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Oklahoma Child Neglect Criminal Defense Attorneys

Perhaps no body of criminal laws is stronger than those protecting children. While this is noble as an ideal, and children obviously need the strongest protection from society possible, it also can sometimes result in extremely serious charges being levied against a defendant when it may not be justifiable given the circumstances surrounding the situation.

The laws that deal with child neglect in Oklahoma carry very strong penalties. Child neglect is certainly a serious issue, and public policy demands that those guilty of not properly caring for their children, but the bottom line is that if you or someone you love has been indicted for this offense, you face a serious legal problem.

If you have been charged with child neglect, the worst thing you can do is sit and wait and hope that the problem solves itself, as it will not – it will likely only get worse. You need to contact Privett Law immediately to schedule an initial consultation if you’ve been charged with this offense. Our lawyers know your rights and that they need to be asserted for your protection regardless of your situation.

OK Child Neglect Charges Statute

The Oklahoma statute is known as the Oklahoma Child Abuse Reporting and Prevention Act, and it defines child neglect states as follows:

Tit. 10, § 7102:  
Harm or threatened harm to a child's health or safety includes, but is not limited to, neglect or failure or omission to provide protection from harm or threatened harm.


Definition of Child Neglect in Oklahoma

Neglect means failure or omission to provide:  Adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and supervision Special care made necessary by the physical or mental condition of the child.

Although the standards set out in the definition make every effort to clearly define what constitutes child neglect, one can see how there are somewhat subjective standards involved with each of these requirements. Specifically, the word ‘adequate’ could be construed differently by different people, as could the word ‘necessary’ in regards to the child’s medical condition and/or ongoing needs.

Penalties for a Conviction of Child Neglect in Oklahoma

As you see, there are aspects of the child neglect definition that could be open to interpretation in front of a jury, but regardless of that analysis, the penalties for a conviction are extremely harsh. Below are excerpts from the Oklahoma statutes as they deal with penalties associated with a child neglect conviction.

Tit. 10, § 7115

C. Any parent or other person who shall willfully or maliciously engage in child neglect shall, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections not exceeding life imprisonment, or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one (1) year, or by a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or both such fine and imprisonment. As used in this subsection, "child neglect" means the willful or malicious neglect, as defined by paragraph 3 of subsection B of Section 7102 of this title, of a child under eighteen (18) years of age by another.

D. Any parent or other person who shall willfully or maliciously engage in enabling child neglect shall, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections not exceeding life imprisonment, or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one (1) year, or by a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) nor more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or both such fine and imprisonment. As used in this subsection, "enabling child neglect" means the causing, procuring or permitting of a willful or malicious act of child neglect, as defined by paragraph 3 of subsection B of Section 7102 of this title, of a child under eighteen (18) years of age by another. As used in this subsection, "permit" means to authorize or allow for the care of a child by an individual when the person authorizing or allowing such care knows or reasonably should know that the child will be placed at risk of neglect as proscribed by this subsection.

As you see, acting as an enabler carries punishments much more severe than those for the actual neglecting party.


Contact a Child Neglect Criminal Defense Lawyer in Oklahoma 

As has been explained, child neglect charges are a very serious matter in Oklahoma. If you or someone you love faces such charges, you need to contact Privett Law immediately to schedule an initial consultation and to begin the process of building a strong defense.