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Criminal Attorney Oklahoma Defense Lawyer Adam R. Banner OKLAHOMA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AT LAW
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Oklahoma Child Abuse Attorney

One would be hard pressed to find any crime in Oklahoma which draws more ire from the public than child abuse, and rightfully so. Children hold a special place in the eyes of the law due to their innocence and vulnerability. As such, child abuse charges are some of the most difficult Oklahoma criminal charges to defend, because the allegations are so easy to make and they most often come from a minor child.

Moreover, the Oklahoma Statutes provide for punishment of both the individual who actively engages in the child abuse or child neglect and any individual who enables the child abuse or neglect.

Consequently, penalties and punishment for a child abuse convictions in Oklahoma are some of the most sever in the state. This is coupled with the fact that a conviction for child abuse allegations will result in felony conviction consequences and possibly Oklahoma Sex Offender Registration. With this in mind, it is imperative that a Defendant charged with such shocking and heinous allegations seek the representation of an Oklahoma child abuse attorney.

Child Abuse Charges in Oklahoma

Any individual responsible for a child’s health, safety, or welfare who causes or permits:

  • harm or threatened harm; or
  • failure to protect from harm or threatened harm to the health, safety, or welfare of a child including but not limited to:
  • non-accidental physical or mental injury, 
  • sexual abuse, or 
  • sexual exploitation

Any of these charges can cause someone to be criminally liable for child abuse. Obviously, parents are not restrained from using ordinary force as necessary to discipline their children; as such, actions such as spanking, switching, or paddling a child for disciplinary reasons is not child abuse. 

However, those who cause or enable any of the above violations risk prosecution for enabling child abuse. "Enable" means to supply another with the means, knowledge, or opportunity to commit child abuse when the person authorizing or allowing such knows or reasonably should know that the child will be placed at risk of child abuse as described above.

Both child abuse and enabling child abuse are considered felonies, and a conviction for either charge can have a lasting negative impact on the remaining life of the convicted person.

Oklahoma Child Abuse Penalties and Punishment

The following are excerpts from the Oklahoma Statutes that outline the possible punishment associated with a child abuse conviction in Oklahoma:

Tit. 21, § 843.5:

A. Any parent or other person who shall willfully or maliciously engage in child abuse shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections not exceeding life imprisonment, or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one (1) year, or by a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or both such fine and imprisonment. As used in this subsection, "child abuse" means the willful or malicious abuse, as defined by paragraph 2 of Section 1-1-105 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes, of a child under eighteen (18) years of age by another, or the act of willfully or maliciously injuring, torturing or maiming a child under eighteen (18) years of age by another.

B. Any parent or other person who shall willfully or maliciously engage in enabling child abuse shall, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections not exceeding life imprisonment, or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one (1) year, or by a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) or both such fine and imprisonment. As used in this subsection, "enabling child abuse" means the causing, procuring or permitting of a willful or malicious act of child abuse, as defined by paragraph 2 of Section 1-1-105 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes, of a child under eighteen (18) years of age by another. As used in this subsection, "permit" means to authorize or allow for the care of a child by an individual when the person authorizing or allowing such care knows or reasonably should know that the child will be placed at risk of abuse as proscribed by this subsection.

Child Neglect Charges in Oklahoma

It goes without questioning that the children of Oklahoma deserve the greatest protections that our state can possibly provide. However, this ideal sometimes leads to hasty decisions and the biased prosecution of individuals before such punishment is even justified given the particular situation’s circumstances.  Child neglect cases, much like child abuse cases, are some of the easiest allegations for the prosecution to make and sustain, in part due to society’s ultrasensitive position on the welfare of our children. Understandably, serious issues require serious representation.

The Oklahoma statutes define child neglect as follows:

"Neglect" means a willful failure or omission to provide the following for a child:

  • adequate nurturance and affection, food, clothing, shelter, sanitation, hygiene, or appropriate education,
  • medical, dental, or behavioral health care,
  • supervision or appropriate caretakers, or
  • special care made necessary by the physical or mental condition of the child,
  • the failure or omission to protect a child from exposure to any of the following:
  • the use, possession, sale, or manufacture of illegal drugs,
  • illegal activities, or
  • sexual acts or materials that are not age-appropriate, or
  • abandonment.

The law considers anyone under the age of 18 a child. A Defendant can also be charged with the crime of enabling child neglect. Both Child neglect and enabling child neglect are charged as felonies in Oklahoma, which means a conviction may potentially impact the remainder of the Defendant’s life.

Penalties for Child Neglect in Oklahoma

The following are excerpts from the Oklahoma Statutes that outline the possible punishment associated with a child neglect conviction in Oklahoma:

Tit. 21, § 843.5:
C. Any parent or other person who shall willfully or maliciously engage in child neglect shall, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections not exceeding life imprisonment, or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one (1) year, or by a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or both such fine and imprisonment. As used in this subsection, "child neglect" means the willful or malicious neglect, as defined by paragraph 3 of subsection B of Section 7102 of this title, of a child under eighteen (18) years of age by another.

