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Where Can I Find a Child Sex Abuse Attorney in Palm Harbor, FL - Child being abused

Where Can I Find a Child Sex Abuse Attorney in Palm Harbor, FL?

Child Sex Abuse Attorney in Palm Harbor, FL

35686 US Highway 19 N
Palm Harbor, FL 34683


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Child Sex Abuse Attorney in Palm Harbor, FL

It is one of the most unspeakable crimes. The mental and emotional scars left behind often last a lifetime. We are talking about child sex abuse, which can, unfortunately, happen just about anywhere. With a team of experienced child sex abuse attorneys ready to provide you with legal support, Morgan & Morgan has helped clients fight back against the most powerful institutions. We are not only here to provide you with legal support, but also the resources to help you and your child handle the dramatic emotional roller coaster ride during the litigation process.

Child sex abuse cases represent one of the most complex cases to litigate. First, you have the criminal charges filed for child sex abuse. Then comes a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. Experience matters when you choose from among the child sex abuse attorneys practicing law in and near Palm Harbor, FL. The team of attorneys that you hire must demonstrate a proven record of successfully balancing the legal demands of both a civil and a criminal case of child sex abuse.

Another complex component of a child sex abuse case is encouraging a victim to come forward and describe the horrific events that caused the child harm. It is a very thin line to navigate, and our attorneys walk it with at least one parent present at every meeting. Parental support is the key to getting the story out concerning a child sex abuse case. In addition to getting the cooperation of a child, our team of child sex abuse attorneys also collects and organizes the persuasive physical evidence we need to prove the defendant committed one or more horrific crimes.

The incredible trauma associated with a child suffering from the physical, mental, and emotional pain of being a victim of child sex abuse can make it difficult to move forward by taking legal action. Schedule a free case evaluation today with one of the experienced child sex abuse attorneys at Morgan and Morgan to learn more about how our highly-rated law firm can help you and your child.

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FAQ

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  • What Types of Physical Evidence Proves an Act of Child Sex Abuse?

    Without gathering physical evidence, a child sex abuse case comes down to the word of the child and the alleged perpetrator of one or more crimes. Physical evidence is the key to proving guilt, while accounts from the child and perhaps one or more witnesses provide legal support for the physical evidence collected by a Morgan and Morgan investigator.

    The burden of proof for a criminal trial is called “beyond a reasonable doubt, which can be a difficult burden to prove. On the other hand, a civil trial requires the plaintiff to meet the burden of proof called preponderance of evidence, which is a less difficult burden to prove. Because the criminal burden of proof is more difficult to establish for a criminal trial, some child sex abuse cases end with the acquittal of the defendant. Nonetheless, the same defendant might be found guilty during a civil trial because of the relative ease of meeting the preponderance of evidence burden of proof.

    The following represents the most common types of physical evidence collected during a child sex abuse investigation.

    DNA

    By far the most influential evidence gathered at the scene of a child sex abuse crime is DNA. Forensic scientists have a limited window to test DNA to verify the DNA belongs to the suspect. Each person possesses a unique genetic pattern that constitutes DNA. If a forensic scientist can establish the DNA collected at a crime scene matches the suspect’s DNA, there is no doubt the DNA is the suspect’s DNA. The biggest obstacle to the collection of DNA is when a team of forensic scientists compromises the integrity of the acquired DNA. Compromised DNA essentially ends a criminal trial, although a civil trial might continue because of the lesser burden of proof called preponderance of the evidence.

    Medical Records

    Many types of child sex abuse cases involve some form of physical aggression, such as assault and forced rape. The photographs taken of a victim, as well as the results of diagnostic reports, can demonstrate an act of child sex abuse took place. At Morgan and Morgan, our team of skilled litigators meets with a healthcare provider to acquire as much medical evidence as we can to prove an alleged assailant is guilty of child sex abuse.

    Fingerprints

    Fingerprints do not have as much influence over the proceeding of a civil and criminal trial if the defendant had prior contact with the victim before the collection of the fingerprints. For example, if a victim accuses a teacher of committing one or more acts of child sex abuse, fingerprints taken in a classroom, or anywhere in a school for that matter, have little relevance since the teacher works at the school. However, fingerprints can be a highly convincing form of physical evidence if the plaintiff never had contact with the victim

    Online Activities

    The digital era has made child pornography one of the most common types of child sex abuse. Messages left on websites, photographs uploaded to social media accounts, and information left behind in chat rooms all can be important pieces of physical evidence when charging someone with committing a child sex abuse crime. Morgan and Morgan has a team of cyber security experts ready to conduct online investigations into child pornography. We also leverage the Internet to gather physical evidence for other forms of child sex abuse crimes.

  • What Do I Need to Know About Filing a Civil Lawsuit for Child Sex Abuse?

    You can file a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator and the institution the alleged perpetrator represents. Using our teacher example, one of the child sex abuse attorneys at Morgan and Morgan can file a civil lawsuit against the teacher and the school district for whom the teacher works.

