Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor
Chapter 827 is focused on the abuse of children. Within that chapter, Section 827.04 prohibits, in relevant part, committing any act or living in a manner that tends to cause a child to become a child in need of services.
The crime of contributing to the delinquency of a minor child under §827.04 requires proof beyond all reasonable doubt of the following two elements:
- The defendant committed any act which caused, tended to cause, encouraged, or contributed to a child becoming a delinquent child or a child in need of services; or
- The defendant induced or endeavored to induce, by act, threat, command, or persuasion, a child to commit or perform any act, follow any course of conduct, or live in a manner that causes, or tends to cause, such child to become or to remain a delinquent or dependent child, or a child in need of services.
During investigations for allegations of contributing to the delinquency of a child, officers are trained to:
- document the names, addresses, schools, and phone numbers of all victims, witnesses, and suspects;
- interview victims, witnesses, and suspects;
- collect physical evidence; and
- take photographs.
Under Florida law, the crime of contributing to the delinquency of a minor child is charged as a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to twelve months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
If convicted of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, a judge may sentence a person to probation, but may also impose a sentence up to the statutory maximum of one year in jail.
Attorney for Contributing to the Delinquency of a Child
If you are under investigation for the crime of contributing to the delinquency of a minor child under §827.04, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm.
Our attorneys represent clients throughout the greater Tampa Bay area including Hillsborough County, FL, and all of the surrounding counties including Hernando County, Pasco County, Pinellas County, and Polk County, FL.
Contact one of our five attorneys to discuss the elements of the charge, the best defenses, and the potential punishments and penalties.
Investigations into Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor
According to the general order of the St. Petersburg Police Department, Instructional Order V.3:2(3)(a), the initial investigation of an allegation of contributing to the delinquency of a child is usually the responsibility of Uniform Services Bureau (USB) personnel.
Different police departments throughout the Tampa Bay area, have similar standard operating procedures when it comes to crimes against children including Contributing to the Delinquency of a Dependent Child.
Pursuant to Instructional Order V.3:2(3)(a), the police report for crimes of contributing to the delinquency of a child must be forwarded to the Special Victims Unit (SVU) of the St. Petersburg Police Department for follow-up.
If the act was committed in the presence of the officer within the city limits, then a physical arrest may be made upon the showing of probable cause.
In non-arrest situations, the report shall be forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office for a paper investigation.
Read more about the procedures for child abuse investigations in St. Petersburg, FL.
This article was last updated on Thursday, April 21, 2022.