Child Abuse and Child Neglect

CHARGED WITH CHILD ABUSE, AGGRAVATED CHILD ABUSE OR CHILD NEGLECT IN SARASOTA OR MANATEE COUNTY?

Everyday people just like you are arrested and charged with crimes related to child abuse. Often a divorce or custody battles leads to false accusations. Anonymous reports can also trigger child abuse or neglect investigations against parents, grandparents, step-parents, neighbors, and even teachers. A doctor could misdiagnose shaken baby syndrome or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) as child abuse. Bruises and cuts from playing sports can be reported as signs of child abuse.

Often good people are accused of terrible things because of a misunderstanding or lack of facts. If this has happened to you, you need an attorney right now.

HOW TO DEAL WITH CHARGES OF CHILD ABUSE OR CHILD NEGLECT:

  • First, hire a board certified criminal defense lawyer like Mark Zimmerman, who has extensive trial experience and is a specialist in this area of the law. The sooner you begin preparing your defense the stronger your case will be.
  • Do not confront your accuser. This is the biggest mistake most people make. If the accuser is anonymous, don’t try to figure out who reported you. Just focus on your defense. These charges are so serious that you could face prison time if convicted and the state could take your kids away from you.
  • Routine Investigation? There is no such thing when it comes to child abuse. Any time a child welfare investigator or police officer asks you questions or visits your home, you should have a lawyer there. There is NEVER anything “routine” about a child abuse or neglect investigation. Anything they find, anything the child tells them, anything they see, can be used against you.
  • In Florida, child abuse and neglect charges are felonies and come with stiff penalties:
    • Up to 15 years in prison
    • Up to 15 years of probation
    • Up to $10,000 in fines

Let us guide you through a system that can be both frustrating and intimidating. Child abuse allegations will damage your reputation for the rest of your life. Contact Mark Zimmerman at (941) 364-8503 for a free case consultation and find out how to limit the damage to your life and your family.