Tulsa Attorney BlogIs Child Abuse a Crime in Oklahoma?

child abuse in Oklahoma

child abuse in Oklahoma

Child Abuse in Oklahoma is a Serious Offense

Child abuse is a sad reality. It occurs all around the world, and Oklahoma is no exception. Oklahoma takes this offense extremely seriously and so, in an effort to deter it as much as possible, attaches severe penalities to the act. But the punishments can vary quite a bit depending on the circumstances of the case.
So some instances of child abuse are going to be a lot more serious than others, but the penalty for child abuse can range anywhere from a year to life in prison. There are also fines – anywhere from $500 to $5,000. These fines can be levied concurrently with a prison sentence or can be in lieu of prison time, depending on the circumstances. But yes, child abuse is definitely a crime in Oklahoma, a very serious crime. In this article, we’ll explain what you need to know about child abuse in Oklahoma.

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.

Potential Penalties

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.

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