Our client Rafael was facing a felony criminal allegation of Aggravated child abuse in South Florida – which could’ve meant up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000 if he were found guilty.
Rossen Law Firm was hired on the case, and instead of being found guilty of a first-degree Felony, we got Rafael’s charge reduced to a misdemeanor. The charges were reduced to the crime of contributing to the dependency of a minor.
Instead of the potential of spending 30 years in prison, Rafael was only sentenced to 12 months of probation. We were also able to get his Florida criminal record sealed.
What had actually happened was that Rafael was playing a game with his two stepsons. He took a Sterno can (a canned fuel used to heat food in homes and restaurants and when camping) and began to chase the boys around saying it was on fire, and they ran and hid.
Rafael found one stepson and pretended to spill the can on him as part of the game, but then the lid of the can accidentally fell off – Rafael thought the can was empty and had been extinguished. The liquid poured out and burned his stepson’s face and body.
Rafael called 911 immediately and his stepson was transported to the hospital, where he was treated for his burns. The police completed an investigation and after six months, Rafael was arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse for the accident.
Rafael was worried that the court would not believe that he did not want to harm his kids and wouldn’t believe him that it was a complete accident.
Rafael was terrified that he could have to spend 30 years in prison, the maximum sentence for aggravated child abuse in Florida, for his accident.
We knew that the burn was really an accident, and that Rafael would never want to harm his kids.
We had both stepsons testify that Rafael was just playing a game with them and really cared about them. We were also able to prove that Rafael had no intent of harm the children and that he did not meet the standards of aggravated child abuse.
We were able to get the charges dropped to contributing to the dependency of a minor, and now he doesn’t have a felony criminal record.
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Rossen Law Firm