Articles Posted in Child Abuse

Child abuse is a serious offense that carries substantial penalties. While many child abuse charges arise out of direct involvement with children, they can also arise out of other scenarios that unintentionally place a child in harm’s way. For example, in a recent Florida case a defendant was charged with aggravated assault and child abuse after reportedly shooting into a building. As demonstrated in that case, acquittal on assault charges filed along with child abuse charges does not necessarily necessitate a not guilty verdict for the child abuse offenses. If you are accused of engaging in acts that constitute child abuse, it is wise to confer with a Clearwater child abuse offense defense lawyer to evaluate your potential defenses and what measures you can take to protect your interests.

History of the Case

It is alleged that the state charged the defendant with numerous crimes, including aggravated assault with a firearm, as well as five counts of child abuse in violation of Florida law. The charges stemmed from an incident where the defendant was accused of shooting into a building and committing aggravated assault with a firearm against two adults.  The jury found the defendant not guilty of shooting into the building and guilty of the lesser included offense of assault on the charge of aggravated assault with a firearm. The defendant challenged the convictions and sentences, arguing that the jury’s verdict was legally inconsistent because it acquitted him of the shooting charge while convicting him of child abuse and assault.

Determining if a Jury’s Verdict is Inconsistent

On appeal, the court reviewed the evidence offered during the case to determine if the jury’s verdict was legally inconsistent. In doing so, it referred to established legal principles, noting that a true inconsistent verdict requires an acquittal on one count to negate a necessary element for conviction on another count, rather than a logical or factual inconsistency.

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