CHILD ABUSE LAWS IN FLORIDA
Child Abuse is an awful crime that occurs within families all across Florida, our country and this world. Child abuse can even occur amongst strangers via sexual or physical abuse and amongst family friends as well. Child abuse is defined as the willful or threatened act resulting in physical, mental, or sexual injury or harm, which causes or is likely to cause impairment of an individual’s physical, mental, or emotional health.
The lawyers at the Fort Lauderdale Law Firm of Berman & Tsombanakis LLC., have handled child abuse cases on both the civil and criminal level. Our cases have included major felony cases involving abuse to cases involving the Department of Children’s and Families that were false allegations against our clients. We have experience with and have successfully handled Restrainer Order/Temporary and Permanent Injunction cases as well. We represent clients all over Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties.
Many cases of child abuse go unreported. Those cases that are reported occur when the police are called to the home for battery offenses or neglect of a child. Some occur if a child goes to school with marks on their bodies or appear to be extremely depressed. Child Abuse cases Under Florida Law or any act of abuse must be reported to the Department of Children and Family Services. Also, mandatory reporting is required on behalf of any physician, mental health professional, spiritual practitioner, teacher, social worker, law enforcement officer or judge, who may have knowledge of any information concerning said abuse.
According to a 2011 report by the Florida Department of Children and Families, 130 Florida kids died because of child abuse or neglect in Florida. The study found in part that even adults in there mid 30s have severe issues due to child abuse or neglect. This study was based upon five year old victims of abuse or neglect. Additional studies have found, that counseling from a young age and even throughout a victim’s life aids in the individual’s healing and helps with scars.
The Child Abuse Death Review Committee, stated that most of the deaths could have been prevented. The study found that regardless of the cause of death, i.e., drowning, suffocation or shaking, the majority of the victims were four years old and under. Former Representative Dick Batchelor, who conducted the study, stated “that this is everyone’s problem because many, who survive the abuse, grow to become abusers or criminals”. Thus creating issues that are continued and passed down from one generation to the next, unless there is intervention.
FLORIDA’S NEW CHILD ABUSE LAWS
Florida’s new child-abuse-reporting law, which was passed in the wake of the Penn State scandal, is being called the nation’s toughest law on child abuse. Its penalties could have severe consequences for both our state universities and colleges, as well as in ordinary citizens. Any University or College that knowingly and willfully fails to report suspected child abuse, abandonment or neglect, or if they aid in preventing another person from doing so, they will face a fine up to $1 million dollars for each incident of abuse. Also, individuals who fail to report abuse and neglect face felony prosecution and fines up to $5,000 for said offenses.
If you or a family member have been arrested for child abuse or any crime related to child abuse anywhere in Broward County, Miami-Dade County, or Palm Beach County, please email or call one of the lawyers at the Criminal Defense Law Firm of Berman & Tsombanakis LLC. at (954) 764-6099 or (954) 728-8885. We will be happy to discuss your case with you at length and chart the best course of action and put forth the best and most aggressive legal defense.