According to reports out of Richmond County, a 32-year-old man, Armous Peterson, was arrested on charges of first-degree child cruelty yesterday.
He has been accused of hitting a child in the head. Peterson allegedly pushed the nine-year-old boy to the ground and him while at a local library. Police stated that the boy had a cut to on the top of his head, bruises on his face, and cuts on his knees and elbows.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the offense of child cruelty in the state of Georgia.
Cruelty to Children in Georgia
Cruelty to children in Georgia is broken down into three different degrees by the Georgia Code. All three degrees are defined in O.C.G.A. §16-5-70.
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. The penalty for being convicted of first-degree cruelty to children is a prison term between five and twenty years.
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. The penalty for being convicted of second-degree cruelty to children is a prison term between one and ten years.
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. The penalty for being convicted of third-degree cruelty to children can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. The first or second conviction will be treated as a misdemeanor. The punishment will include a period of confinement and a fine. Upon a third or subsequent conviction to cruelty in the third degree, the defendant will be guilty of a felony. The penalty will include a fine between $1,000.00 and $5,000.00 and incarceration between one and three years.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney, I do my best to explain different types of offenses on a regular basis. It is also important for me to note that everyone has a presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact our offices today.