Children get injured often, and commonly when these injuries are observed abuse is suspected. In Florida, every year there are literally thousands of calls into the Child Abuse Hotline, and by law every one of these calls must be investigated.
Once Child Protection Investigators are on a case, they tend to lean on the side of caution and refer any suspicious injuries to the State Attorney’s Office for further investigation. The result is hundreds of child abuse crimes filed every year in Florida.
Dealing With Allegations of Child Abuse
Spanking is legal in Florida, but the line between accepted discipline and abuse is subjective and fuzzy. The difference may depend on just how red the mark made from spanking appears when the investigator inspects it. If a person is suspected of inflicting bodily harm on a child he or she may be charged with Aggravated Child Abuse, a first degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in Florida State Prison. If there is suspected abuse without any physical injury, there may be charges of simple child abuse, a third degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in Florida State Prison.
Child Neglect/Culpable Negligence
is a potential charge when a child is suspected of being willfully neglected. If the neglect results in bodily injury the accused may be charge with a second degree felony, which is punishable with up to 15 years in Florida State Prison. If there is suspected neglect with no physical harm, the charge may be simple Child Neglect, a third degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in Florida State Prison.
The Attorney Your Child Abuse Case Demands
Edward Panzica has been defending child abuse cases for more than a quarter century, and is familiar with how these cases progress from the investigative stages through the prosecution stages. He understands how these charges can arise as much from political pressure and media scrutiny as from actual evidence, and will adjust his representation accordingly.