We know facing a Child Abuse charge or allegation in Fort Lauderdale can feel overwhelming, but the domestic violence attorneys at Rossen Law Firm are here to guide you through the legal process and to defend your rights. Get in touch with an expert South Florida child abuse lawyer to get started.

What is a Child Abuse Crime? Little kid hiding behind teddy bear

Child abuse is an intentional act that causes or has the potential to cause physical or mental injury to any person under 18 years of age. Anyone responsible for a child’s wellbeing, such as parents, guardians, and caretakers, are subject to child abuse law and any relevant criminal child abuse charges in South Florida: FLA. STAT. §827.03 (2019) In Fort Lauderdale, the crime of child abuse can take three forms, including:

  1. The deliberate infliction of physical or mental injury upon a child; or
  2. an intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child; 
  3. or active encouragement of any person to commit an act that results or could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child. (FLA. STAT. § 827.03 – 2019)

Common Child Abuse Crimes

Aggravated Child Abuse:

  • Under Florida law, the offense of child abuse may be enhanced to “aggravated child abuse” where the defendant: Commits an “aggravated battery” on a child; or willfully tortures, maliciously punishes, or knowingly and unlawfully cages a child; or knowingly or willfully abuses a child and in so doing causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child.

Child Neglect:

  • Under Florida law, the crime of Child Neglect occurs where a “caregiver” willfully or negligently fails to take reasonable steps to protect the welfare of a child. Due to the vulnerability of children and their need for protection, child neglect charges are vigorously prosecuted throughout the state of Florida.

Contributing to Child Delinquency:

  • The offense of Contributing to Child Delinquency occurs when a person commits any act which causes, tends to cause, endorses, or contributes to a child becoming a delinquent or dependent child or a child in need of services.

Failure to Report Child Abuse:

  • Failure to Report Child Abuse occurs when a mandatory reporter knowingly and willfully fails to report known or suspected acts of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect to the Florida Abuse Hotline.

Leaving a Child Alone in a Car:

  • The crime of Leaving a Child Alone in a Car occurs when a caregiver leaves a child younger than six-years old unsupervised in a car or motor vehicle for more than 15 minutes.


In Florida, the crime of Child Abuse is a third-degree felony and punishable by up to 5 years in prison, 5 years of probation, and a $5,000 fine if convicted.

If you’re facing a child abuse charge – you’ve come to the right place. Rossen Law Firm has extensive experience providing a compassionate and aggressive defense to child abuse charges.

Facing a child abuse charge is difficult enough. The last thing you need is someone judging you for it. Our firm is a judgment-free zone where your respect and dignity are our top priority.       

Give our Fort Lauderdale lawyers a call if you’re facing a child abuse charge. We’ll listen to your story, discuss the best course of action for you, and see what resources may assist you. One mistake shouldn’t have the power to ruin your life – that’s why we’re here.

Child Abuse Defenses in Fort Lauderdale

  • False Allegations: Sometimes, accusers make allegations that are not true out of spite, jealousy, manipulation, or coercion. If the alleged victim’s accusations are untrue, this could be used as a basis for defense.
  • Parental Privilege: A parent or one standing in loco parentis (such as a teacher) has the right to reasonably discipline a child under their control and authority. This defense only applies when injuries do not go beyond minor bruising as a result of discipline.
  • No Evidence of Harm: Some punishments are considered abuse by the public or neighbors. However, another defense is possible if there is no actual or lasting harm to the child. When the youth does not suffer an injury to their body, the prosecution may have little argument against the parents. The legal defense may effectively argue against child abuse when there is no evidence that the child suffered harm or injury from the discipline.

Contact a South Florida Child Abuse Attorney to Set Up Your Free Strategy Session

We handle child abuse cases of all types. With several years of experience, our expert South Florida child abuse lawyers know how to create a plan to fight your case and protect your freedom.

We offer COMPLIMENTARY strategy sessions so you know how we’ll fight to get the best results for your case. Call today to get started.


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