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Child Abuse or Endangerment

Child Abuse or Endangerment

Child abuse or endangerment is taken very seriously in the state of Michigan. An individual charged and arrested for a child abuse offense can expect to face severe penalties including crippling fines and time spent behind bars. Unfortunately, these are not the only life-altering consequences a person may face after a conviction for child abuse or endangerment.

Not only does an individual have to come face to face with the statutory penalties, but the negative social stigma from a child abuse/endangerment charge can seem unbearable. This is why if you or someone you know is charged with child abuse, it’s important to seek experienced legal counsel.

In cases like these, it’s best to reach out to experienced Michigan child abuse lawyer J. Dallo at Dallo Law, P.C., as soon as possible. He will work aggressively to achieve the best outcome for your case.

Child Abuse Lawyer in Oakland County, MI

If you or someone you know has been charged with child abuse or endangerment, we advise you to obtain legal counsel as soon as possible. A skilled attorney can assist you in navigating this complex process. Contact Dallo Law, P.C. at (248) 283-7000 to schedule a free consultation.

Dallo at Dallo Law, P.C. has made it a priority to surround himself with a team dedicated to defending your rights. He can help you find the best possible strategy to fight the charges and clear your name. Dallo Law, P.C. serves clients throughout the greater Oakland County and Macomb County area including Pontiac, Troy, Waterford Township, Southfield, Clarkston, Novi, Rochester, Utica, Armada, Clinton Township, Warren, Sterling Heights and Mount Clemens.


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Child Endangerment in Michigan

The term “child endangerment” cannot be found in the Michigan Penal Code. Instead, the statutes label the act as child abuse. According to the Michigan Penal Code, the lowest level of child abuse or child endangerment is known as fourth degree child abuse. A person is guilty of child abuse in the fourth degree if the person’s omission or reckless act causes physical harm to a child. Alternatively, the law also applies if the defendant commits an act that places a child at an unreasonable risk of harm, even if the child is not hurt.

In the state of Michigan, a first offense or fourth degree child abuse charge is a misdemeanor. An individual can face up to one year of jail time and up to $1,000 in fines. 


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Levels of Child Abuse Charges in MI

The penalties and punishments for a child abuse offense in Michigan can range in severity depending on the child’s injury. As stated previously, individuals found guilty can be charged anywhere from first degree child abuse to fourth degree child abuse. Aside from fourth degree child abuse, the penalties for the other levels are as follows:

Third-Degree Child Abuse:

Child abuse in the third degree is a felony punishable by up to 2 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. A person is guilty of third-degree child abuse or endangerment if any of the following apply:

  • The individual knowingly or intentionally causes physical harm to a child.
  • The individual knowingly or intentionally commits an act that under the circumstances poses an unreasonable risk of harm or injury to a child, and the act results in physical harm to a child.

Second-Degree Child Abuse:

Child abuse in the second degree is punishable by up to 10 years in prison if it is a first offense. For a second or subsequent offense, a second-degree child abuse charge is punishable by up to 20 years of imprisonment. A person is guilty of second-degree child abuse or endangerment if any of the following apply:

  • An individual’s omission causes serious physical harm or serious mental harm to a child
  • If the person’s reckless act causes serious physical harm or serious mental harm to a child.
  • The individual knowingly or intentionally commits an act likely to cause serious physical or mental harm to a child regardless of whether harm results.
  • The individual knowingly or intentionally commits an act that is cruel to a child regardless of whether harm results.

An individual may be charged with a second-degree if the evidence shows that the person had intentions to commit an act that could probably result in serious harm to a child, regardless of whether the harm actually results.

The maximum punishment for a second-degree child abuse offense includes:

  • Up to 10 for a first offense
  • Up to 20 years for a second offense

First-Degree Child Abuse:

The most serious form of child abuse in Michigan is a first-degree charge, which is punishable by up to 99 years in prison. A person is guilty of first-degree child abuse or endangerment if they caused physical or serious mental harm to a minor. Michigan law defines “physical harm” as any injury done 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.

The Michigan Penal Code also defines “serious mental harm.” “Serious mental harm” refers to 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.


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Additional Resources for Child Abuse or Endangerment

MDHHS: Abuse and Neglect – Visit the official website for Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) to learn more about abuse and neglect. Access the site to report abuse and learn more about potential Indicators of child abuse and/or neglect. The link also provides information on the central (perpetrator) registry and teen dating violence help.

Michigan Penal Code: Child Abuse – Visit the official website for the Michigan Legislature to read more about their child abuse laws. Access the site to view definitions related to the offense and penalties.


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Bloomfield Hills Child Endangerment Lawyers | Michigan Child Abuse Laws

If you have been charged and arrested with child endangerment, our experienced criminal defense lawyer J. Dallo at Dallo Law, P.C.can help. Child abuse charges are serious offenses that can carry severe consequences. It’s best to obtain skilled legal counsel as soon as you can.

Dallo Law, P.C. represents individuals accused of child abuse cases in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. We also serve clients throughout the greater Oakland County and Macomb Company area. You can call us at (248) 283-7000 to set up your first consultation for free.


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