Have you Been Charged with Reckless Abandonment in Georgia?
Parents and guardians have a responsibility to protect children, and when someone abandons a child, that action becomes a crime. All states have some kind of statute that criminalizes abandoning children, but the specifics vary state to state. It is important to know your state laws and Lawson and Berry and their team of Reckless Abandonment Attorneys are here to help.
Georgia Law O.C.G.A. §16-5-72 reads as follows:
A parent, guardian, or other person supervising the welfare of or having immediate charge or custody of a child under the age of one year commits the offense of reckless abandonment of a child when the person willfully and voluntarily physically abandons such child with the intention of severing all parental or custodial duties and responsibilities to such child and leaving such child in a condition which results in the death of such child.
A defendant was found guilty of reckless abandonment of her newborn baby. In the Interest of B.L.M., 228 Ga. App. 664, 1997). A mother gave birth to a baby at her home. She wrapped the baby in a towel, took the child to the kitchen, put her in a trash bag, and placed her on the front porch in the bag. The baby was discovered later on and taken to the hospital, where she died. During the trial, the mother argued that her daughter did not show any signs of life. The doctor that participated in the autopsy of the child said that the child had numerous health problems along with being born eight to ten weeks premature. However, the Court still found that the mother's actions legally resulted in the child's death. Therefore, she was convicted of reckless abandonment.
What Has to be Proven to be Convicted
To be convicted of reckless abandonment, the State must demonstrate that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Also, there must be evidence establishing that the defendant's actions legally resulted in the child's death.
Penalty for a Reckless Abandonment Conviction in Georgia
A person convicted of reckless abandonment will be guilty of a felony and will face a penalty of prison for ten to twenty-five years.
Defenses to Reckless Abandonment
It was an accident: The statute requires that the abandonment is willful and voluntary. Children get injured all the time, and if the injury did not result out of recklessness or gross negligence, then you could have a defense. Accidentally forgetting a child may not rise to the level of reckless abandonment but you could still be charged with another crime such as reckless endangerment.
I wasn't the one who had immediate charge of the child: If you were not the one in charge of the child, then you may have a defense to reckless abandonment. Your Attorney will work with you to demonstrate that you were not the one responsible for the child.
What are not Defenses
Something was wrong with the child, and they weren't going to survive: As in the case of In the Interest of B.L.M., even if the child had health issues or other problems, you could still be found guilty of reckless abandonment. 228 Ga. App. 664, (1997).
Reckless abandonment charges are serious, and you need an Attorney that will work for you. Lawson and Berry and their team of Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyers will help you around the clock and will ensure you receive the best representation. Don’t wait to call and schedule a free consultation. You and your loved ones are at stake.