Under state law, there are three separate levels of child cruelty. They are better known as cruelty in the first, cruelty in the second, and cruelty in the third. The difference in degree for these crimes is massive. Cruelty in the third is even a misdemeanor, whereas cruelty in the first carries up to 20 years in the prison system. Because of the vast difference in consequences for each degree of child cruelty, it is crucial to reach out to a violent crimes attorney who can further explain. Let a Newnan cruelty to children in the first degree assist you today.

Deprivation of Necessary Sustenance

The first thing prosecutors will have to prove to convict someone of cruelty in the first is that the defendant is a parent, guardian, someone supervising the immediate welfare of the child, or having immediate charge or custody of the child. They then must prove that the person willfully deprived the child of necessary sustenance to the extent that the child’s health or well-being is jeopardized.

Any of the alleged conduct must be willful. It cannot be an accident or the result of negligence.

Next, it must be proven that the defendant willfully deprived the child of necessary sustenance. Georgia courts have decided that which supports life — food, victuals, provisions.

Furthermore, to convict someone of cruelty to children in the first under this particular section of the law in Newnan, prosecuting attorneys must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this willful deprivation of necessary sustenance was so extensive that the child’s health or well-being is in jeopardy.

Cruel or Excessive Physical or Mental Pain

The previous cruelty to children provision we discussed was quite narrow and requires a fairly specific set of facts. this particular provision is broader and allows the government, through its prosecutors, more latitude in its prosecutions.

There is less to break down in this portion of the statute. The government must prove two primary elements to convict someone of this crime. 1) The defendant acted maliciously, and 2) the defendant caused cruel or excessive physical or mental pain.

Prosecutors can basically allege that any conduct caused a child cruel or excessive mental or physical pain. At that point, it is up to the jury to determine if the alleged cruelty to the child to the first degree is founded or excessive, as a lawyer in Newnan can further explain. For instance, some jurors could say that the conduct was cruel or excessive and some other jurors could disagree and that would be a legally permissible result. Of course, if not all twelve jurors agree then you cannot be convicted by a jury because the law requires a unanimous verdict.

Penalties for Cruelty to Children in the First Degree

The sentencing range for cruelty in the first degree is five years to 20 years. As far as parole goes, cruelty to children is considered by the Board of Pardons and Parole to be a level VIII crime. What that means is that someone convicted typically must serve between 65 and 90 percent of their sentence.

Of course, the parole board is a mysterious entity and ultimately decisions are up to them. It is impossible to exactly what they will do, but the guidelines they provide the state that a conviction will result in someone serving 65% to 90% of their sentence.

Let a Newnan Cruelty to Children in the First Degree Attorney Assist You

Being convicted of knowingly harming a child can ruin your life, reputation, and career prospects. Do not fight alone. Let a Newnan cruelty to children in the first degree lawyer assist you. You are innocent until proven otherwise and deserve a defense. Call today.