child abuse charges

Child abuse is an offense against the most vulnerable members of our society, and one that often goes unnoticed; as the victims internalize their anguish as they move into adulthood. Child abuse cases are among the most difficult to navigate, and regardless of where a person falls in a case, exceptional legal representation is so important to help navigate the hyperbole and establish the facts for the sake of protecting the innocent.

The attorneys at Smith & Eulo Law Firm are experienced legal advocates in the field of child abuse law, and can help forge the pathway to the truth, and exact justice for the victims.

Child Abuse – What it Is, What It Isn’t

Child abuse is defined as serious physical or emotional harm to an individual under the age of 18 whether through action, or failure to act. Child abuse can manifest in many forms; neglect, violence, sexual exploitation, and emotional abuse. Where one form of abuse is detected, there are likely to be other instances of abuse present in the household as well. 

Examples of child abuse that results in the non-accidental physical injury of a child:

  • Punching
  • Kicking
  • Shaking
  • Throwing
  • Slapping
  • Burning

Examples of child abuse that might interfere with the mental or emotional well-being of a child:

  • Vulgar or obscene language, regardless of whether its directed toward the child or not
  • Shouting or screaming at the child
  • Frightening the child
  • Calling the child names
  • Ridiculing or degrading the child in a public or a private setting

Any sexual contact between an adult and a child is considered sexual abuse of a child. Examples include:

  • Any form sexual exhibition of a child
  • Viewing sexually explicit material in front of a child or showing any such material to children
  • Any sort of explicit sexual behavior in the presence of a child
  • Any involvement of a child in sexual activity 

Gross neglect of a child is considered child abuse. Examples include:

  • Inadequate or a lack of supervision
  • A lack of adequate housing or housing that is considered unsafe
  • Inadequate food or clothing
  • A failure to provide adequate medical care
  • Poor sanitation and hygiene 

It should be noted that there is a process necessary to establish abuse or an abusive household. It is unlikely that a household would be investigated solely for an unkempt or cluttered home, for instance. There must be an imminent hazard to the child or children for such action to be taken.

Penalties for Child Abuse

child abuse penaltiesThe punishment for child abuse varies according the offense, and the severity of the harm to the child. Factors that determine whether the charges are a civil court matter or grounds for a criminal investigation include the level of abuse or neglect, and the level of impact physically or emotionally.  It is always important to have expert legal representation in cases involving child abuse. 

Laws can vary from state to state as can penalties for similar infractions. Because of the level of complexity in every child abuse case, an attorney who has a specialized understanding of the specifics of child abuse law should always be consulted as early in the process as possible.

Penalties can include:

  • Fines
  • Probation
  • Incarceration
  • Inclusion on sex offender databases
  • Other legal repercussions; limited visitation, injunctions, court mandated therapy, and removal of parental rights

Let Smith and Eulo Protect You, and Your Rights

If you or someone you know has suffered or is suffering the effects of child abuse, there is no time to waste. Contact Smith and Eulo now, and let our team of experienced child abuse lawyers bring our expertise to bear for you. We will examine the details of the case, and use our years of knowledge in the field of child abuse law to protect the innocent, and bring just to those who would prey upon them.

Call Smith & Eulo today for a no cost consultation.

In addition to our two Orlando, FL locations we also have locations in: Kissimmee, Sanford, Melbourne, Daytona Beach, Ocala, Lakeland, Tampa, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Miami, Jacksonville. Give us a call today for your Free Consultation, we have payment plans available.

*Additional Orlando Florida & Orange County Legal Resources