eLaws of Florida

  SECTION 827.03. Abuse, aggravated abuse, and neglect of a child; penalties.  


Latest version.
  • 1(1) 2DEFINITIONS.3-4As used in this section, the term:
    11(a) 12“Aggravated child abuse” occurs when a person:
    191. 20Commits aggravated battery on a child;
    262. 27Willfully tortures, maliciously punishes, or willfully and unlawfully cages a child; or
    393. 40Knowingly or willfully abuses a child and in so doing causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child.
    62(b) 63“Child abuse” means:
    661. 67Intentional infliction of physical or mental injury upon a child;
    772. 78An intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child; or
    973. 98Active encouragement of any person to commit an act that results or could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child.
    124(c) 125“Maliciously” means wrongfully, intentionally, and without legal justification or excuse. Maliciousness may be established by circumstances from which one could conclude that a reasonable parent would not have engaged in the damaging acts toward the child for any valid reason and that the primary purpose of the acts was to cause the victim unjustifiable pain or injury.
    182(d) 183“Mental injury” means injury to the intellectual or psychological capacity of a child as evidenced by a discernible and substantial impairment in the ability of the child to function within the normal range of performance and behavior as supported by expert testimony.
    225(e) 226“Neglect of a child” means:
    2311. 232A caregiver’s failure or omission to provide a child with the care, supervision, and services necessary to maintain the child’s physical and mental health, including, but not limited to, food, nutrition, clothing, shelter, supervision, medicine, and medical services that a prudent person would consider essential for the well-being of the child; or
    2842. 285A caregiver’s failure to make a reasonable effort to protect a child from abuse, neglect, or exploitation by another person.

    305Except as otherwise provided in this section, neglect of a child may be based on repeated conduct or on a single incident or omission that results in, or could reasonably be expected to result in, serious physical or mental injury, or a substantial risk of death, to a child.

    354(2) 355OFFENSES.356-
    357(a) 358A person who commits aggravated child abuse commits a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 377775.082, 378s. 379775.083, 380or s. 382775.084383.
    384(b) 385A person who willfully or by culpable negligence neglects a child and in so doing causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 424775.082, 425s. 426775.083, 427or s. 429775.084430.
    431(c) 432A person who knowingly or willfully abuses a child without causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 466775.082, 467s. 468775.083, 469or s. 471775.084472.
    473(d) 474A person who willfully or by culpable negligence neglects a child without causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 510775.082, 511s. 512775.083, 513or s. 515775.084516.
    517(3) 518EXPERT TESTIMONY.520-
    521(a) 522Except as provided in paragraph (b), a physician may not provide expert testimony in a criminal child abuse case unless the physician is a physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459 or has obtained certification as an expert witness pursuant to s. 565458.3175566.
    567(b) 568A physician may not provide expert testimony in a criminal child abuse case regarding mental injury unless the physician is a physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459 who has completed an accredited residency in psychiatry or has obtained certification as an expert witness pursuant to s. 616458.3175617.
    618(c) 619A psychologist may not give expert testimony in a criminal child abuse case regarding mental injury unless the psychologist is licensed under chapter 490.
    643(d) 644The expert testimony requirements of this subsection apply only to criminal child abuse cases and not to family court or dependency court cases.
History.-s. 1, ch. 4721, 1899; s. 1, ch. 4971, 1901; GS 3236, 3238; RGS 5069, 5071; s. 1, ch. 9331, 1923; CGL 7171, 7173; s. 1, ch. 65-113; s. 1, ch. 70-8; s. 940, ch. 71-136; s. 49, ch. 74-383; s. 30, ch. 75-298; s. 1, ch. 84-238; s. 8, ch. 96-322; s. 16, ch. 99-168; s. 1, ch. 2003-130; s. 9, ch. 2012-155.

Note

Note.-Former s. 828.04.

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