Cruelty to children is a charge that covers harm caused to children by an adult. This charge has three degrees of severity and can be either a felony or a misdemeanor. The adult charged with cruelty to children is often a parent or guardian. However, any person who was supervising a child at the time of their injury could face this charge. The injury could be either physical or mental. Injuries to children that cause death can result in cruelty to children charges, as well as additional charges.
When charged with cruelty to children, it’s important to hire an experienced Georgia defense lawyer quickly. These charges are serious, and hiring an experienced defense lawyer will give you the best chance of a positive outcome. We have extensive experience Defending those with Cruelty to Children charges that involve Parents and Children, Teachers and Children, Children observing Family Violence, cases involving Punishment of Children, and Deprivation cases.
These cases are very difficult on the family and those involved and take a special type of defense strategy as the victim is required to be a child. Cruelty to Children is often accompanied by additional charges like Aggravated Assault and Battery. Our attorneys are trained and experienced in Defending cases with complex family fact patterns and navigating the issues that arise in Cruelty to Children cases.
Cruelty to Children Law
The cruelty to children law in Georgia includes three different degrees of this crime.
When a parent, guardian, or other person supervising the welfare or having the immediate charge or custody of a child under the age of 18 deprives a child of necessary sustenance to the extent that the child’s health or well-being is jeopardized.
When any person maliciously causes a child under the age of 18 cruel or excessive physical or mental pain
First Degree Penalty
Any person convicted of Cruelty to Children in the First Degree faces a mandatory sentence of 5-20 years in prison. In addition, they could face additional time for any underlying crimes causing physical or mental pain, like Aggravated Assault or Battery.
These charges are life-changing and usually involve prison time if convicted. You need an experienced Defense team to prepare for the Battle ahead. Our attorneys are former prosecutors, so we know how the State will prepare to prove these cases and know the best way to position your case to succeed.
Second Degree Cruelty to Children
When a person through criminal negligence causes a child under the age of 18 cruel or excessive physical or mental pain.
Second Degree Penalty
Any person charged with Cruelty to Children in the Second-Degree faces a felony charge and anywhere from 1-10 years in prison. As with Cruelty to Children in the First Degree, the felony conviction will often result in prison time, and you will be a convicted felon.
There are ways to avoid some of these consequences if you hire an experienced Lawyer. At The Freedom Lawyers, we solve big problems. This is what we do. If you are charged with Cruelty to Children in the Second Degree you need someone who knows the legal system and how to navigate it when you are faced with Cruelty to Children.
Third Degree Cruelty to Children
When a person, who is the primary aggressor, intentionally allows a child under the age of 18 to witness the commission of a forcible felony, battery, or family violence battery; or When a person, who is the primary aggressor, having knowledge that a child under the age of 18 is present and sees or hears the act, commits a forcible felony, battery, or family violence battery.
Cruelty to Children in the 3rd Degree is required, by law, to be accompanied by additional charges. Third-degree Cruelty to Children means the child either witnessed or heard an act of family violence or a forcible felony.
Third Degree Penalty
This charge gets worse every time you are convicted. The first two convictions are misdemeanors, but after the second conviction, every additional conviction is a felony for which you face 1-3 years in prison. Our attorneys are former Domestic Violence Prosecutors who have Prosecuted and Defended countless Cruelty to Children charges in Georgia. When your life’s on the line, our legal experience matters.
Defenses Against Cruelty To Children Charges
There are several viable defenses against cruelty to children charges. One of the most common defenses is simply that the allegations are false. False allegations of child abuse often arise in custody battles. This defense is likely to be effective if there is no evidence that a child suffered excessive mental or physical pain.
The child’s credibility is almost always an issue. As are the documented injuries. If there are no long-lasting injuries to the child, it is very difficult to prove 1st Degree of Cruelty to Children, for example.
Another common defense is that the injury was accidental. Children often injure themselves in accidents, sometimes seriously. However, an accidental injury caused by negligence could still result in a cruelty to children conviction.
Another common defense against cruelty to children charges is a parent’s right to discipline their child. Parents are allowed to use corporal punishments (such as spankings) as long as these punishments do not cause injury. Corporal punishments must be deemed reasonable by the court. There is no statutory definition of “reasonable” in this context. This means that it must be decided by the court.
Ultimately every case is different. That is why it is so important to hire a Criminal Defense Attorney with experience in the courtroom fighting these types of Charges. Contact The Freedom Lawyers now for a Free Consultation so we can start building your customized Cruelty to Children Defense.
A Georgia Defense Lawyer Can Help You Fight Child Cruelty Charges
When you or a loved one have been charged with cruelty to children, it’s important that you hire a Georgia defense lawyer as soon as possible. In fact, it’s a good idea to hire an attorney as soon as you know that you’re being investigated for this crime. This could help you avoid being charged in the first place, which could damage your reputation. The Freedom Lawyers have successfully defended countless clients charged with Cruelty to Children in every degree. We fix big problems. That is what we do.
Contact us now for a free consultation on your child cruelty case.
When a person who is a parent, guardian, or another person responsible for the immediate welfare or custody of a child under the age of one year willfully and voluntarily physically abandons such child with the intention of severing all parental or custodial duties and leaves such child in a condition which results in the death of the child, it is Reckless Abandonment.
A person convicted of Reckless Abandonment commits a felony and faces 10-25 years in prison. These charges require the death of the child, as well as proof of the actual abandonment of the child. The charges require a Creative and thorough Defense. Contact The Freedom Lawyers now so we can start building your Defense to your Reckless Abandonment Charge.
Prohibition against Presence of Children During Manufacture of Methamphetamine
Any person who intentionally causes or permits a child to be present where any person is manufacturing methamphetamine or possessing a chemical substance with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine is guilty of a felony and faces 2-15 years in prison. If the child receives a serious injury as a result, the punishment is increased to 5-20 years.
These charges also normally include Methamphetamine and Controlled Substance allegations. Our attorneys have extensive experience in both types of criminal charges and are uniquely qualified to handle cases involving the intersection of Drugs and Children. Don’t fight the case alone. When your Freedom is at stake, the only choice is to Hire a Freedom Lawyer!