Louis Coleman and Seleta Basinger have been arrested on charges of:
- Aggravated Battery in Georgia
- Criminal Attempt to Commit Murder in Georgia
- Aggravated Assault in Georgia
- First Degree Cruelty to Children in Georgia
Their arrests occurred after their 4 month old baby boy arrived at a hospital in Barrow County with several broken bones. It was determined that the injuries were the result of abuse.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the law behind cruelty to children in today's post as well as the consequences and penalties if convicted.
Cruelty to Children in Georgia
Georgia Law breaks the criminal offense of cruelty to children in Georgia down into three different degrees in O.C.G.A. §16-5-70.
- First Degree Cruelty to Children: 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. First-degree cruelty to children in Georgia is classified as a felony and includes a prison term between five and twenty years.
- Second Degree Cruelty to Children: When a person with criminal negligence causes a child less than 18 years old cruel or excessive physical or mental pain. Second-degree cruelty to children in Georgia is a felony and includes a prison term between one and ten years.
- Third Degree Cruelty to Children: 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. Third-degree cruelty to children in Georgia 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.
Coleman and Basinger are facing substantially more penalties because of the other crimes they have been accused of committing. Georgia Felony Punishments should never be taken lightly as the consequences of these penalties are life-changing.
If you or a loved one has been arrested in Georgia, contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney today.