Like child abuse, child neglect is a felony crime that penalizes not necessarily intentional harm inflicted upon a child, but failure to exercise due care.
Under Florida law, child neglect is defined as:
1. A 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
2. A caregiver's failure to make a reasonable effort to protect a child from abuse, neglect, or exploitation by another person.
Neglect of a child can entail one specific act of negligence or a series of conduct, such as a child who suffers a period of malnutrition or abandonment.
Florida law further states that:
"A 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..."
"A 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..."
Crimes against children are some of the most stigmatizing allegations you can face. The Department of Children and Families (DCF) will likely be alerted and you may risk losing your children.