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Defining the Crime of Child Abuse in Michigan


We have all been terrified by child abuse that we see online or in news releases. It is hard not to take things personally when you see that children are experiencing abuse.

As lawyers in the practice, we have seen a lot of cases. We have handled a lot of cases that involved families, couples, friends, and all other relationships that could turn sour. None has caused us more anxiety than when it is children involved.

Here at Haque Legal, even if we see and we know that we must always apply the law for our clients. We consider everyone as part of our family. As such, we need to define the crime of child abuse in Michigan so that every can know what they can do if they see that a child is being abused by their parents or by any other person.


It is 750.136b of the Michigan Criminal Code that defines child abuse. Child abuse may be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor offense in the State of Michigan. 

Who may be charged with Child Abuse?

Any individual who may be responsible for a child’s health and his welfare may be found guilty of child abuse. If he or she harms the child mentally or physically he may be found guilty of child abuse. This would include a parent, teacher, member of the clergy, or other person who may be responsible for a child’s health and welfare.

Different degrees of Child Abuse

There are different degrees of child abuse that an individual may be charged with. The following are the different degrees that you can look at:

First-degree Child Abuse

There is first degree child abuse when there is evidence of broken bones that are shown in the child. Medical records corroborated by the testimonies of situations that led to broken bones are considered as part of first-degree child abuse. When a child suffers internal injuries as well, there is a case of first degree child abuse. Finally, brain damage caused by a direct fatal blow is considered as first-degree child abuse.

Second-degree Child Abuse

There is second-degree child abuse when a parent or a guardian behaves in a reckles manner that cause damage to the welfare of the child in his care and custody. This would include neglecting a child’s basic needs or when he or she fails to provide a child with adequate care. This is already reason enough to be charged with second-degree child abuse.

Third-degree Child Abuse

There is third degree child abuse when a parent or a guardian intentionally or knowingly inflicts physical harm to a child. 

Fourth-degree Child Abuse

There is fourth degree child abuse when a parent or a guardian who intentionally or knowing inflicts some physical harm may be charged with third-degree child abuse.

What kind of harm must be done on a child?

The following kinds of harm are defined in the Michigan Criminal Code. The following are the definitions:

  • (e) “Physical harm” means any injury to a child’s physical condition.
  • “Serious physical harm” means any physical injury to a child that seriously impairs the child’s health or physical well-being, including, but not limited to, brain damage, a skull or bone fracture, subdural hemorrhage or hematoma, dislocation, sprain, internal injury, poisoning, burn or scald, or severe cut.
  • “Serious mental harm” means an injury to a child’s mental condition or welfare that is not necessarily permanent but results in visibly demonstrable manifestations of a substantial disorder of thought or mood which significantly impairs judgment, behavior, capacity to recognize reality, or ability to cope with the ordinary demands of life.

Now that we have defined Child Abuse in Michigan, the next part of the series will look at the important details related to the crime.

Let Haque Legal Help You With Your Case

If you require a lawyer who can assist you with ensuring that you protect your rights or your children’s rights against the abuser, it is important to know that you also have a team that can help you out with your specific needs. 

Our law firm is dedicated to making sure that those who are innocent will be protected by the law and the full extent of justice will be used.


The article that you have read is based on general applications of the law. It is not legal advice and it is not to be construed as any legal consultation with the firm. No client-attorney relationship is created when you read the articles we have provided.

Let us help you out

If you need a lawyer to help you during your proceedings, call us immediately. If you have any problem with the law or are seeking justice and truth, our numbers are standing by to take your call.

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