Child Abuse in Oklahoma is a Serious Offense
Defining Child Abuse in Oklahoma
First, we need to understand exactly what is considered child abuse under Oklahoma law. The Oklahoma legislature defines this as “harm or threatened harm to a child’s health, safety, or welfare by a person responsible for the child’s health, safety, or welfare, including sexual abuse or exploitation.” Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 843.5
This statute is defined broadly because it is intended to cover a wide range of actions that may cause physical, emotional, or psychological harm to a child.
It’s important to note a few things here:
- The abuse to the child must be done maliciously or intentionally and with malice. This means that there must be positive intent to cause the child harm or torment in some way.
- Child abuse includes both acts of commission (intentional actions) and omission (failure to act). That means neglect or abandonment are also considered child abuse in Oklahoma.
If you suspect child abuse in Oklahoma is happening, contact Oklahoma Child Protective Services. Failure to report such abuse when you are aware of it carries with it substantial penalties of their own.
Child abuse is considered a felony offense in Oklahoma. A conviction could bring anywhere from a number of years to life in prison without parole. Fines of up to $5,000 are also possible. The specific details of the case matter greatly here. For example, if the victim of the abuse is younger than 12, a conviction carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison.
Along with the severe penalties involved, it’s for this reason you should consult with a Tulsa criminal defense attorney if you find yourself charged with child abuse in Oklahoma.
Free Consultation with a Tulsa Child Abuse Defense Attorney
Only an Oklahoma lawyer will be familiar with the laws surrounding child abuse in Oklahoma. If you would like a free consultation with an Oklahoma defense lawyer specializing in child abuse, call Wirth Law Office – Tulsa at 918-879-1681. You may also submit the question form at the top right of this page.