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Child Abuse in Pinellas County

The State Attorney’s Office in Pinellas County, FL, provides legal services for the Department of Children and Families (DCF) in order to protect children in Pinellas Counties who have been abused or neglected by their parents.

Assistant State Attorneys in the Sixth Judicial Circuit work in the Child Welfare Legal Services divisions to provide legal services performed on behalf of the State of Florida.

The services are provided in all juvenile dependency and termination of parental rights proceedings governed by Chapter 39, F.S., the Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure, Section 409.1451, F.S.

Many of these allegations begin with a complaint made to the Florida Abuse Hotline.

Attorney for Child Abuse in Pinellas County, FL

The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm represent people accused of child abuse or neglect throughout Pinellas County, FL. Many of these cases involve false child abuse reports.

We are familiar with the tactics used by officers with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and the Child Protection Investigation Division (CPID).

Contact us to discuss the charges pending against you, possible defenses, and the best ways to protect your rights.

For violent crimes cases in Pinellas County, FL, call 813-250-0500 today.


Definition of Child Abuse Crimes in Florida

Under Florida law, the term “child abuse” 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 neglect crimes involve a parent’s failure to provide a child with care, supervision and services necessary to maintain the child’s physical and mental health. Many of these cases include the failure to provide food, shelter, medicine, or other things that a prudent person would consider essential for the well-being of the child.


Aggravated Child Abuse Accusations in Pinellas County, FL

Crimes for aggravated child abuse involve the willfully torture, maliciously punishment, or unlawfully caging of 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.


Independent Living Matters for Children in Pinellas County, FL

Those proceedings govern independent living matters for children under eighteen (18) or otherwise properly heard in dependency court as well as all proceedings pursuant to the Florida Rules of appellate Procedure including but not limited to:

  • adjudicatory hearings
  • appeals of cases brought pursuant to Chapter 39, F.S.
  • case planning
  • judicial reviews
  • mediation
  • medication
  • modification of placements
  • motions pertaining to care
  • placement
  • protective supervision, foster care
  • shelter hearings
  • termination of parental rights

Additional Resources

PSCO’s Child Protection Investigation Division – Visit the website of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office to learn more about the child protection investigation division under the leadership of Lieutenant Scott Matthews.


This article was last updated on Friday, April 3, 2020.

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