Child Molestation Reporting
Child Abuse Lawyers in Broward caution that Florida recently passed a new law pertaining to reporting cases of child molestation and other forms of child abuse, which is being widely considered a tougher law compared to other states. The penalties that have been brought under the new law could have serious consequences for both Florida citizens and educational institutions. This is in direct contrast to the law in states such as Hawaii and Colorado.
Not all Broward County Child Abuse Lawyers are Qualified to Represent Individuals Charged with Sex Crimes.
James Weick is a veteran Sex Crime Defense Attorney with over 150 criminal jury trials under his belt. Remember, if you are looking for competent representation, always consider an attorney’s past history and experience before deciding. Sex crime convictions can be devastating on the accused and his or her family. Weick is an aggressive and experienced litigator with a strong local reputation. If you are searching for a child abuse lawyers in the Broward area, chances are that you have already been told about the criminal attorneys at William Moore Criminal Defense.
Stemming from the Patino/Penn St. Controversy
As per the new law, universities and colleges that fail to report suspected child molestation, abuse, neglect, or abandonment, and do so knowingly and willfully, can face a fine of up to $1 million for each case. The same consequences also apply if the college or university knowingly and willfully prevents another person from reporting such an incident. In case of ordinary citizens who fail to report child abuse or molestation face a charge of felony and a fine of up to $5,000.
Previous child molestation laws in Florida required a person to report only in a situation where the suspected abuser was a caretaker or a parent, but the new statute makes it applicable to any child abuser – even the ones who may be children themselves. Advocates of stronger child abuse reporting laws in Florida have hailed the new legislation, saying that a wider coverage of the law was very important so that everyone is under an obligation to report.
Child abuse lawyer’s claim, Prior to the passage of the new law, which is called the Protection of Vulnerable Persons Act, it was not legally mandatory to report suspected child abuse or molestation unless the abuser was a parent or caretaker. Under the new law, the Florida Department of Children and Families has been given the charge to handle all the calls related to parent or caretaker abuse through its abuse hotline. However, allegations that may involve persons or entities other than parents and caretakers will be forwarded to the local law enforcement agencies.
If you or a loved one has just been arrested for a sex offense in Broward County or are facing criminal charges for child molestation in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, contact sex crime attorney at Moore Defense for immediate legal answers and available representation in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County area.
The new law has made provisions to enable easier and more user-friendly ways of reporting cases of child molestation and abuse in Florida. It has directed the Department of Children and Families to come up with ways to make it convenient for people to report online, and even explore solutions to enable reporting via text or email.
The fact that not reporting a suspected case of child abuse is now a felony, it is expected that the number of calls may go up, making children less vulnerable to such crimes in the long run. Since the workload of the DCF is expected to go up with the new legislation, a recurring fund budget of more than $2.1 million has been allocated for DCF to hire additional workers.
Reporting Juvenile Offenders
The reporting of juveniles suspected of child abused has also been made mandatory for the first time under the new law. Over a period of time, children may themselves become better at reporting child abuse because the new law requires schools to have age-appropriate curriculum with regard to reporting such crimes.
by William Moore