Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Atlanta Man Arrested for Cruelty to Children After Toddler Shoots Himself

Posted by Richard Lawson | Aug 09, 2020 | 0 Comments

Fulton County Courthouse

Atlanta, Ga. - According to reports out of Atlanta, a toddler is fighting for his life after shooting himself in the head after finding a loaded gun in his home.

The boyfriend of the toddler's mother has been arrested on charges of reckless conduct, cruelty to children, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. It is not clear to investigators right now just how the child found the weapon.

As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the law behind the offense of cruelty to children.

Cruelty to Children in Georgia

O.C.G.A. § 16-5-70 is the statute that outlines the three different degrees of cruelty to children in Georgia.

First-degree cruelty to children occurs when a parent, guardian, or other person supervising a child under the age of 18 willfully deprives the child of necessary sustenance to the extent that the child's well-being is jeopardized. In addition, cruelty to children in the first degree includes when a person maliciously causes a child under the age of 18 cruel or excessive physical or mental pain.

Second-degree cruelty to children occurs when a person with criminal negligence causes a child less than 18 years old cruel or excessive physical or mental pain.

Third-degree cruelty to children occurs when either a person, who is the primary aggressor, intentionally allows a child under the age of 18 to witness the commission of a forcible felony, battery, or family violence battery; or a person, who is the primary aggressor, having knowledge that a child under the age of 18 is present and sees or hears the act, commits a forcible felony, battery, or family violence battery.

Cruelty to children is considered a felony in Georgia. The penalty can include up to twenty years in prison. The only exception is with third-degree child cruelty - a judge has the discretion with this degree to charge it as a misdemeanor instead of a felony.

Practice Note

Cruelty to children in any degree is a serious charge and can have detrimental effects on a person's life if he or she is convicted.

Call our offices today if you have been arrested in the state of Georgia.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Richard Lawson has devoted his entire career to DUI Defense and Criminal Defense. As a former Prosecutor he knows both sides of your case. Put his experience to work for you. In DUI cases, you only have 30 days to protect your right to drive. Call now for immediate attention. We are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

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