Allegations or charges of child abuse can put you in a very stressful and unfortunate situation. The penalties and fines relating to this charge are severe and you could possibly lose custody of your children and be forced to register on the child abuse list which can limit your ability to adopt a child in the future. We understand how important this case is to you and will fight hard to protect your rights, your image, and your future.

The State of Michigan’s penal code covers the laws about child abuse in MCL 750.136 in great detail. This code clearly constitutes what is considered child abuse and the associated penalties and fines. There are four degrees of child abuse which you can be charged with and each carries a different jail time and fee. Much like other criminal charges, a first degree charge is considered the most serious and a 4th degree charge is considered the least serious.

In order to be guilty of child abuse in the first degree, the person cause serious physical or mental harm to a child. This charge is a felony and carries a possible jail sentence of up to 15 years. The definition of serious physical and mental harm is usually highly contested, so this code provides information on these terms. Serious physical harm is defined as “any physical injury to a child that seriously impairs the child’s health or physical well-being, including, but not limited to, brain damage, a skull or bone fracture, subdural hemorrhage or hematoma, dislocation, sprain, internal injury, poisoning, burn or scald, or severe cut.” Serious mental harm is defined as “an injury to a child’s mental condition or welfare that is not necessarily permanent but results in visibly demonstrable manifestations of a substantial disorder of thought or mood which significantly impairs judgment, behavior, capacity to recognize reality, or ability to cope with the ordinary demands of life.”

Anyone charged or accused of a 2nd degree child abuse offence is guilty if any of the 3 following conditions applies. The penalties of a 2nd degree charges include imprisonment of up to 4 years.

  • The person’s omission causes serious physical harm or serious mental harm to a child or if the person’s reckless act causes serious physical harm or serious mental harm to a child.
  • The person knowingly or intentionally commits an act likely to cause serious physical or mental harm to a child regardless of whether harm results.
  • The person knowingly or intentionally commits an act that is cruel to a child regardless of whether harm results.

Anyone charged or accused of a 3rd degree child abuse is guilty if the accused purposely caused physical injury to a child or if the personal purposely committed an act that poses an unreasonable risk to the child and the act results in physical harm. The charges is a felony is punishable by up to 2 years of jail time.

Anyone charge or accused of 4th degree child abuse is guilty if an omission or recklessness is what caused the physical injury to a child or if the person knowingly or intentionally commits an act that under the circumstances poses an unreasonable risk of harm or injury to a child, regardless of whether physical harm results.

Due to the complexities of child issues, it is important to have a top child abuse attorney like David M. Clark to fight these charges and work to get your case dismissed. We will immediately go to work on your case to make sure you have an even playing field. Many times you will start off at disadvantage because of negative reports made by your spouse that put you in a bad light. Our attorneys will talk with children and family services for you and investigate the surroundings of the incident. We will also work with experts in the field and talk to the prosecutor handling your case. The Clark Law Office has 30 years of experience trying child abuse cases in the state of Michigan and we can help you. Contact us at info@theclarklawoffice.com, or call (517) 347-6900 for a completely free consultation.