Aggravated Child Abuse

Criminal Defense Attorney Advocating for Bradenton Residents

Sometimes the Department of Children and Family Services gets involved in a situation involving a troubled child or overly intrusive bystanders. Allegations may be made based on a misinterpretation of events. This can not only be embarrassing but also result in serious prison time if you are not represented by an experienced and aggressive criminal defense lawyer. If you are being investigated for aggravated child abuse, you should call Bradenton child abuse lawyer Will Hanlon at Hanlon Law. He fights aggressively for the rights of the accused.

Charges of Aggravated Child Abuse

Ordinary child abuse involves engaging in intentional acts that could reasonably be anticipated to cause physical or mental harm or actively encouraging someone to perpetrate an act that causes or could reasonably be expected to cause harm to a child. A prosecutor can secure a conviction for aggravated child abuse by proving beyond a reasonable doubt that you perpetrated aggravated battery on a child, you willfully tortured, maliciously punished, or illegally and willfully caged a child, or you willfully or knowingly abused a minor and in doing that caused great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or permanent disability.

What is malicious punishment? Malicious punishment involves intentional, wrongful, and unjustifiable and unexcused punishment. It can be shown by circumstances from which you could conclude that a reasonable parent would not have participated in the harmful actions toward the child for any objective and that the primary goal of participation was to trigger unjustifiable injuries and pain.

If you are charged with aggravated child abuse under Florida Statute section 827.03(1)(a), you will be confronted with the possibility of a first-degree felony sentence. That means that you could be sentenced to a maximum of 30 years in prison or on probation and a $10,000 fine.

You do not need to be a parent of the alleged victim to be charged. In other words, if you commit felony battery on a minor who is not related to you, you could also be charged with aggravated child abuse instead of felony battery. The court is required to sentence you to at least 48 months in prison, unless there are grounds to depart downward.

Although it can be stressful to be charged with aggravated child abuse, there may be defenses that a criminal attorney can raise for you. If you are a parent or standing in the position of a parent, such as a teacher, you have a right to reasonably discipline a child who is under your control. However, in an aggravated battery case, it is likely that there are more than bruises involved, and in that case, it would not be possible to credibly argue parental privilege.

In some cases involving borderline serious injuries, it may be possible to negotiate with the prosecutor to get the charges reduced to a third-degree felony, which occurs when someone knowingly or willfully abuses a minor without causing great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or permanent disability.

All criminal charges must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. That means that every element needs to be shown beyond a reasonable doubt. In some cases, it may be possible to defend against aggravated child abuse charges by raising a reasonable doubt about an element. For example, it may be possible to raise a reasonable doubt that your actions rose to the level of malicious punishment. Or it may be possible to raise a reasonable doubt about the degree of physical injury by showing that there is a doubt about whether you caused permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, or great bodily injury.

In certain situations, an adult needs to defend himself or herself against an out-of-control teenager. If the basis of the aggravated child abuse charge is aggravated battery, it may be possible to argue self-defense or defense of others.

Hire a Bradenton Attorney to Fight a Serious Criminal Charge

Aggravated child abuse is a serious charge. Once you realize that you are being investigated for it, you should consult a tough and experienced lawyer. Our founder, Will Hanlon, has aggressively and knowledgeably represented the accused in the Bradenton area since 1994. You can call Hanlon Law at 941.462.1789 or complete our online form. We also represent people facing charges of other violent crimes, as well as drug crimes, sex crimes, theft crimes, and white collar crimes.