Child abuse usually happens behind closed doors, but it is a severe and widespread issue. The National Children’s Alliance reported that there are nearly 700,000 children who are abused in the United States every year. The actions that seriously endanger the physical, mental, or emotional health of a child, they include acts such as infliction or allowing infliction or attempted pain of physical or psychological injury, exploitation, sexual abuse or involvement in pornography.
These actions are considered child abuse. Sexual, physical, or emotional abuse of a child is regarded as a severe crime under most state child abuse laws. Additionally, most states have "mandatory reporter" laws, which require certain professionals with regular and easy access to children like teachers, pediatricians to report any signs of abuse to the authorities. In the state of Michigan, child abuse law, for example, also lists counselors and social workers as mandatory reporters.
Child Abuse and Child Neglect laws in Michigan
The acts of child abuse and child neglect are considered illegal in Michigan. Child neglect means the negligent treatment of a child by a caretaker or parent, including the failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, or medical care.
First-degree child abuse
Knowingly or intentionally causing any serious physical or mental harm to a child. The charges are among the most serious criminal charges a person can face. A person convicted of First Degree Child Abuse in Michigan may very likely go to State Prison. The maximum time as punishment for this felony is life in terms of years. A conviction for First Degree Child Abuse also means being placed on the Michigan Child Abuse and Neglect Central Registry as a "perpetrator."
Actions that involves neglecting a child or behaving in a reckless manner which results in serious physical or mental harm. The act of knowingly or intentionally committing an act that causes serious physical or psychological harm, regardless of whether harm results. Even knowingly or willfully committing a law that's cruel, regardless of the damage.
The charges for second-degree child abuse are severe criminal charges and should not be taken lightly. If an individual is convicted of second-degree child abuse, they will almost certainly receive a jail sentence and may likely go to State Prison. The maximum Prison sentence for second-degree child abuse is ten years for a first offender, and 20 years for a repeat offender.
Third-degree child abuse
The actions that involve knowingly or intentionally causing physical harm or acting in a manner that poses an unreasonable risk of harm, which results in physical injury towards a child constitutes as child abuse. Third Degree Child Abuse charges are severe criminal charges and cannot be taken lightly. If you are convicted of this charge, you are likely to receive a jail sentence, and you may likely go to state prison. The maximum prison sentence for 3rd Degree Child Abuse is not more than two years. Additionally, you will also be listed in the Michigan Child Abuse and Neglect Central Registry where you will be marked as a “perpetrator.”
Fourth-degree child abuse
It is constituted as fourth-degree child abuse when it involves, neglecting a child or acting in a reckless manner that causes physical harm. Even knowingly or intentionally committing an act that poses an unreasonable risk of injury, regardless of whether it results in bodily harm.
Fourth Degree Child Abuse is a misdemeanor charge, but should not be taken lightly. If you are convicted of Fourth Degree Child Abuse, the maximum Prison sentence for Fourth Degree Child Abuse is a misdemeanor punishable by not more than one year.