Charges that allege child cruelty can have severe consequences in Palmetto. These allegations can often accompany other charges that can range in severity from misdemeanors to felonies. Because of this, it is important to approach child cruelty carefully, addressing both the child cruelty charges and any other charges that may accompany them.
A Palmetto child cruelty lawyer works to create powerful defenses against these serious allegations. Whether your case involves a supposed incident of direct violence against a child or accuses you of placing a child in danger, a diligent criminal defense attorney could help to protect your rights during all court hearings.
The offense of cruelty to children encompasses a range of behaviors that expose children to violence or the threat of harm. There are three levels of this offense under state law.
The Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 16-5-70 contains all three of these examples. It states that a person commits cruelty to children in the third degree when they allow or force a child to observe a felony or other act of violence against a family member. Charges under this law are misdemeanors that can carry a jail sentence of up to twelve months in the county jail.
Cruelty to children in the second degree describes incidents where someone, through negligence, allows a child to experience excessive or cruel physical pain. Many times we see this crime charged where someone is accused of not providing a child with adequate sustenance or care. This offense is a felony that can result in a prison sentence of between one to ten years.
The most serious charge is cruelty to children in the first degree. These instances require the state to allege that someone maliciously caused a child under 18 cruel or excessive mental or physical pain. These felonies can bring prison terms as long as 20 years. A Palmetto child cruelty attorney could explain the specific charges you are facing in more detail and work with you to build your defense accordingly.
No two child endangerment charges are exactly the same. In addition, the version of the statute a prosecutor uses changes the facts they must prove in court. As a result, very few defenses against these charges will be alike.
For example, it can be a defense against a third-degree cruelty to children charge that a child was not present and did not witness what the state says they witnessed. At the same time, a first-degree case could hinge upon whether a caretaker intended to cause harm to the kids involved in the incident. Effective defenses against these charges could aim to contest the core facts of the case or argue that the charges brought by a prosecutor are too severe for the situation at hand. Talking with a knowledgeable child endangerment lawyer in Palmetto immediately allows them to assess your case and form a tailored defense.
Charges that allege child cruelty in Palmetto can mean many things. For some, this involves allowing a child to witness a crime. For others, it can mean charges that allege the intentional infliction of serious physical or emotional harm. Still other cases can involve situations where negligence places a child in harm’s way.
A Palmetto child cruelty lawyer is ready to help you no matter the exact nature of your charges. They work to explain your rights under the law, evaluate the prosecutor’s claims, and craft a defense that looks to create reasonable doubt about these allegations. Speak with an attorney now to get started.
J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC
J. Ryan Brown Law, LLC