Michigan Child Abuse And Neglect Attorneys
The Kronzek Firm attorneys have been fighting child abuse and child neglect cases in the lower peninsula for the past two decades. Our firm is dedicated to keeping families together. We have kept many of our clients out of jail and kept the government out of their homes. We have aggressive criminal defense attorney that coordinate with CPS defense attorneys when the need arises. Together, our warriors are respected legal advocates all over Michigan.
Children’s Protective Services (CPS) may become involved in your case if you have been accused of child neglect or child abuse here in Michigan.
Depending on the situation, CPS could request that the court terminate your parental rights. These termination of parental rights (TPR) cases are entirely separate from any criminal charges that can be filed by a prosecuting attorney.
Yes, indeed sometimes, parents can face criminal charges for child abuse on top of the CPS investigation. Michigan classifies for different degrees of criminal child abuse. Each degree is a serious crime with grave penalties. These charges normally involve alleged intentional, knowing, willful, reckless, and negligent acts dealing with the bad treatment of children.
Child Abuse Crimes in Michigan:
First Degree Child Abuse Charges
The most serious Michigan child abuse crime is first degree child abuse. First degree child abuse comes with the most severe penalties, since this is a felony crime. A person facing a first degree child abuse conviction may have to serve up to 15 years in prison.
To be convicted of first degree child abuse, the prosecutor has to prove that the parent or guardian who has care, custody, or authority over a child either knowingly or intentionally inflicted “serious physical harm” or “serious mental harm” to the child.
Serious physical harm is when a child has a physical injury that disturbs the child’s health or physical well-being.
This may include skull or bone fracture, brain damage, dislocation, sprain, subdural hemorrhage or hematoma, burn, internal injury, scald, severe cut, or poisoning.
Similarly, serious mental harm is when injury to a child evolves into a mental condition that can be observed through signs of impairment to the child’s judgment, behavior, ability to recognize reality, or ability to cope with life’s daily demands.
Not only does the prosecutor need to prove that the parent or guardian knowingly harmed the child, but also that the parent or guardian intended or knew that his or her actions would lead to serious injury of the child.
Unfortunately, parents are sometimes blamed for their child’s injuries just because there are no other explanations. The truth of the matter is that there are many ways that a child can be injured: from a sibling, at the hands of another caregiver, or because of an accident of which the parents are unaware.
At The Kronzek Firm, we understand that parents should not be blamed for their child’s injury just because there seems to be no other explanation. If you believe you may be convicted of child abuse or neglect, it is important to get expert attorney help right away.
Call us today at 1-866-766-5245.
Second Degree Child Abuse Charges
Second degree child abuse is another serious felony crime that could result in prison time – however, second degree child abuse is less severe than first degree child abuse.
Still, if this is a person’s first time being convicted of child abuse, they may have to spend up to 10 years in prison. If this is a person’s second time being convicted of child abuse, they may have to spend up to 20 years in prison.
A person could be charged with second degree child abuse if he or she willfully commits any of the following:
- Failure to provide adequate food, clothing, or shelter where this failure has brought about serious harm to the child;
- Partaking in a reckless act that has led to the serious physical harm of the child;
- Committing a cruel act to the child, even if the child was not harmed (where “cruel” means brutal, sadistic, inhumane or tormenting).
Call our aggressive criminal defense team at 1 – 866- 7NoJail
Third Degree Child Abuse Charges
Third degree child abuse is still a felony crime, and it carries with it the possibility of up to 2 years in prison. Third degree child abuse occurs when the defendant knowingly or intentionally harms the child physically.
Unlike with first and second degree child abuse, the child does not need to have suffered serious physical harm for third degree child abuse. The defendant can be accused for third degree child abuse if the child has been physically injured in any way.
Our Child Abuse Lawyers Are Available 24 / 7 for crisis intervention
Fourth Degree Child Abuse Charges
Fourth degree child abuse is the least serious of child abuse convictions, but it is still a misdemeanor crime and should still be taken seriously. A person accused of fourth degree child abuse may face up to 1 year in jail.
