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Child Neglect

Sarasota Criminal Defense Attorneys Protecting Your Constitutional Rights

Criminal offenses in the State of Florida are generally split into one of two categories. First, there are offenses that criminalize and punish nonviolent and non-dangerous conduct. Unfortunately, minor drug offenses like possession of cannabis are still criminally punishable in our State and people suffer the consequences of our governments decision to continue prosecuting nonviolent drug offenses every day. Even more ridiculously, people who cannot afford to reinstate their licenses because of hefty traffic fines, accident liability, and child support can face criminal penalties for driving with a suspended license. Criminal offenses like that punish people for being poor, something that the criminal justice system needs to move away from. And our state harshly punishes people that are convicted of crimes like prostitution, even though they are generally victimless crimes.

The second category includes crimes that are morally wrong. These are the types of crime that are put in place to actually punish wrongdoing instead of to generate revenue for the state or to disenfranchise poor people and minorities. Offenses like murder, sexual battery, and theft fall into this category. Society in general has a shared desire to prohibit and punish conduct falling under those offense descriptions. Among those morally wrong criminal offenses are offenses against children. Sexual battery on a minor, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and aggravated child abuse are the types of crimes that are severely punished by our criminal justice system. Child neglect is an offense that punishes harm to children that is caused by negligence rather than purposeful or willful conduct. If you have been charged with or investigated for any type of crime against a child, you should consult with a dedicated Sarasota criminal defense lawyer right away.

Elements of Child Neglect

Child neglect along with several other crimes against children is prohibited by Florida Statute 827.03. The statute makes it a crime to commit child abuse, aggravated child abuse, or child neglect. Child abuse is defined as the intentional infliction of either emotional or mental injury to a child. Aggravated child abuse is the willful torture, malicious punishment or caging of a child. A person can also be charged with aggravated child abuse if the abuse results in great bodily harm to a child. Child abuse and aggravated child abuse are “willful” offenses, which means that prosecutors must prove that the defendant intentionally, rather than negligently caused harm to a child.

Child neglect on the other hand, punishes conduct that is not necessarily willful, making a much broader range of conduct punishable under the criminal law. Child neglect is defined as a caregiver’s (parent or legal guardian) failure or omission to provide a child with necessary care including but not limited to food, nutrition, shelter, clothing, adequate supervision, medicine, and adequate medical care. If the omission or neglect results in harm to a child, the caregiver can be convicted of child neglect. The penalties for this type of offense can be severe and it is treated seriously by judges and prosecutors. If you are charged you should not hesitate to speak to a dedicated Sarasota criminal defense lawyer about your options.

Child neglect can carry significant punishments that can be enhanced depending on the facts of the case. If the alleged neglect results in harm that is not serious to a child, the defendant can be convicted of a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison or probation. If the prosecution proves that great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement happened as a result of the neglect, then the defendant could face second degree felony penalties, maxing out at fifteen years in prison.

Speak to Our Lawyers Today

The attorneys at Hanlon Law will fight zealously for the best outcome for your case. Don’t hesitate to consult with a dedicated Sarasota criminal defense lawyer today at 941.462.1789.

Client Reviews
As a practicing attorney, I was shocked to hear that a family member of mine was alleged to have committed a sex crime. Knowing full well the consequences this type of allegation can have on anyone and their future, I immediately reached out to William Hanlon for help... Jerry
Was on the ball. Remembered names, events, places, situations. Never need to re explain the situation. Keeps in touch through out the entire experience and keeps you feeling safe, comforted and protected. Fights hard. Worth every single penny. Would never settle for anything less than Will. Carrie
I was facing a charge that if convicted would carry two years in prison minimally. Not only was he empathetic and listening to what I had to say but he arranged with the prosecutor for my charges not to be filed under terms of a pre trial investigation. Would highly recommend. Alec
I am very happy for what he did for me. Always there when I needed him. Explained everything well. He Fights for his clients. He got me what I needed. Hes an excellent lawyer. Mutaz
Mr. Hanlon did what no other lawyer could do. Not only did he turn my criminal history into a thing of the past so I could move on, he was a loyal associate. No matter how bad the situation is, he has miraculously cleared me on every charge since he became my lawyer 5 years ago. I have the best lawyer that the legal system has to offer. I have had other really good lawyers try to get my business, but I know that no one can do a better job than William Hanlon. Jesse