D. Any parent or other person who shall willfully or maliciously engage in enabling child neglect shall, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections not exceeding life imprisonment, or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one (1) year, or by a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or both such fine and imprisonment. As used in this subsection, "enabling child neglect" means the causing, procuring or permitting of a willful or malicious act of child neglect, as defined by paragraph 3 of subsection B of Section 7102 of this title, of a child under eighteen (18) years of age by another. As used in this subsection, "permit" means to authorize or allow for the care of a child by an individual when the person authorizing or allowing such care knows or reasonably should know that the child will be placed at risk of neglect as proscribed by this subsection.

Child Sexual Abuse Charges in Oklahoma

Child sexual abuse in Oklahoma encompasses situations where a child is improperly touched in a sexually explicit manner. Child sexual abuse is similar to other child abuse-related charges, in that one can also be charged with enabling child sexual abuse. Child sexual abuse is likewise also charged as a felony. As such, if convicted, a Defendant could potentially face up to life in prison. Furthermore, allegations of child sexual abuse carry a great amount of social stigma.

Penalties for Child Sexual Abuse in Oklahoma

The following are excerpts from the Oklahoma Statutes that outline the possible punishment associated with a child Sexual Abuse conviction in Oklahoma:

Tit. 21, § 843.5:

F. Any parent or other person who shall willfully or maliciously engage in sexual abuse to a child under twelve (12) years of age shall, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not less than twenty-five (25) years nor more than life imprisonment, and by a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00).

G. Any parent or other person who shall willfully or maliciously engage in enabling child sexual abuse shall, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections not exceeding life imprisonment, or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one (1) year, or by a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or both such fine and imprisonment. As used in this subsection, "enabling child sexual abuse" means the causing, procuring or permitting of a willful or malicious act of child sexual abuse, as defined by subparagraph b of paragraph 2 of Section 1-1-105 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes, of a child under the age of eighteen (18) by another. As used in this subsection, "permit" means to authorize or allow for the care of a child by an individual when the person authorizing or allowing such care knows or reasonably should know that the child will be placed at risk of sexual abuse as proscribed by this subsection.

Child Sexual Exploitation Crimes in Oklahoma

Child sexual exploitation liability arises in Oklahoma when an individual forces a child to engage in sexual acts, and the act results in some sort of profit or monetary gain for the person forcing the acts to occur. As detailed above, there is a coinciding crime for enabling child sexual exploitation, and a conviction for either charge is a felony.

Penalties for Child Exploitation in Oklahoma

The following are excerpts from the Oklahoma Statutes that outline the possible punishment associated with a child exploitation conviction in Oklahoma:

Tit. 21, § 843.5:

H. Any parent or other person who shall willfully or maliciously engage in child sexual exploitation shall, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections not exceeding life imprisonment, or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one (1) year, or by a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or both such fine and imprisonment except as provided in subsection I of this section for a child victim under twelve (12) years of age. Except for persons sentenced to life or life without parole, any person sentenced to imprisonment for two (2) years or more for a violation of this subsection shall be required to serve a term of post-imprisonment supervision pursuant to subparagraph f of paragraph 1 of subsection A of Section 991a of Title 22 of the Oklahoma Statutes under conditions determined by the Department of Corrections. The jury shall be advised that the mandatory post-imprisonment supervision shall be in addition to the actual imprisonment. As used in this subsection, "child sexual exploitation" means the willful or malicious sexual exploitation, as defined by subparagraph c of paragraph 2 of Section 1-1-105 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes, of a child under eighteen (18) years of age by another.

I. Any parent or other person who shall willfully or maliciously engage in sexual exploitation of a child under twelve (12) years of age shall, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not less than twenty-five (25) years nor more than life imprisonment, and by a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00).

J. Any parent or other person who shall willfully or maliciously engage in enabling child sexual exploitation shall, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections not exceeding life imprisonment, or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one (1) year, or by a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or both such fine and imprisonment. As used in this subsection, "enabling child sexual exploitation" means the causing, procuring or permitting of a willful or malicious act of child sexual exploitation, as defined by subparagraph c of paragraph 2 of Section 1-1-105 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes, of a child under eighteen (18) years of age by another. As used in this subsection, "permit" means to authorize or allow for the care of a child by an individual when the person authorizing or allowing such care knows or reasonably should know that the child will be placed at risk of sexual exploitation as proscribed by this subsection.

If you or a loved one has been charged with child abuse in Oklahoma, time is of the essence. You need an experienced child abuse attorney, and you need one right now. Call the Law Offices of Adam R. Banner, P.C., and retain an accomplished attorney ready to fight for your rights. Call us today at (405) 778-4800 for a free consultation.

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