Sometimes when life is challenging for adults, it is the children who end up suffering. Child neglect in Muskogee Oklahoma falls under the umbrella of child abuse laws. To understand child neglect, you need to understand child abuse under Oklahoma law.
The Legal Relationship Between Child Abuse And Child Neglect
Child abuse in Oklahoma is defined as the willful or malicious threatened or actual harm to a child or the failure to protect a child from real or threatened harm to their health, safety, or welfare. This definition encompasses all sorts of injury to children. Child abuse includes mental, emotional, and sexual abuse, neglect, and abandonment. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 843.5
Child abuse is not accidental. Okla. Stat. tit. 10A § 1-1-105
This is an important distinction under the law. In order to be prosecuted for child abuse, the harm done must be either willful or malicious. Accidental harm or non-intended harm to a child is often prosecuted under a charge of reckless endangerment.
Child neglect in Muskogee Oklahoma is defined as the failure to provide adequate food, shelter, clothing, medical care, supervision, or other necessities of life or the failure to protect a child from exposure to illegal drugs, illegal activities, sexual acts, or materials that are not age-appropriate as well as abandonment.
What Child Neglect In Muskogee Oklahoma Can Look Like
Child neglect can grow out of a number of difficult family dynamics and situations. Sometimes, a parent or both parents are involved in drug and alcohol abuse. In other families, a pattern of violence within the family unit results in the needs of the children being neglected. Sometimes, it is a lack of financial support that may result in a child being denied adequate food or medical care.
There are parents who lack coping skills and support systems or who are unprepared to meet the demands of parenthood. They want to take care of their children, but may make poor decisions while doing so.
In any of these situations, a child can suffer malnutrition, inadequate healthcare and supervision, poor hygiene, and school truancy. In fact, many of these cases come to light within the school setting.
If convicted, a defendant could spend up to a year in jail or as much as life in prison. A fine between $500 and $5,000 may be assessed in addition to or in lieu of incarceration.
Enabling Child Neglect
Likewise, it is against the law to enable child neglect. “Enabling child neglect” is defined as causing, procuring, or permitting a willful or malicious act of child neglect. “Permitting” child neglect is defined as to authorizing or allowing a person you reasonably know or should know will or may place your child at risk for neglect. Enabling neglect carries the same penalty as perpetrating the neglect.
Much of the time, parents need help in order to be better parents; their actions are not grounded in the willful or malicious desire to inflict harm on their children. A Muskogee attorney can help you build a strong defense and get the help you may need.
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.