Much has changed in the practice of Florida criminal defense during COVID. With varying orders being issued by the Florida Supreme Court, the Chief Judges of the Circuits, County and local municipalities, we are all dealing with the semi-shutdown as best we can. It seems that new orders, tweaking the last set, are made about every other week.
Allegations of child abuse or neglect can generate criminal or family cases against the accused. In many cases a parent accused of child abuse or neglect by the State of Florida in a criminal case will also find themselves defending against a Supplemental Petition to Modify a parenting plan or custody. Sometimes a third case of an injunction for protection against domestic violence could also be brought.
There have been two recent stings focusing on criminal sex acts or attempted criminal sex acts in Gainesville and Ocala. The Marion County investigators were seeking to combat solicitation of prostitution. The Alachua County investigation targeted those soliciting a parent, legal guardian or custodian of a child to commit an illegal sex act with a child or traveling to meet a child. Both law enforcement operations were conducted in August 2015.
Criminal child abuse or neglect cases can be difficult to handle because of the raw emotions that usually accompany the alleged victim. An alleged child abuse victim is usually assigned a victim advocate by the state. The child abuse victim is also regularly removed from the home if the alleged abuse or neglect took place at the hands of a caregiver such as a parent or other adult household member.
In the context of criminal domestic battery or domestic violence, a question often asked is whether a victim can drop the charges. The short answer is No. Only a prosecutor has the discretion whether to charge a person with a crime. The victim to a domestic battery can request that the State not press charges, however it is simply a request.