Child abuse is a serious criminal offense in Ohio. If you are facing charges for child abuse, the sooner you consult with a trusted Cincinnati child abuse attorney, the better. It could mean the difference between serving less time in jail or prison or it could even mean seeking a complete dismissal of child abuse or neglect charges altogether.
These charges are often the result of complicated and emotionally difficult experiences. A child abuse or child neglect conviction in Ohio or Northern Kentucky can result in serious penalties and consequences that will impact the rest of your life. If convicted, you will likely face extensive prison time, large fines and fees, and permanently being on your criminal background. People are often quick to judge child abuse and neglect offenders, so you may also face a damaged reputation in your community.
If you are facing child abuse charges, it is imperative that you consult with an attorney as soon as possible. It is understandable that you are probably scared and overwhelmed by the child abuse charges that you are currently facing. You do not have go through this experience alone. Call Cincinnati criminal defense attorney Brad Groene today at to find out how he can help you.
What is Child Abuse?
According to the Ohio Revised Code 2151.031, an abused child is defined as fitting into any of the following criteria:
- The victim of sexual abuse or behavior;
- Is in endangered situation, or circumstances in which their risk of health and safety is threatened by a parent, guardian or custodian.
- Exhibits any kind of mental or physical injury that has been not been caused by an accident;
- Suffers mental or physical injury as the result of actions by his or her parents, guardian or custodian that harms or threatens their health or well-being.
What is Child Endangerment?
The Ohio Revised Code definition of endangering children (ORC 2919.22) further indicates that no individual should engage in any of the following actions with someone who is under the age of 18 or a mentally or physically handicapped child under 21:
- Abuse of a child;
- Torture or abuse of a child;
- Administraiton of punishment or physical that deliberately inflicts pain for the purpose of discipline, physically restrains the child in a harmful way for a long period of time, which discipline, punishment or restraint is excessive and creates a substantial risk of danger or harm to a child;
- Repeated administration of unwarranted disciplinary measures on a child, where there is a substantial risk that such conduct if continued will impair or delay a child’s mental health and development;
- Coercion, enticement, use or permission of a child to participate in a situation that is obscene or has sexual implications;
- Operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs while a child is present in the vehicle.
What is Child Neglect?
Child neglect is a different offense than child abuse in Ohio. A neglected child according to the Ohio Revised Code (ORC 2151.03) includes any child:
- Who has been abandoned by their parents or guardian;
- Who lacks adequate parental care as the result of the habits or behavior of their parents or guardian;
- Whose parents or guardians do not provide food, education, medical care, or other necessary treatment for their health or well-being;
- Whose parents or legal guardians neglect them or refuse to provide the necessary special care if they have a mental condition;
- Who suffers physical or mental injury that harms or poses a threat of harm their health or welfare as the result of the omission of their parents or guardian.
Penalties for Child Abuse or Child Neglect Charges
Ohio child abuse / neglect penalty breakdown
- First conviction or an OVI with a child in the car:
A first-degree misdemeanor with up to six months in jail, and up to $1,000 in fines
- Second or more conviction that resulted in a serious injury:
A fourth-degree felony with at least six months in jail and up to $5,000 in fines
If you are facing a child abuse / neglect conviction in Ohio, the penalties that you might face are dependent on the severity of the facts and circumstances of your case. A child abuse / neglect conviction carries serious penalties including extensive jail or prison time, exorbitant fines and fees and community service hours. You will also face more serious charges and penalties if you have a prior history of criminal charges.
If you are facing your first conviction for child abuse/ neglect or an OVI / DUI with a child in the vehicle, you will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. This charge entails serving a maximum of up to six months in jail, paying up to $1,000 in fines, completing a maximum of 200 hours of community services. If you are convicted for an OVI / DUI while having a child in the vehicle, you will face a one-year driver’s license suspension.
If you are facing a conviction for an OVI / DUI while having a child present in the vehicle and have a prior history of child abuse or neglect, then you will be charged with a fifth-degree felony. This charge entails serving a minimum of six months and up to a year in jail, paying up to $2,500 in fines, completing a maximum of 200 hours of community service and a one-year driver’s license suspension.
If you are facing a conviction for a subsequent child abuse offense or an OVI / DUI that resulted in serious bodily injury of a child, then you will be charged with a fourth-degree felony. This charge entails serving a minimum of six months and up to a maximum of 18 months in jail, paying up to $5,000 in fines, completing up to 200 hours in community service. If your conviction involves an OVI / DUI offense, then you will also face a one-year driver’s license suspension.
If you are facing a conviction for child abuse / neglect and the facts of your case indicate that there was excessive corporal punishment, then you will be charged with a third-degree felony. This charge entails a minimum of one year and up to a maximum of five years in prison, paying up to $10,000 in fines, and completing up to 200 hours of community service.
If you are facing a conviction for child abuse and the facts of your case indicate that there was serious physical harm to the child, excessive corporal punishment that resulted in serious physical harm to the child, or a subsequent offense of excessive corporal punishment of a child, then you will be charged with a second-degree felony. This charge entails serving a minimum of two years and up to a maximum of eight years in prison, paying up to $15,000 in fines, and completing up to 200 community service hours.
Other Consequences of Child Abuse or Neglect Charges
Every day in Ohio, there are many individuals who are charged with child abuse / neglect. If you are child abuse / neglect charges, it is imperative that you immediately contact Cincinnati child abuse attorney Brad Groene. A child abuse charge is a difficult experience, and you do not have to go through it alone. Although every case is different, it is crucial that you obtain an experienced, knowledgeable, and compassionate attorney as soon as possible who will fight vigorously for your legal rights and best interest. The sooner you speak with an attorney, the better your options will be regarding your sentence. Cincinnati child abuse attorneys with LHA have successfully defended thousands. They will help you receive the justice you deserve.