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Child Abuse and Child Neglect


West Palm Beach Child Abuse and Child Neglect Attorney David W. Olson

Child abuse, aggravated abuse and child neglect are serious offenses defined by statute in Florida. These offenses are vigorously prosecuted by the State. A conviction for aggravated child abuse is a first degree felony and can potentially result in a 30 year prison sentence. Unfortunately, in some cases of child abuse, a parent or caregiver may be wrongfully accused. In such instances, the accused party requires an experienced, effective criminal defense lawyer to defend them from potentially devastating charges.

Attorney David W. Olson has more than three decades of experience representing clients accused of the most serious felonies and misdemeanors. Attorney Olson offers a free case review to discuss your options.

Child Abuse

For the State to prove child abuse, two elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The defendant knowingly or willfully or intentionally inflicted physical or mental injury upon the victim, or
  • Committed an intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to the victim, or
  • Actively encouraged another person to commit an act that resulted in or could reasonably have been expected to result in physical or mental injury to the victim, and,
  • The victim was under 18.

Aggravated Child Abuse

To prove aggravated child abuse, the State must prove two elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The defendant committed aggravated battery, or willfully tortured, or maliciously punished or caused great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement to the victim (abbreviated),
  • The victim was under 18.

Child Neglect

Child neglect is the offense of failing to provide the necessary care, supervision and services for the child’s physical and mental health. The statute mentions:

  • Food
  • Nutrition
  • Clothing
  • Shelter
  • Supervision
  • Medicine
  • Medical services

Or, the caregiver can fail to make “a reasonable effort” to protect a child from:

  • Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Exploitation from another person

Defenses Against Child Abuse

There are numerous defenses to these charges. Your attorney will carefully examine the evidence. There are often factual disputes and questions pertaining to the alleged offenses. In some instances the accusations are completely or partially false and a result of marital or relationship discord. Similar to domestic assault and battery cases, child abuse cases are often a result of “she said-he said” arguments. One parent or caregiver may have harmed the victim, blaming the other parent or caregiver.

There are cases in which the victim’s injuries were self-imposed or a result of corroborating with another child or adult in order to target the accused. There may be emotional or financial reasons behind such actions. In other instances the victim’s injuries may have been completely accidental. At any rate, these types of charges require a vigorous defense. Discuss your case with Attorney Olson.

West Palm Beach and South Florida Criminal Defense Attorney David W. Olson

Attorney David Olson represents clients charged with all felonies and misdemeanors. He has a well-deserved reputation as a skillful negotiator, astute trial lawyer and keen problem solver. Many of his cases, particularly those of first-time offenders, have resulted in dismissals. He has been recognized by many of the most prestigious and well-established professional legal organizations, including the following:

Attorney Olson gives his clients the personal attention and time that they deserve and need. He fully understands how important every case is to each client. David is accessible to his clients, returns phone calls and emails promptly and keeps his clients informed of case developments.

David will always pursue the most beneficial resolution possible for your case. This has included favorable plea negotiations, dismissed charges, pretrial diversion programs, probation, community service and other alternatives to incarceration. Of course, every case is unique and the results will depend on the specific circumstances involved.

Attorney Olson represents clients in and around the West Palm Beach area, including Palm Beach County, Boynton Beach, Jupiter, Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Miami-Dade County and throughout South Florida. Spanish speaking clients are welcome. For a free, no-obligation case review, contact The Law Offices of Attorney David W. Olson by filling in the contact form or by calling 561-833-8866.


Florida Statute 827.03 (2015) 
Ch. 16, Florida Standard Jury Instructions

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