Child Abuse

Fort Lauderdale Criminal Lawyer

Child abuse is a nationwide problem. The national Center for Child Abuse Information states that 40 children are wounded or killed by gunfire every day in the United States. This problem has urged the Florida legislature to create a multifaceted web of child abuse statutes. Federal criminal law has no comparable set of criminal statutes. In Florida, each circuit court jurisdiction is liable for enforcement of child abuse statutes throughout the State of Florida. These agencies arrest and charge individuals with violations of criminal law under significant Florida criminal statutes. Local criminal defense lawyers in Florida appear in all local criminal courts. Some courts in Broward County are explicitly chosen for prosecution of child abuse and child neglect cases. Similarly Broward County has special units’ aka criminal courts that focus solely on child abuse issues.

Child Abuse Defined

Child abuse is the willful or negligent infliction of harm by depriving a child of essential food clothing and shelter or medical treatment. In Florida the infliction of physical harm, a battery or assault is punishable under Florida criminal law under the relevant battery and assault criminal statutory scheme. The use of a weapon heightens all child abuse charges. The heightening includes use of a weapon (other THAN a firearm), a firearm (which increases the punishment beyond that of use of a weapon), or such careless disregard for the safety of the child which escalates to criminal negligence. Federal criminal law and federal criminal defense attorneys do not commonly take on child abuse cases. For that reason Florida federal criminal courts are infrequently involved in Florida for the enforcement of child abuse and child neglect crimes.

Child Abuse Relating to Drug Crimes

Possession of cocaine, possession of oxycodone, trafficking in cocaine: all these criminal possession and drug possession statutes are heightened if committed in the presence of a child. Child abuse includes exposing a child to cocaine or using cocaine in the company of a child. Driving under the influence with a child in a vehicle is prosecuted in Florida criminal courts throughout Fort Lauderdale, and Miami, as aggravated child abuse. Florida federal criminal courts do not have comparable Florida federal criminal statutes. Domestic violence committed in the company of a child is also prosecuted in Florida criminal courts as child abuse. It can be termed as aggravated child abuse if the child witnesses perilous violence or suffers severe or even moderate psychological abuse.

If you or someone you know is facing child abuse charges do not hesitate, call the law office of Michael Gotlieb today for a free case evaluation.

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