Satawa Law, PLLC. recently has won another Title IX hearing, as the office for title 9 and institutional equity at University in Western Michigan “unanimously determined that the preponderance of evidence does not support a finding that the responded engaged in sexual assault or sexual harassment.”Read More

Call Today For Your Free Case Strategy Session. (248) 509-0056

 Satawa Law, PLLC

Understanding And Challenging Medical Child Abuse Allegations In MichiganIn Michigan, unintentional medical child abuse by parents and caregivers brings with it serious consequences. Intent is not a prerequisite for all potential criminal child abuse allegations/charges. Continue reading to discover:

  • The many degrees of child abuse in Michigan.
  • The consequences you may face if convicted of child abuse.
  • How an attorney can be instrumental in helping you avoid a conviction of medical child abuse.

Can A Caregiver Or Parent Be Charged With Medical Child Abuse Even If They Did Not Intend To Harm A Child?

In Michigan, facing allegations of unintentional medical child abuse by parents or caregivers is a very real and dreadful thing. In Michigan, you can be charged with various degrees of child abuse, and the intent to harm is not a prerequisite for every degree of child abuse.

The degree of child abuse determines the severity of the offense and the potential penalties. Michigan Compiled Law (MCL) 750.136b outlines the child abuse statute with four degrees: first, second, third, and fourth. The first degree is the most serious and the fourth least. It is essential you understand the nuances of each degree to navigate the legal implications effectively.

First Degree Child Abuse

  • Involves knowingly or intentionally causing serious physical or mental harm to a child.
  • It is a felony punishable by life imprisonment at maximum.

Second Degree Child Abuse

  • Can be committed in various circumstances, including when:
  1. A person’s omission or failure to act causes serious physical harm or serious mental harm, or a person’s reckless act causes serious physical harm or serious mental harm to a child;
  2. A person knowingly or intentionally commits an act that is likely to cause serious physical harm or serious mental harm to a child, regardless of whether the harm results.
  3. A person knowingly or intentionally commits an act to a child that is cruel to the child regardless of whether harm results; or,
  4. A person licensed to care for children by the state fails to do certain things to ensure the child’s safety.
  • It is a felony with a maximum penalty of 10 to 20 years, depending on whether you have any prior conviction for child abuse.

Third Degree Child Abuse

  • Committed by knowingly or intentionally causing physical harm to a child; or
  • A person knowingly or intentionally engages in an act posing an unreasonable risk of harm or injury to a child.
  • It is a low felony, sometimes wrongly called a high court misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of two years. However, if you have a prior conviction for child abuse, the penalty becomes a 5 year felony.

Fourth Degree Child Abuse

  • Committed if a person’s omissions or reckless act causes physical harm to a child; or
  • A person knowingly or intentionally creates an unreasonable risk of harm or injury, regardless of whether physical harm results
  • It is a misdemeanor for the first offense, punishable by one year, and a felony for subsequent offenses, carrying a penalty of up to two years.

How Can An Experienced Defense Attorney Challenge Medical Evidence In My Medical Child Abuse Case?

When defending against medical child abuse allegations, challenging the medical evidence against the accused is a crucial aspect of building a strong defense. An experienced defense attorney can employ several strategies that will mount a solid defense and effectively challenge the medical evidence brought by the prosecution.

A proficient defense attorney will possess the knowledge to thoroughly read through and comprehend medical records. This includes understanding complex medical terminology, diagnoses, and procedures. They will know the difference between a subdural hematoma and a subdural hygroma, or between acute, subacute, and chronic, for example, on top of many other technical medical terms.

On the other hand, a seasoned attorney recognizes their own limitations and blind spots. They understand when to consult with defense experts to address gaps in their knowledge, ensuring a comprehensive defense strategy. An experienced attorney knows which defense experts to consult with and which questions to ask them. They are also able to identify credible, knowledgeable experts who can effectively communicate their findings to a judge and jury.

In line with this, an attorney will know when they can and need to learn more themselves. Attorneys must, at times, with the assistance of experts, explore alternative diagnoses or causes that could explain the symptoms or medical issues presented. This may involve consulting with medical experts who can provide alternative diagnoses and perspectives if they don’t already have a grasp of the necessary knowledge. It is difficult, if not impossible, to make an effective defense of a medical child abuse case without consulting with defense experts.

A good attorney will know that medical professionals typically testify with confidence due to their education and experience. This tends to impress courts, judges, and jurors. A knowledgeable defense attorney will be able to cross-examine the medical providers that are at the heart of your medical child abuse case.

Finally, an attorney should be skilled in cross-examining medical professionals, such as doctors, nurses, or other practitioners. This involves questioning their findings, interpretations, and the basis for their conclusions.

For more information on Unintentional Medical Child Abuse By Parents, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (248) 509-0056 today.

Mark Satawa

Call Today For Your Free Case Strategy Session
(248) 509-0056