At midnight, our client left his two-year old daughter home alone with the oven on at 450 degrees. The client left the child alone to drive to a fast food restaurant. In route, the police pulled the client over for driving without headlights. The police arrested and charged the client with DUI. The police went to the client’s home and found his two-year old, sleeping daughter with lasagna boiling over inside the 450-degree stove. The State also charged the client with Child Neglect.
Child Neglect in Florida
Neglect in Florida is defined as a caregiver that willingly or negligently fails to take the appropriate reasonable measures in order to protect the well-being of a child. Any child neglect charges in the state of Florida are aggressively prosecuted.
Neglect of a child could constitute as a child that did not have the proper supervision, has inadequate shelter or food, or is neglected from medical assistance or medicine in a time of need.
Penalties for Child Neglect
Penalties for child neglect are steep and considered a felony. A third-degree felony will be charged if there is not any bodily harm done. This will result in a five year prison term, five year probation, and a $5,000.
If bodily harm is done, a second-degree felony will be charged. This will result in a penalty of up to fifteen years in prison, a fifteen year probation period, and a fine of $10,000.
There could be other penalties as well. Some parents have also lost their rights to their children after being charged with child neglect.
While Florida does have criminal child neglect laws, these laws were put into place for those that really have neglected their children. These laws were never intended to punish a parent from a simple mistake that they have made.
Contacting an Attorney
If you or a loved one has been charged with child neglect, it is imperative that you speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. A skilled lawyer will have several defenses under their belts that they can use.
We at Musca Law Firm has many years of experience in the legal field. We take the time to listen to your case and gather all the facts we need for your trial. We have successfully had many of our cases completely dismissed or the judge allowed the charges to be reduced significantly. We offer a free consultation to get started. Call us today to learn more about how Musca Law Firm can help you.
RESULT: The Defense Attorney brought the case before trial. The Attorney proved the Client had full ability to control his vehicle and exposed contradictions in Officer testimony. The Attorney also made evident to the Court that the child was found in sleeping, comfortable and in good health. The Court ruled in the Defense’s favor with NO CONVICTION on the charges of DUI and Child Neglect.