Fourth degree child abuse occurs when a parent or guardian intentionally fails to provide adequate food, clothing, or shelter for the child and this failure leads to the physical harm of the child. Fourth degree child abuse can also occur if the parent or guardian acts recklessly and this recklessness leads to the physical harm of the child.
Just like with third degree child abuse, serious physical injury of the child does not need to occur for the defendant to be charged with fourth degree child abuse.
Call Our Experienced Child Abuse Defenders As Soon as You Realize That Police Are Involved! If the alleged act against the child is sexual in nature, then the defendant will likely be charged under Michigan’s statues on Criminal Sexual Conduct instead of under Michigan’s child abuse/neglect laws.
Is it illegal to spank my child in Michigan?
No, it is not illegal to spank your child in Michigan. Spanking children is parental discipline, which is legal as long as the child does not suffer physical harm as a result. The parent is not allowed to use violence towards the child, and only a reasonable amount of force towards the child is allowed. The key factor that police and CPS seem to focus on is whether there were any marks left on the child after physical discipline. If so, there could be a problem.
This means that a parent can be charged with child abuse if they spank their child using violence or using an unreasonable amount of force. The prosecutor would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that that the force the parent used against the child exceeded the amount that would be reasonable for discipline.
Sometimes, a parent might not realize that the amount of force they have used on their child is an unreasonable amount. Anything leaving marks or bruises or other injuries would be considered unreasonable.
A parent who has injured their child will need expert defense attorneys in court. Some people believe that physical violence should never be used to correct a child’s behavior.
It is illegal for a parent to conceal the child from the child’s other parent or guardian. This would mean taking or keeping the child for more than 24 hours in some cases and for 72 hours in other cases.
However, it is not considered parental kidnapping if one parent is concealing the child from the other parent/guardian to protect the child against immediate and actual threat of physical or mental harm, abuse, or neglect. Parental kidnapping is a serious crime under both Michigan law and under federal law.
What To Do If You Have Been Accused of Child Abuse or Child Neglect
If you believe you might be convicted of child abuse or child neglect here in the lower peninsual of Michigan, you should contact an experienced child abuse defense attorney right away. Being accused of child abuse or neglect may lead to criminal charges and being separated from your family and children. The earlier, the better when it comes to a child neglect or child abuse case.
One big risk of being accused of child abuse is losing your parental rights. At The Kronzek Firm, we have decades of experience helping parents keep their parental rights and continue spending time with their children. We will aggressively defend you against allegations that you mistreated your kids.
Prosecutors and CPS often harshly go after parents in child abuse or neglect cases. Sometimes, even when parents are acquitted of all criminal child abuse charges, CPS still tries to pursue the parents.
This is in part because CPS cases don’t need the same level of proof as a criminal child abuse case, and because the state still has the power to separate children from the parents. Our goal is to keep your children at home with you. Remember, the right attorney is critical.
In a CPS case, parents have many forces working against them: the prosecutor, the guardian ad litem, social workers, the CPS investigator, and sometimes even court-appointed psychologists/psychiatrists and medical doctors. In other words, the odds are stacked against the parents, making it all the more crucial that parents hire respected and experienced CPS defense attorneys that are dedicated to keeping families together.
Parents are sometimes afraid to call an attorney because of the various bullying tactics CPS is known to use. In the past, CPS has threatened taking away children from parents if the parent doesn’t cooperate with the CPS investigation. You should never feel afraid to call an expert child abuse attorney who will fight to protect you and your family on the uneven playing field. Remember, we’ve worked on thousands of cases all over the lower peninsula during the past decades.
As soon as you believe you might be investigated for child abuse or neglecting a child, contact our expert attorneys! We have seen great success defending clients against child abuse and neglect charges in Lansing, Ann Arbor, Oakland County, Grand Rapids, Midland, Cadillac, Roscommon County, Livingston County, Genessee County, Jackson, Ionia, and throughout Michigan.
You can fill out our contact form online or speak to a highly experienced
child abuse lawyer right away by calling 1-866-766-5245.
1 866- 7NoJail