one sad little boy standing near the window

Hearing that you’re facing charges for Child Neglect or Child Endangerment in South Florida can feel scary and devastating, but Rossen Law Firm is here to fight for you and your family’s future. Reach out to our Fort Lauderdale child abuse attorneys to learn more about what we can do for you.

What is a Child Neglect or Child Endangerment Crime in South Florida?

Under state law, the crime of Child Neglect or Child Endangerment 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.

(FLA. STAT. §827.03 – 2019)


As a Fort Lauderdale attorney can explain, ll criminal offenses in South Florida charged as “Neglect of a Child” – including child endangerment- are classified as felonies. Where the neglect or abuse does not result in great bodily harm (or permanent disability or disfigurement), the charge is a third-degree felony, with penalties of up to 5 years in prison or 5 years of probation, and a $5,000 fine.

In cases where great bodily harm occurs, the charge is a second degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison or 15 years probation and a $10,000 fine.

A conviction for neglect or endangerment of a child may also negatively impact or result in a complete loss of parental rights.


If you’re facing a child neglect or child endangerment charge in South Florida – we are here to lend an expert hand and help you through this challenging time with understanding and compassion, not judgement.

Everyone makes mistakes; that’s life. No matter how good you are, smart you are, or how careful you are. We are here to listen, not judge. We’ll fight for your rights and your family’s rights.

Child Neglect & Child Endangerment Defenses

  • 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. Another defense is possible, however, if there is no actual or lasting harm to the child. When the child 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
  • Simple Neglect: The degree of negligence required to sustain a conviction for Child Neglect is as high as that required for the imposition of punitive damages in a civil action; thus simple negligence will not support a Child Neglect conviction.
  • Honest Belief: The defendant was under the reasonable impression that another person was supervising the child.
  • Lack of Intent: One of the most valid forms of defensive strategy is proving a lack of intent to harm the affected child. Some parents use different methods to discipline the youth, and some of these processes are in accordance with religious faiths or methods that the parents’ parents used in the past. Through experience with the same types of punishments, these adults may take the discipline too far in the eyes of the law but not for the parents at home.

Schedule a Free Child Neglect & Child Endangerment Criminal Defense Strategy Session in South Florida 

We handle child neglect cases of all types. We’re ready to hear your story with understanding and compassion. We’re ready to answer any burning questions that we know you will have. 

Contact our Fort Lauderdale office if you’re facing charges for Child Neglect in South Florida. We’ll listen to your story, discuss the best course of action for you, and see what resources may help you. One mistake shouldn’t have the power to destroy your life – and we’ll fight to make sure it doesn’t.

We offer FREE strategy sessions so you know how we’ll work to get the best possible result on your case for you.


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