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Dimitry Esquire
Dimitry Esquire, Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I provide general practice and mediation & arbitration services to my clients.
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My friend got into an argument with her daughter (16yo) that

Customer Question

My friend got into an argument with her daughter (16yo) that escalated into her daughter cussing her. At some point she slapped her daughter in the arm. The daughter began hitting back and at some point the daughter got a black eye. The daughter's teacher reported it. Now the police are going to charge her with cruelty to children. While I don't think hitting is the answer and this probably got out of control, I really don't see this as cruelty to a child when the daughter is cussing and fighting back. Also, this is the only incident ever. My friend has always been close to her daughter and actively involved with the daughter's activities. What is my friend facing? How much bond is typical? Is this really cruelty to children? Besides contacting a lawyer, what should she do?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 7 years ago.
I can understand your sentiment, but by giving her child a black eye, that is considered assault, cruelty to children, and possible domestic violence. Your friend, depending on the prosecutor, can look to as much as 20 years. Here is the statute below:

(a) A parent, guardian, or other person supervising the welfare of or having immediate charge or custody of a child under the age of 18 commits the offense of cruelty to children in the first degree when such person willfully deprives the child of necessary sustenance to the extent that the child´s health or well-being is jeopardized.

(b) Any person commits the offense of cruelty to children in the first degree when such person maliciously causes a child under the age of 18 cruel or excessive physical or mental pain.

(c) Any person commits the offense of cruelty to children in the second degree when such person with criminal negligence causes a child under the age of 18 cruel or excessive physical or mental pain.

(d) Any person commits the offense of cruelty to children in the third degree when:

(1) Such person, who is the primary aggressor, intentionally allows a child under the age of 18 to witness the commission of a forcible felony, battery, or family violence battery; or

(2) Such person, who is the primary aggressor, having knowledge that a child under the age of 18 is present and sees or hears the act, commits a forcible felony, battery, or family violence battery.

(e)(1) A person convicted of the offense of cruelty to children in the first degree as provided in this Code section shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years.

(2) A person convicted of the offense of cruelty to children in the second degree shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years.

(3) A person convicted of the offense of cruelty to children in the third degree shall be punished as for a misdemeanor upon the first or second conviction. Upon conviction of a third or subsequent offense of cruelty to children in the third degree, the defendant shall be guilty of a felony and shall be sentenced to a fine not less than $1,000.00 nor more than $5,000.00 or imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than three years or shall be sentenced to both fine and imprisonment.

Typically a bond for such a crime will most likely be no more than $10,000.

Sincerely,

Dimitry Alexander Kaplun, Esq.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

She did not hit her in the face. However, somehow the daughter got a blackeye. It may have been when the daughter was hitting her mother and her mother blocked her and she hit herself in the eye. I don't know, I wasn't there.

 

I do know that my friend has a great job, never been in trouble, and this isn't something that has happened before. She and her daughter have had a good relationship.

 

I have previously read the Georgia statute. Jail time at all seem very harsh for this. Would it be likely that the court would require counseling only? Can she fight this charge and win?

Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 7 years ago.
John,





You must understand that I am not your friend's attorney. Any information I provide is informational. So please take the information for what it is.





It is irrelevant as to how the daughter got the black eye; it will be attributed to the mother, barring any evidence to the contrary.





You can, or others, can be character witnesses, but the best witness is the daughter--if she decides to not testify then the state will have a much harder time proving their charges.





If the court sees this as an isolated event, and believes that the situation was blown out of proportion, then the court may elect to give counseling. For that your friend must have a very good attorney who can communicate that fact accurately to both the judge and the prosecutor. She can fight this charge and win, but only if she is able to convince the state to drop the charges.





Sincerely,





Dimitry Alexander Kaplun, Esq.
Dimitry Esquire and 3 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Looks like it could be a long hard road... I just pray that this can be resolved and the family repaired.

 

Thank you for your assistance.

Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 7 years ago.
You are most welcome. I wish you and your friend the best of luck.