    Filing criminal charges can lead to punishments involving incarceration and/or a fine paid to the state, not the victim. On the other hand, a civil legal judgment is awarding monetary damages to the victim. At Morgan and Morgan, our team of child sex abuse attorneys files civil lawsuits that seek monetary damages. On the criminal side of the legal process, we provide the team of prosecutors with the evidence we have gathered, as well as the statements made by witnesses.

    Which Parties Have the Right to File a Civil Lawsuit?

    When referring to a civil lawsuit filed for a child sex abuse case, many parents erroneously believe that only the child has the right to seek monetary damages. Because of the intense mental and emotional toll placed on parents, the judicial system allows both parents and their children to file a civil lawsuit for a child sex abuse case.

    When you sit down with one of the child sex abuse lawyers from Morgan and Morgan, you can expect to learn about your legal options, which might include one or both parents filing a separate civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.

    What Has Florida Established for a Statute of Limitations for Child Sex Abuse Cases?

    Child sex abuse cases differ from sex abuse cases in which adults are the victims. Adults usually file criminal charges right after an act of sex abuse. This is not the case with children, as many of them refuse to communicate what happened for fear of reprisal or another compelling reason. A child might carry the mental and emotional burden of child sex abuse well into adulthood. To account for this common theme, the State of Florida recently changed the statute of limitations for cases involving both criminal charges and the filing of a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.

    Florida has established a statute of limitations for filing criminal charges and a civil lawsuit at any time during a victim’s lifetime, as long as the act or acts of child sex abuse occurred when the child was younger than 16 years old. Although the statute of limitations is not established in Florida, the child sex abuse lawyers at Morgan and Morgan highly recommend that victims file criminal charges and a civil lawsuit with a sense of urgency to ensure the accuracy of witness accounts, as well as the account of child sex abuse given by the victim.

  • What Legal Options Does My Child Have as a Victim of Child Sex Abuse?

    When you hear the phrase, “Let’s get justice,” you probably think about the outcome of a criminal trial. Although finding an alleged perpetrator guilty of committing one or more acts of child sex abuse is the top priority, getting justice through the civil court process is important as well. At Morgan and Morgan, our team of experienced child sex abuse attorneys seeks monetary damages, as well as injunctive relief for our client.

    We also help our clients build a persuasive criminal case.

    Economic Damages

    Economic damages cover the cost of tangible expenses, which for a case of child sex abuse regards medical bills. The physical trauma caused by one or more acts of child sex abuse can be substantial. Diagnostic tests, treatment programs, and physical therapy sessions can run medical expenses into thousands of dollars. Plaintiffs found guilty of child sex abuse during a civil trial also have the responsibility to pay for future medical expenses and any lost wages accrued when a victim begins to work.

    Non-Economic Damages

    Non-economic damages are the wild card during a civil trial for a case of child sex abuse. Pain and suffering does not come with a price tag besides the medical bills that pile up for mental and emotional therapy. Pain and suffering represents a non-tangible type of monetary damages that your child’s lawyer calculates by referring to a formula based on the value of economic damages. Since a victim of child sex abuse can carry the mental and emotional burden well into adulthood, your attorney also has to account for future pain and suffering issues.

    Punitive Damages

    Although a civil lawsuit does not involve criminal charges, your lawyer has the right to ask the judge or jury to hear your case to award you and/or your child punitive damages. Punitive damages can be especially high if the defendant is found guilty during a civil trial, but found not guilty during a criminal trial. Judges and juries award punitive damages to deter the defendant from committing the same acts of child sex abuse again, as well as make an example out of the defendant for future similar civil court cases.

    Injunctive Relief

    Awarding punitive damages is not the only way to deter a defendant from committing future acts of child sex abuse. Injunctive relief requires a defendant to complete certain actions that prevent future acts of child sex abuse. One common example type of injunctive relief for child abuse cases is to demand the defendant undergo intensive psychological therapy, as well as participate in group therapy sessions. Injunctive relief also can force an institution to do a better job of screening employees and volunteers.

    Cooperation During a Criminal Trial

    A criminal trial takes place before a civil hearing that addresses charges of child sex abuse. At Morgan & Morgan, we help our clients strengthen their cases by sharing the physical evidence we have gathered and organized. We also bolster your case by sharing with the team of prosecutors the statements made by witnesses.

    The child sex abuse attorneys at Morgan and Morgan that provide legal support for the prosecution can make the difference between a defendant being found guilty or walking out of the courtroom free of any legal consequences.

  • Support Your Child by Hiring Morgan and Morgan

    Child sex abuse is one of the most unsettling types of crimes. Learning about the abuse your child has endured can make it difficult to think clearly enough to take the right type of legal action. When you work with our team of child sex abuse attorneys, you gain peace of mind knowing that your child is represented by one of the most esteemed law firms in the United States.
     

    Schedule a free case evaluation with Morgan and Morgan to determine how to proceed with a child sex abuse case.

Last updated on Jun 14, 2022