Various laws under the state’s criminal code aim to punish people who commit offenses against vulnerable members of society. Prominent among these are the laws that deal with child cruelty. In short, it is a crime to act in a way that allows a child to suffer physical or emotional harm. While this may not involve direct acts of physical violence against a child, the fact remains that cases of this nature are taken very seriously.

If you face charges for harming a minor, a Carrollton child cruelty lawyer is here to help. Seasoned legal counsel can work to explain the state’s laws, evaluate the information that has led police to make an arrest, and develop a defense that can help you overcome these serious accusations in court. Do not leave your future up to chance. Call J. Ryan Brown Law today to get started.

What Does it Mean to Commit a Child Cruelty Offense in Carrollton?

Under state law, there are three degrees of child cruelty charges. While each case of child cruelty is considered serious, the facts of the alleged behavior will determine which version a defendant faces in court.

The Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 16-5-70 provides these three definitions. These three degrees are:

  • Cruelty to children in the first degree involves intentionally and maliciously causing physical or mental harm to a child.
  • Cruelty to children in the second degree involves cases where a person allegedly causes cruel or excessive mental or physical pain through criminal negligence.
  • Cruelty to children in the third degree involves situations where a defendant supposedly allows a child to witness a felony or battery where the defendant was the aggressor. This charge is common as a tag-a-long charge to battery-family violence charges where there is a domestic dispute in front of the children.

A Carrollton attorney can help people better understand these classes of child cruelty charges and what a prosecutor must prove to obtain a conviction.

How Does the Law Punish These Accusations?

The version of the charge under which the case moves forward determines the potential penalties for a conviction. Child cruelty in the third degree is a misdemeanor. This means that convictions cannot result in more than one year in jail. By contrast, second and third-degree charges are felonies. Convictions under either will come with a mandatory minimum prison sentence with maximum terms as long as 20 years for first degree child cruelty and 10 years for second degree child cruelty.

In addition, any accusation of child cruelty will often bring with it bond orders that prevent parents from having contact with their children. A Carrollton attorney can help further explain the potential punishments for a child cruelty conviction and work to fight back against these allegations at every opportunity. Additionally, it may be prudent for the lawyer to file a motion to modify bond conditions if there are restrictive bond conditions keeping the suspect separated from their family.

Trust Your Case to a Carrollton Child Cruelty Attorney

Accusations of cruelty towards children are not taken lightly in Georgia. It is easy to assume that these cases are mostly filed against parents, but in reality, any person that has contact with a child can face criminal charges if they supposedly cause that child harm. All degrees of these accusations are serious, with the most severe examples seeing a person spend multiple years in prison and potentially losing contact or custody of their children.

If this is your experience, a Carrollton child cruelty lawyer is the call to make. An attorney is prepared to explain how the law works, evaluate the evidence that led to your arrest, and develop a defense that helps defeat these allegations before or during trial. Contact our firm today to discover your legal options.

J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC

J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC