Florida Child Abuse Laws
Florida child abuse laws, like the abuse laws of other states, fall within the Penal Code. The crime is broadly defined to include any type of cruelty inflicted on a child, such as mental abuse, physical abuse, sexual assault or exploitation, and neglect. Charges for physical child abuse often include assault and battery. Child abuse laws also include provisions requiring certain adults with access to children (such as teachers and doctors) to report signs of abuse.
Below, you'll find a general overview of Florida child abuse laws, mandatory reporting requirements, and penalties for failure to report. See Details on State Child Abuse Laws for more general information.
|Code Section||39.202, 205; 39.201; 39.01(2)|
|What Constitutes Abuse||Willful or threatened act resulting in physical, mental, or sexual injury or harm, causing or likely to cause impairment of physical, mental, or emotional health|
|Mandatory Reporting Required By||Physician, mental health professional, spiritual practitioner, school teacher, social worker, law enforcement officer, judge|
|Basis of Report of Abuse/neglect||One who knows or has reasonable cause to suspect neglect, abuse, or abandonment|
|To Whom Reported||Department of Children and Family Services|
|Penalty for Failure to Report or False Reporting||Misdemeanor in 1st degree; if knowingly made false report: felony in 3rd degree|
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Florida criminal attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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