Image of attorneys and staff at Brunvand Wise, P.A.

The Strong Defense
You Deserve

Text Us Now

The Facts On Child Neglect And Child Abandonment Laws In Florida

Understanding Florida’s Laws on Child Neglect and Abandonment and How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

In Florida, being accused of child neglect or abandonment is a serious concern, governed by stringent laws designed to protect children. While it’s crucial to understand these laws, it’s equally vital to recognize the importance of having a criminal defense attorney on your side if faced with such allegations.

How a Criminal Attorney Can Assist:

  1. Case Evaluation: An adept attorney can thoroughly assess the evidence, pinpoint weaknesses in the prosecution’s arguments, and guide on the best course of action.
  2. Legal Representation: Navigating the intricate landscape of child neglect and abandonment laws in Florida necessitates expert knowledge. An attorney will represent your interests in court, ensuring all your rights are upheld.
  3. Expert Engagement: Given the importance of expert testimonies in such cases, a criminal attorney can help you enlist the right expert witnesses to bolster your defense.
  4. Mitigation and Negotiation: Depending on the situation, an attorney can engage with the prosecution to potentially reduce charges or advocate for alternative, more lenient penalties.

Understanding the Laws:

The Three Facets of the Law
Florida’s regulations on child neglect and abandonment can be broadly categorized into:

    1. Child abuse
    2. Child neglect
    3. Abandonment

Each of these crimes is treated as felonies, with the exact nature of the penalty contingent on the specific details of the case.

Defining the Role of a Caregiver

Florida law deems a diverse range of adults as caregivers, covering parents, legal custodians, permanent guardians, and adult household members. For those who fall into these categories, understanding your legal obligations is paramount.
Deciphering Child Neglect
Child neglect in Florida is when a caregiver neglects to offer the necessary tools and conditions vital for a child’s mental and physical well-being, such as food, shelter, medicine, and more. The law also encompasses failure to protect a child from possible abuse or neglect by another person. The establishment of neglect can stem from a single act, omission, or a series of such actions.

Grasping Child Abandonment

Florida views child abandonment as unlawfully deserting a child with no intention of returning, particularly in risky scenarios. However, there’s an exemption for parents who leave a newborn (up to one week old) at designated safe places, like a fire station.

Potential Legal Ramifications

Accusations of child neglect can lead to severe legal repercussions, ranging from fines to imprisonment, depending on the degree of the felony and the specific circumstances.

The Significance of Expert Witnesses

In cases of child neglect and abandonment, expert testimonies can be game-changers. Florida has set strict criteria for these expert witnesses, ensuring only qualified professionals can testify in such matters.

If you, or someone you know, are facing accusations related to child neglect or abandonment in Florida, it’s imperative to consult with a skilled criminal attorney immediately. Their expertise can provide the essential legal support and direction during such challenging circumstances.


FindLaw Network