Child Abuse

Miami Child Abuse Defense Lawyer

Accused of Child Abuse in Miami-Dade County, FL?

Child abuse is a deeply concerning issue that can have far-reaching consequences for both the victim and the accused. Not only do you face criminal penalties (jail time, fines, counseling and more) but you also may lose custody of your child or children or have a restraining order or order of protection issued against you that prohibits you from coming in contact with your child. The social stigma associated with a person who has been accused of child abuse can also greatly impact your reputation, your job and your relationships.

In the state of Florida, child abuse and neglect are taken very seriously, and individuals facing such charges require strong legal representation to navigate the complex legal landscape. At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., we are at the forefront of defending against child abuse charges in Miami, FL. With a deep understanding of the laws, defenses, and potential consequences, our team provides essential support to those accused of child abuse and neglect.

Our Miami child abuse defense attorney who is experienced in dealing with child abuse cases is your best bet if you have been accused of physically, emotionally or physically abusing a child. With a capable attorney on your side, you have the chance to avoid formal charges altogether. If charges have already been filed, we may be able to negotiate a lesser charge or litigate your case in court and win.

Florida Definitions of Child Abuse & Neglect

Florida Statute 827.03 defines child abuse as any intentional act that results in physical or mental injury to a child, or any intentional act that poses a serious threat of physical or mental injury to a child. Neglect, on the other hand, involves a caregiver's failure to provide a child with the necessary care, supervision, and services needed for the child's physical and mental well-being.

What is “Mental Injury”?

F.S. 827.03(d) defines mental injury as “injury to the intellectual or psychological capacity of a child as evidenced by a discernible and substantial impairment in the ability of the child to function within the normal range of performance and behavior as supported by expert testimony.”

Types of Child Abuse

Child abuse in Florida encompasses various forms, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and exploitation.

  • Physical abuse involves inflicting bodily harm on a child, while emotional abuse refers to psychological harm that impairs a child's emotional development.
  • Sexual abuse involves any sexual activity involving a child, even if the child consents due to their age.
  • Exploitation involves using a child for commercial purposes, such as child pornography or prostitution.

Types of Child Neglect

Neglect can be categorized as physical neglect, educational neglect, emotional neglect, and medical neglect.

  • Physical neglect occurs when a child's basic needs for shelter, food, clothing, and medical care are not met.
  • Educational neglect involves failing to provide a child with proper schooling or special education services if needed.
  • Emotional neglect pertains to a lack of emotional support and nurturing, which is vital for a child's healthy development.
  • Medical neglect involves not seeking medical attention for a child's known health problems.

Elements of Child Abuse in Florida

To secure a conviction for child abuse in Florida, the prosecution must prove certain elements beyond a reasonable doubt. These typically include demonstrating that the accused intentionally caused harm or posed a credible threat of harm to the child. Intent plays a crucial role, as a mistake or accident may not be sufficient to establish guilt. This is where the expertise of our Miami child abuse defense attorneys from Hager & Schwartz, P.A. becomes invaluable, as they analyze the facts of each case to build a strong defense.

Child Abuse and Neglect Penalties in Florida

Child abuse and neglect convictions can lead to severe penalties, including imprisonment, fines, probation, mandatory counseling or therapy, and the potential loss of parental rights. The specific penalties depend on the nature and severity of the abuse, as well as the criminal history of the accused. Child abuse cases can lead to lengthy prison sentences, particularly for cases involving severe physical harm, sexual abuse, or repeated offenses.

Collateral Consequences of a Child Abuse Conviction

Aside from legal penalties, a child abuse conviction can have lasting collateral consequences. These may include a tarnished reputation, difficulty finding employment, loss of custody or visitation rights, and restricted access to certain professions. Additionally, individuals convicted of child abuse may face social isolation and stigma, which can have a significant impact on their mental and emotional well-being.

Defenses to Child Abuse Charges in FL

The Miami child abuse defense attorneys at Hager & Schwartz, P.A. are former Broward County and Miami-Dade County state prosecutors who have taken on thousands of cases in their careers, litigating hundreds of those cases in court. Our team is experienced in crafting effective defenses tailored to each client's unique circumstances.

Common defenses to child abuse charges include:

  • False Accusations: Sometimes, individuals are wrongly accused due to misunderstandings, personal vendettas, or ulterior motives. An experienced attorney can help uncover the truth behind the accusations.
  • Lack of Intent: To secure a conviction, the prosecution must prove that the accused acted with intent. If the action was accidental or unintentional, this defense can be crucial.
  • Parental Discipline: There's a fine line between discipline and abuse. A defense may argue that the actions were within the realm of reasonable parental discipline.
  • Mistaken Identity: In some cases, the wrong person may be accused of abuse due to mistaken identity. Providing alibis and evidence of one's whereabouts can support this defense.
  • Evidence Suppression: If evidence was obtained through unconstitutional or improper means, it may be possible to suppress that evidence, weakening the prosecution's case.
  • Self-Defense: In cases where the accused's actions were in response to the child's aggression or violence, self-defense can be a valid defense strategy.
  • Mental State: If the accused had a mental health condition that impaired their ability to understand the consequences of their actions, this can be a viable defense.

In the face of child abuse charges, securing experienced legal representation is paramount. Hager & Schwartz, P.A. is dedicated to advocating for their clients' rights and crafting robust defenses that take into account the nuances of each case. Through careful analysis, negotiation, and litigation, they strive to achieve the best possible outcome for individuals facing child abuse accusations in Miami, FL.

Get the Defense You Need for Your Child Abuse Case in Miami

Regardless of the charges that are brought against you, you have rights under the U.S. Constitution. You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to an attorney. You are innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately, in the face of disturbing child abuse accusations, law enforcement and a jury may neglect these rights. You may be treated as though you are already guilty, and if you do not have a defense attorney to protect your rights, you may be found guilty in court for a crime that you did not commit. Don't take a chance with your rights and your future.

If you are looking for a child abuse defense lawyer in Miami, FL who will do whatever it takes to protect your rights and defend your case, look no further than the aggressive team at Hager & Schwartz. Whether you have been accused of domestic violence, physical abuse, spousal abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, physical abuse or sexual abuse, a defense lawyer at our firm can offer you an immediate case evaluation to see how we can help you.

Contact a Miami child abuse defense lawyer at our firm today for the legal assistance that you deserve.

A Defense Firm With a Winning Record

read a Few of Our Case Results
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Our Client Success Stories

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    “I ​thoroughly recommend ​Brett Schwartz ​as a defense attorney​. He worked tirelessly and relentlessly to get my case dropped even before it went to trial. He succeeded, although the odds were heavily stacked against us. Thanks to ​our overcrowded​ justice system, the entire ordeal took two months, ​and ​was the most stressful experience of my ...”

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    “We worked with Brett on a domestic violence charge. He was the third lawyer we went to and we FINALLY got the result we desired. His knowledge of the law, the system and straightforwardness are beyond impressive. He "tells it like it is", but he knows how to get the job done. In our case, we were stuck in traffic and he had won before we even got ...”

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