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 knowinglt 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.
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