Stillwater Lawyer BlogWhat is Permitting Child Abuse by Injury in Oklahoma?

permitting child abuse by injury in OklahomaPermitting child abuse by injury in Oklahoma is one of a series of child abuse statutes that cover a wide range of acts and actions which Oklahoma takes seriously. We think of permitting child abuse as an abhorrent thing, and it is. However, for families looked in patterns of abuse, it can and does happen. And in Stillwater, Oklahoma, as an enabler, you can be charged with permitting child abuse even if you were not the one actually abusing the child.

Laws Against Child Abuse in Stillwater

Oklahoma has a number of laws concerning child abuse and there is some overlap between them. This gives prosecutors broad leeway in charging and prosecuting child abuse cases.

Oklahoma law prohibits a caretaker or other person from abusing, neglecting, committing any sexual abuse, or exploiting a child. The law prohibits the abuse of a child and enabling the abuse of a child in any way. This statute includes physical, mental, and sexual child abuse in Oklahoma. Okla. Stat. 21 § 843.1

Enabling child abuse is defined by Oklahoma law as causing, procuring, or permitting any willful or malicious act or the threat of harm to a child. It includes the failure to protect a child from harm. If one parent is involved in directly abusing a child and the other parent knowingly enables the abuse in any way, both parents may be prosecuted.

A conviction under this statute requires that the perpetrator act in a willful or malicious way. Any facts in your case that undermine the required intent will be helpful.

Defining Child Abuse by Injury

Oklahoma has a number of laws concerning child abuse and there is some overlap between them. This gives prosecutors broad leeway in charging and prosecuting child abuse cases.

Oklahoma law prohibits a caretaker or other person from abusing, neglecting, committing any sexual abuse, or exploiting a child. Child abuse is defined as the willful or malicious threatened or actual harm or the failure to protect a child under the age of 18, from real or threatened harm to their health, safety, or welfare. Child abuse also includes the act of willfully or maliciously injuring, torturing, or maiming a child. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 843.5

The injury cannot be accidental, as willful or malicious intent is a requirement of the statutes involved. However, injury can be physical, mental or emotional.

What Constitutes Permitting Child Abuse Under Oklahoma Law?

In order to secure a conviction for permitting child abuse by injury, the prosecution must prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. If any element goes unproven, there can be no conviction. Here are the elements of the crime:

  • person responsible for a child’s health, safety, or welfare
  • knowingly
  • permitted
  • injury, torture, maiming, or the use of unreasonable force
  • upon a child.

OUJI-CR 4-36.

Harm or threatened harm to the health or safety of a child is any real or threatened physical, mental, or emotional injury or damage to the body or mind that is not accidental. Okla. Stat. tit. 10a § 1-1-105

Ordinary force used by a parent to discipline a child is not considered to be abuse in Oklahoma. This includes spanking, switching, or paddling.

Penalties for Permitting Child Abuse by Injury

Child abuse by injury is a felony in Stillwater. The crime is punishable by anywhere from one year in county jail to life imprisonment, a fine between $500 and $5,000, or both. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 843.5

Oklahoma law imposes a duty to report suspected child abuse upon all health care professionals, teachers, and other responsible adults. An investigation may lead to intervention and removal of the child from the custody of the person permitting the abuse.

If you are facing charges for permitting child abuse by injury, you and your family will need help. Contact an experienced criminal law attorney in Stillwater as soon as possible.

Free Consultation with a Stillwater OK Attorney

Wirth Law Office – Stillwater is here to help you when you need it the most.

We offer a free consultation with an experienced Stillwater OK attorney to help you defend your legal rights. Don’t try to handle your legal matter by yourself.

Call 405-673-1600 for a free consultation or submit a question through this website.

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