Permitting child abuse by injury in Oklahoma is a felony. The law is aimed not at the perpetrator of abuse upon a child, but upon a caregiver that permits the abuse. Often, this crime occurs in families locked in patterns of violence and abuse. Here is what you need to know about the crime and how it is handled in Muskogee, Oklahoma.
Understanding Child Abuse Laws
In order to understand the crime of permitting child abuse by injury, it is helpful to understand the crime of child abuse. Oklahoma law defines child abuse as the willful or malicious, threatened, or actual harm to a child or failure to protect a child from real or threatened harm to their health, safety, or welfare. The law is broad and covers all kinds of abuse: physical, sexual, mental, and emotional. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 843.5
Permitting Child Abuse By Injury Defined
Under Oklahoma law, permitting child abuse means causing, procuring, allowing, or failing to protect a child from any willful or malicious act or threat. A parent or child’s caretaker who allows a child to be cared for by an individual whom they know or reasonably should know will place the child at risk of abuse can be punished for child abuse even though they did not actually abuse the child.
Elements Of The Crime
Like all crimes in Oklahoma, permitting child abuse by injury has certain elements. An unproven element means that there is no conviction.
These are the elements that must be proven:
- a person responsible for a child’s health, safety, or welfare
- knowingly permitted injury, torture, maiming, or the use of unreasonable force
- upon a child.
How The Crime Occurs
A family in which violence may be present is a family in crisis. A mother or father may turn a blind eye to the harm being done to a child to not rock the boat. Thus, that parent could be charged with permitting child abuse by injury if the other parent loses control of their anger. Also, if the other parent knows or reasonably should know about the harm, both parents can be charged.
Defenses To Child Abuse By Injury
Any fact or piece of evidence that disproves a required element provides a defense. Here are some defenses to explore with your Muskogee attorney.
Allegations Are False: False allegations often occur in couples who are divorcing or have a dysfunctional relationship.
Lack Of Knowledge: The caretaker either knows or reasonably should know that the child will be injured. If neither of these conditions exists, a lack of knowledge may provide a defense.
Caretaker Was Acting Within Their Right: Spanking is allowed in Oklahoma. However, child abuse is not. Knowing where that line is can be important for parents and caretakers to understand.
Accident: Accidents giving rise to child injury can and do happen. While this may provide a defense to this crime, it may open the caretaker to a charge of reckless endangerment.
Penalties For Permitting Child Abuse By Injury In Oklahoma
Child abuse by injury is a felony in Muskogee.
The crime is punishable by anywhere from one year in county jail to life imprisonment, a fine between $500 and $5,000, or both.
If the abuse is sexual and the child is under 12, the crime is punishable by 25 years to life in prison.
Free Consultation: Muskogee Felony Defense Attorney
If you are facing criminal charges of any kind, you need help to build a solid defense. Even small facts can make a big difference. Don’t try to go it alone. Get the help you need when it matters most.
Our experienced attorneys are here to help. We know your freedom is important and will work with you to preserve it. Our attorneys know how to build a strong defense.
Call a Muskogee felony defense attorney today at 918-884-7774 to ask questions or schedule a free, confidential consultation.