People who are facing charges child cruelty face an uphill battle in court. Not only could a criminal conviction result in a prison sentence, but it could also jeopardize your ability to continue to spend time with your loved ones. With these high stakes, it is essential that you approach the case from a position of strength.
Hiring a Brunswick child cruelty lawyer to handle your case can be a step in the right direction. They stand by your side to explain the state’s laws and what a prosecutor must prove. A defense attorney fights to protect not just your freedom but possibly your ability to continue to parent your child.
The Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 16-5-70 defines the offense of cruelty to children. It further separates this offense into three subcategories. Each of these categories describes a supposed offense and potential penalty.
The basic form of child endangerment charge is cruelty to minors in the third degree. This does not involve direct physical harm, but rather allowing or forcing a child to witness a felony, battery, or another form of family violence. The emotional harm that may result from this incident allows prosecutors to pursue misdemeanor-level charges against a defendant. This charge is commonly brought by prosecutors when there is a domestic violence incident in front of a child or children.
Second-degree child cruelty charges are brought when a person causes cruel or excessive physical or mental pain because of their negligence. A second-degree conviction is a felony, and punishments can include a prison sentence of one to ten years.
The most serious child cruelty charge in Brunswick is first-degree child cruelty. A person commits 1st-degree child cruelty if they maliciously cause a child cruel or excessive physical or mental pain or deprive a child of the necessary sustenance to the extent the child’s well-being is jeopardized. Convictions here bring a prison sentence of between five and 20 years.
A skilled Brunswick attorney works to defend people against any sort of allegation involving cruelty to children.
While the criminal punishments for convictions under the state’s laws for cruelty to minors are harsh, they may not be the only cause for concern after an arrest. Especially if the allegations involve an individual’s own kids, a mere arrest may have significant consequences.
This is because of the court’s ability to impose restrictive bond conditions following an arrest. When setting bond, the court may order a defendant to cease all contact with an alleged victim for the length of the case. If the case results in a conviction, these orders may remain in effect for the entire sentence, which could be decades. This could require a person to move out of a home, give up a relationship with their spouse, or their child.
Another potential advantage to hiring a Brunswick attorney familiar with child safety cases is their ability to contest the necessity of these orders. A successful defense could see a person awaiting the resolution of their case in the presence of their families.
Every moment that passes after an arrest that alleges cruelty to children is critical. Courts have the power to enact orders that limit your contact with the alleged victims and may force you to move out of a home. It is also vital to collect evidence about the supposed incident that may help to defeat allegations of criminal activity under the state’s laws about cruelty to children.
Talking with a Brunswick child cruelty lawyer now lets them get to work helping you. They can fight back not only against the criminal charges at the core of the case but also against the need for protective orders that limit your freedom. Speak with our legal team now to learn more.
J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC
J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC