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Felony Child Abuse Charges in Phoenix

Randy Smith and his girlfriend, Misty Taylor of Phoenix have been arrested for violently beating Taylor’s 7-year-old daughter. Smith beat Taylor’s daughter with a belt, punched her, and held her against the wall by her throat. Afterwards, Taylor and Smith took turns hitting her with a cord. They are both facing felony child abuse charges after the girl’s school reported her injuries to the police.

Felony child abuse charges vary depending on the circumstances of the case. Below are the charges that come with felony child abuse if the abuse is likely to produce death or serious physical injury:

  1. If the abuse was done intentionally or knowingly, it’s a class 2 felony. If the victim is under the age of 15, the offender can be sentenced according to A.R.S. 13-705.
  2. If the abuse was done recklessly, it’s a class 3 felony.
  3. If the abuse was done because of criminal negligence, it’s a class 4 felony.

If the felony abuse occurred under any other circumstances other than those likely to produce death or serious physical injury, the offender faces the following charges:

  1. If the abuse was done intentionally or knowingly, it’s a class 4 felony.
  2. If the abuse was done recklessly, it’s a class 5 felony.
  3. If the abuse was done because of criminal negligence, it’s a class 6 felony.

If an offender is convicted of felony child abuse, he or she will face one of the following prison sentences:

Felony Mitigated Minimum Presumptive Maximum Aggravated

Class 2 3 years 4 years 5 years 10 years 12.5 years

Class 3 2 years 2.5 years 3.5 years 7 years 8.75 years

Class 4 1 year 1.5 years 2.5 years 3 years 3.75 years

Class 5 .5 years .75 years 1.5 years 2 years 2.5 years

Class 6 .33 years .5 years 1 year 1.5 years 2 years

The sentencing for child abuse varies greatly depending on the particular circumstances of the case, and how violent the abuse was. Arizona courts do not handle child abuse cases with much, if any leniency and offenders are likely to face extremely harsh punishments.

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