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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    4

    Exclamation How Long Can I Wait to Report Child Abuse

    My question involves child abuse or neglect in the State of: Florida

    Hello!
    when I was 16 years old, I was punched in the face by my mothers ex-boyfriend. In retrospect, I realize now more than ever I should have called the police immediately.
    But, there was some things going on where I thought if my mother had him in the house she would have gotten in trouble. He wasn't supposed to even be there, we have come to this conclusion. I'm now 19 years old (Soon to be 20) and now there's some big bad legal stuff going on. I need to know if it's too late to report the child abuse? I have a witness, infact I have 2, both of my sisters. One heard the commotion, and the other saw the aftermath. I had a shiner and I had to miss a complete week of school, and my nose was bleeding a lot.

    Basically. Is it too late for me? If it's not, how long do I have left to report this?


    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    14,859

    Default Re: How Long Can I Wait to Report Child Abuse

    Mom's ex boyfriend ... was he your legal guardian? Was he living with your family at the time?

    If this is a misdemeanor (and it would be in my state) the SOL is generally two years. Other 3rd degree felonies (which this appears it could be under FL law) generally have a three year SOL.

    Why would you concern yourself with this after three or more years?

    A single incident of a punch to the face is not likely to raise great concerns with the local police even if for some reason it is actionable.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: How Long Can I Wait to Report Child Abuse

    He wasn't a legal guardian, but he was living in the home at the time.
    I know it's wrong but long story short, My mom's name is on some vehicles that she doesn't even own and he won't cooperate, and it was my idea to possibly use it as leverage. (As wrong as that might sound) I know, I'm horrible but we really just need him out of our lives completely, and if making a simple threat as I'm gonna take it to the cops, well then if that makes him budge then that's what it's going to take.

    I know it's wrong of me, I just wanted to know if I even had a legal leg to stand on with the topic. But seeing that the time is basically up for it, there's really nothing I could do.

    And the punch to the face wasn't the only abuse, he emotionally and mentally abused me. Repeatedly, by the time I was 17 we were in a new house and when I was 18 he was back in the house again and he actually grabbed me by my neck a few times, he's pushed me down a lot, once I had a really bad scratch on my leg from him.

    thank you for your help, and your time.

    I appreciate it.
    good luck in life! I wish you well!

    Oh and happy holidays c:

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    14,859

    Default Re: How Long Can I Wait to Report Child Abuse

    Emotional and mental abuse may be grounds for civil action at the time, but those are not usually a crime.

    Punching you in the face could be one of two or three offenses that I could find, the most serious being child abuse as a third degree felony. If so, the SOL appears to be three years.

    However, I am not from your state so there might be some idiosyncrasies to the law. If you really feel as if it is important to rehash this, contact the law enforcement agency of jurisdiction where this occurred.

    My advice would be to move on, and if this is on the top of your mind, seek some counseling as well. It is not healthy to dwell on such things for so long.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  5. #5

    Default Re: How Long Can I Wait to Report Child Abuse

    Is there some documentation of the injuries you're claiming? Photos? Emergency room visit? Reporting a crime 3 years after the fact is one thing. Police absolutely may take the report. But short of some stellar evidence, the DA picking up the case for prosecution in Florida courts is incredibly slim. You'll say he hit you, your siblings will concur, and the defense will tell the jury what you just told us: that you're making the claim as a way to extort some action from him regarding non-related legal matters. (And, when the DA finds out that the reason this went unreported was because of potential criminal activity regarding your mother, they'll be even LESS likely to champion the cause, or, will want to look into ALL of the possible criminal issues, for EVERYONE involved).
    Catherine NeSmith
    Executive Director
    AARDVARC.org, Inc.
    http://www.aardvarc.org

    Fave Big Bang Theory site: Sheldon Cooper Fans

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: How Long Can I Wait to Report Child Abuse

    I had a picture, I'd have to locate it. But there's also e-mails of him admitting that he did it in my mom's inbox.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    14,859

    Default Re: How Long Can I Wait to Report Child Abuse

    Using this as leverage is called "extortion." This is a crime.

    A court will be interested to know what suddenly caused you to come forward and it will seem very obvious that this is out of spite, retaliation, or an attempt to get leverage. You may find yourself caught up in mom and the ex's drama not as a witness, but as a defendant.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: How Long Can I Wait to Report Child Abuse

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
    View Post
    Using this as leverage is called "extortion." This is a crime.
    Ah, Thank you. I wasn't aware of this. Well I guess this means I shouldn't be thinking about doing this at all. Tank you very much cdwjava, this really brings more light into my situation. None of us were aware that it was illegal. Thank you very much! I seek no more answers regarding this situation now. Thank you all for your help and insight, I hope you all have a very happy and safe holiday!

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