DeKalb County officers arrested both a man and a woman after what ultimately was the alleged fatal beating of their one-year-old son. According to reports, the boy died after being beaten in the head, chest, arms, and legs.
The man allegedly confessed to police that he beat the toddler for an estimated three hours after using drugs. The Division of Family and Children Services had no history on the man in Georgia, but he apparently has a record with protective child services in Florida.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I'd like to focus on the offenses of first and second degree cruelty to children in Georgia, since that is all the couple has been charged with as of right now.
Cruelty to Children in Georgia
Georgia Law divides cruelty to children in Georgia into separate degrees.
The Georgia Code defines first-degree cruelty to children as:
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, or when a person maliciously causes a child under the age of 18 cruel or excessive physical or mental pain. O.C.G.A. §16-5-70 (a)-(b).
A conviction for cruelty to children in the first degree is classified as a felony in Georgia. The penalty for conviction is a prison sentence between five and twenty years.
The Georgia Code defines second-degree cruelty to children as:
When a person with criminal negligence causes a child less than 18 years old cruel or excessive physical or mental pain. O.C.G.A. §16-5-70(c).
A conviction for cruelty to children in the second degree is also classified as a felony in Georgia. The penalty for conviction is a prison sentence between five to ten years.
Crimes involving children have extremely negative connotations, and it may seem impossible or futile to fight the charge. A charge, however, is not the same as a conviction.
No one should be automatically assumed guilty just because they have been accused of committing a crime in the state of Georgia. If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime in Georgia, contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney today.
There are Georgia Criminal Defenses that may apply to your case. Contact us now.