When you hear about someone in the news being faced with “child abuse charges“, this could actually mean a lot of different things. The Michigan penal code contains many different criminal charges relating to child abuse that a prosecutor can choose from. Which charge they choose to bring depends entirely on the circumstances of the alleged crime.
Some are very specific, while others are general and meant to provide the state with a lot of leeway in covering different situations and forms of abuse. In order to give you a better idea of what types of child abuse charges you could be up against in Michigan, we’ve put together a list of all the possible options, along with explanations of what each charge means, and what it would mean for you.
First Degree Child Abuse
First Degree Child Abuse is used when anyone knowingly or intentionally causes “serious physical or mental harm” to a child. This category includes very serious injuries, like broken bones, burns, brain injuries, or internal injuries. Serious mental harm means either harming a child’s mind to the point that they can’t cope with the demands of daily life, or until it impairs the child’s judgment or behavior.
First Degree Child Abuse is a felony in Michigan, which means it’s a very serious crime punishable by up to a lifetime in prison. Defending against First Degree Child Abuse is very difficult, and requires the skill of a highly trained defense attorney with years of successful child abuse defense experience.
Second Degree Child Abuse
Second Degree Child Abuse can actually be used in three possible scenarios. The first is when a parent or guardian intentionally doesn’t provide a child with what they need for basic welfare, which results in serious harm to the child. This includes denying them food, clothing, or shelter. When a child is severely neglected, this charge would be used.
Another scenario would be knowingly or intentionally doing something that’s likely to cause serious physical or mental harm to a child, even if that child isn’t actually harmed! Something like racing your car in the street with your child in the backseat would be an example. The third and final situation is when a caretaker knowingly or intentionally does something to a child that is considered “cruel” which is defined as anything “brutal, inhumane, sadistic, or tormenting”.
Anyone convicted of Child Abuse in the Second Degree will be facing up to ten years in prison for their first offense, and up to twenty years for any second and subsequent convictions.
Being accused of child abuse in Michigan is serious business!
Join us next time, as we look at more examples of child abuse charges, and what they would mean for you. Until then, if you or a loved one have been accused of abusing or neglecting a child, contact The Kronzek Firm immediately at 866 766 5245. The highly skilled defense attorneys at The Kronzek Firm have decades of experience protecting parents from overzealous prosecutors and invasive CPS agents. We can help you too!