A Reference for Legal Topics
Is it illegal to spank my child in Georgia?
The law in Georgia provides several different ways for a child abuse to be prosecuted. Most of the time it will be prosecuted as cruelty to children. However, there are some cases where aggravated assault or aggravated battery or other criminal statutes may apply.
Cruelty to children in the first degree is when someone maliciously causes the child under the age of 18 cruel or excessive physical or mental pain. This crime is a felony punishable between five and twenty years.
Cruelty to children in the second degree is when someone with criminal negligence causes a child under the age 18 cruel or excessive physical or mental pain. This crime is punishable between one and ten years.
These crimes hinge on the term “cruel or excessive” physical or mental pain. Whether the behavior is “discipline” or “abuse” will be judged on whether the actions are cruel or excessive and whether the actions are reasonable.
A parent is justified in using corporal or physical punishment in order to discipline a minor child, so long as the corporal punishment is reasonable. A parent is not justified in using corporal punishment to discipline a minor child if the corporal punishment maliciously causes the child cruel or excessive physical pain, harm, or injury.
The short answer: yes. Spanking your child is legal (as long as it is reasonable and does not result in cruel or excessive mental of physical pain).
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