A young mother in Gwinnett County has been arrested after the Division of Family and Children's Services was called to investigate a report made by an employee at a local elementary school.
The employee noticed an injury on an 8-year-old student's back that appeared to have been caused by a belt buckle. Officers confronted the boy's mother, and she admitted to beating her son with a belt after catching him stealing money from her purse.
She has allegedly been arrested for child cruelty in the past, and is now facing more charges.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the law behind cruelty to children in the state of Georgia.
Cruelty to Children in Georgia
Cruelty to Children in Georgia is separated into three different degrees by Georgia Law 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.
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.
If you have been arrested in Georgia, contact our offices today.