In Michigan, second-degree child abuse is a felony punishable by up to ten (10) years in prison, and for a second or subsequent offense, is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Accusations of child abuse are serious allegations that can arise is several circumstances. To be guilty of second-degree child abuse in Michigan, the prosecutor must prove that a person a) knowingly or intentionally committed an act likely to cause serious physical or mental harm to a child regardless of whether harm results; or, b) the person's omission caused serious physical harm or serious mental harm to a child or if the person's reckless act caused serious physical harm or serious mental harm to a child; or c) the person knowingly or intentionally committed an act that is cruel to a child regardless of whether harm results.
Michigan's child abuse statute does not prohibit a parent or guardian, or other person permitted by law or authorized by the parent or guardian, from taking steps to reasonably discipline a child, including the use of reasonable force. A defendant is not required to prove that the acts alleged were reasonable. In fact, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the force used was not reasonable as discipline. However, prosecutor offices may choose to still bring charges of child abuse, even if there is a claim that parental disciple was used.
Defending Child Abuse Allegations
The Law Offices of Shannon M. Smith, P.C. is an experienced law firm capable of defending accusations of child abuse. Our office understands the seriousness of allegations that involve harming, or potentially harming, a child. We are experienced in dealing with police, CPS workers, doctors, spouses, and any other individuals who may be involved in allegations of abuse. It is extremely important that you hire an experienced attorney when facing child abuse charges. Contact The Law Offices of Shannon M. Smith, P.C. today to schedule a consultation.