Highly Rated and Experienced Florida Child Abuse Defense Lawyers

  • Shaken Baby Syndrome Defense
  • Child Neglect Defense
  • Child Abuse Defense
  • Child Sexual Abuse Defense


Child abuse allegations can be stated in terms of sexual abuse or physical abuse. For allegations of sexual contact or sexual abuse please see the section of this website entitled sex offenses, which includes information on sex offenses regarding children.

Child abuse, under Florida statutes, is defined as the intentional infliction of physical or mental injury upon a child or an intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child, or the active encouragement of any person to commit an act that results in or could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child.

Child abuse also includes child neglect. A caregiver’s failure to provide a child with care, supervision and services necessary to maintain the child’s physical and mental health including such things as food, nutrition, clothing, shelter, medicine, and other things that a prudent person would consider essential for the well-being of the child or the failure of the caregiver to protect a child from abuse or neglect may constitute child neglect. The caregiver does not have to be a parent.

Aggravated child abuse occurs when a person willfully tortures, maliciously punishes, or unlawfully cages a child or if the person knowingly or willfully abuses a child and causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the child. Aggravated child abuse is a felony of the first degree. Willfully or by culpable negligence causing great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement to a child is a felony of the second degree. Willful abuse of a child without causing such permanent injuries a felony of the third degree. Also, culpable negligence without causing bodily harm, permanent disability, or permit disfigurement is a felony of the third degree.

As you can imagine, penalties for child abuse and aggravated abuse can be substantial. That is why you should seek the best child abuse defense attorney for your case.

Defending The Stigma of the Accusation of Child Abuse, What we can do for you

Sandefer Law Firm is skilled in the defense of those accused of child abuse or child neglect. Make no mistake, these are serious cases and the state takes them very seriously. Child abuse and child neglect cases often need the assistance of medical experts or psychologists. Sandefer Law Firm has access to the necessary highly qualified experts to assist in the consultation and defense of child abuse, shaken baby syndrome, and child neglect. Defenses should be explored in regards to whether an injury was intentionally caused, and if there is an injury, the degree or type of injury. Contesting or evaluating the cause of an injury can be critical in a child abuse case. Often the use of a private investigator can give us useful information to help you. Depositions of alleged victims or parents are both delicate and very telling. Experience in these areas can be critical in your defense. We can also advise you on things you can do to assist in your own case. Working closely with our clients is critical in defending child abuse and child neglect allegations.

Whether an act is ‘malicious’ is something that should be explored. Child ”neglect’ is a difficult charge to define. What is, or is not, negligent or what is a dangerous act is often the subject of debate and a defense. Is the person accused a caretaker under the statutory definition? Maybe not. Many times parental punishment which results in injury is an issue and whether the punishment was “proper” or rose to the level of being illegal.

Injuries may be reported by a doctor or emergency room and an issue may be how an injury was caused. Was it an accident or intentional. Who caused it? Is there a motive for someone to fabricate or exaggerate a claim?

Experts are often necessary to properly defend against these allegations. Motivation to report a ‘crime’ is something to be explored. Is there a motive for someone to fabricate or exaggerate accusations. We often deal with these situations.

Shaken Baby Syndrome is often used as a reason for an arrest on child abuse or murder. Medical and scientific knowledge and principles regarding this ‘syndrome’ have brought it’s validity into question in recent years. The force necessary to cause injury to a child and the nature of the injury once thought to indicate ‘shaken baby’ can be questioned and may be a defense to these types of allegations. Talk with us if the accusation is shaken baby syndrome.

Inadmissible “confessions’ or statements

As in any case, but sometimes more frequent in injured child or baby cases, are ‘confessions’ that may have been coerced by improper questioning techniques or misinterpreted. We will go over your allegation in detail and discuss with you any thing that may be useful in defending you. There are experts in coerced confessions we can consult with and motions can be filed if a confession is coerced or a statement is gathered by improper influence.

False child abuse allegations

Many allegations are based on false or made up allegations. Larry Sandefer is experienced in defending cases of false child abuse allegations. He has attended national seminars and workshops on this topic and consulted with and used experts in this area. If you are the victim of a false accusation of child abuse then you need an experienced false child abuse allegation defense attorney. Call us!

DUI with child abuse

It has become increasingly more common for the police to arrest someone on the DUI, and if they had a child in the car, to charge them with child abuse or child neglect. There are defenses to these charges and often felony added on to the DUI can be dismissed or appropriately dealt with.

If you have been charged or accused of child abuse or charged or accused child neglect you need to consult with an experienced Pinellas County child abuse lawyer, an experienced Pasco County child abuse defense lawyer, Or an experienced Pinellas County or Pasco County child neglect defense lawyer. These accusations and charges should not be taken lightly. You should not assume that the authorities will ‘see the light’ And drop were dismissed charges. Our consultations are free and confidential. Hiring an experienced pinellas or pasco county child abuse attorney should be your first step when accusations placed against you.

Your initial consultation is free. It is also strictly confidential. We encourage you to ask others, compare experience and qualifications on this important matter, then call us. Let us earn your trust and ask us what we can do for you.

Contact Florida Child Abuse Lawyers, Clearwater Child Abuse Defense Lawyer, St. Petersburg Child Abuse Defense Lawyer, Pinellas County Child Abuse Defense Lawyer, Pasco County Child Abuse Defense Attorney

Larry Sandefer– Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Trial Law