Child Abuse

Many child abuse, neglect or abandonment investigations in Broward County, FL, begin with a call to the child abuse hotline. The call to the hotline will trigger a referral to the child protective investigative agency in the Department of Children and Family Services (DCF) district where the child is presently residing.

All of Broward County is including within District 10. In those cases, the Broward County Sheriff's Office (BSO) is given the task of conducting all child protection investigations into allegations of abuse, neglect or abandonment. Each year, the Broward County Sheriff's Office receives more than 10,000 referrals to the hotline each year.

Even for a first offense, child abuse is not typically eligible for any kind of Felony Pre-Trial Intervention diversion program usually offered for a first time offender in Broward County by the State Attorney's Office.

Attorneys for Child Abuse in Broward County, FL

If you are suspected of child abuse or neglect, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Bacchus Law Firm in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Our attorneys are experienced mounting an aggressive defense against any crime of violence including child neglect, child abuse, or aggravated child abuse.

Contact us to find out about the charges pending against you, the potential penalties that can be imposed, and the best ways to fight the case for an outright dismissal. Call Bacchus Law Firm today.

Types of Child Abuse Crimes in Florida

The most common types of child abuse crimes in Florida include the following offenses: 

  • Child Abuse under § 827.03(2)(c), Fla. Stat.
  • Aggravated Child Abuse under § 827.03(2)(a), Fla. Stat.
  • Failure to Provide Financial Support under § 827.06, Fla. Stat.
  • Contributing to Child Delinquency or Dependency or to Child in Need of Services under § 827.04(1), Fla. Stat.
  • Contributing to Child Dependency, Person 21 or Older Impregnating Child Under 16 as provided in § 827.04(3), Fla. Stat.
  • Neglect Of A Child under § 827.03 (2)(d), Fla. Stat. (Without Great Bodily Harm, Permanent Disability, Or Permanent Disfigurement)
  • Neglect Of A Child under § 827.03(2)(b), Fla. Stat. (Great Bodily Harm, Permanent Disability, Or Permanent Disfigurement)
  • Leaving a Child Unattended or Unsupervised in a Motor Vehicle § 316.6135, Fla. Stat.

Reports of Child Abuse or Neglect in Broward County, FL

Once a report of child abuse is referred to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office child protective investigations unit, the investigation begins immediately, especially when the harm or threatened harm is great or where the victim is particularly vulnerable.

Florida law requires the investigation to be concluded within sixty (60) days as provided in Florida Statute Section 39.301(14).

Although anyone can make a call to the hotline if they know or has reasonable cause to suspect that a child is being abused, neglected or abandoned by a parent, legal custodian, caregiver, or other person responsible for the child’s welfare, some professionals are legally required to report.

Professionals Requires to Report Child Abuse

Chapter 30 specifies the professionals that are required to report instances of abandonment, neglect or abuse of a child including:

  1. judges;
  2. law enforcement officers;
  3. social workers, daycare workers, foster care, residential care or institutional workers;
  4. school teachers and other school employees;
  5. spiritual healers;
  6. mental health and health care professionals; and
  7. physicians, nurses, chiropractors, and other hospital personnel.

If one of these professionals fails to report such abuse, the offense is punishable as a misdemeanor. If anyone deliberately makes a false report of abandonment, neglect or abuse of a child, that is also a crime that is punishable as a third-degree felony.

Such prosecutions for deliberately making a false report are rare because anyone who makes a good faith attempt to make a report is immune from any civil or criminal liability.

This article was last updated on Thursday, November 9, 2017.