by another person.
Neglect of a child may 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.
(b) A person who willfully or by culpable negligence neglects a child and in so doing causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(c) A person who willfully or by culpable negligence neglects a child without causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(4) For purposes of this section, “maliciously” means wrongfully, intentionally, and without legal justification or excuse. Maliciousness may be established by circumstances from which one could conclude that a reasonable parent would not have engaged in the damaging acts toward the child for any valid reason and that the primary purpose of the acts was to cause the victim unjustifiable pain or injury.

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