Dunwoody, Ga. – A case concerning the owner of a local Dunwoody day care has made headlines the past couple of weeks. The woman has been accused killing an infant who was left in her care in February of this year.
According to reports, she has been charged with cruelty to children and felony murder. She is now facing additional child cruelty charges after investigators have reviewed the video footage from her day care. She has been accused of picking babies up by their legs, throwing them on the floor, and pulling their hair. She has been granted a $200,000 bond and is prohibited from having contact with any children under the age of 10.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney, I will focus today's post on the law behind cruelty to children as it is defined by Georgia Law.
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 accused of committing a criminal offense in the state of Georgia, call our offices now. We can help you with your case today.