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An Explination of Child Neglect Charges in Oklahoma by Tulsa Criminal Lawyer Kevin Adams

Oklahoma's Child Neglect statute can be founs at Title 21 Oklahoma Statute Section 843.5 paragraph D and reads as follows:

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 46 of Section 1-1-105 of Title 10A of the Oklahoma Statutes, 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.

Child neglect is also an eighty-five (85%) crime. In order to prove child neglect at trial a prosecutor must prove the following:

OUJI-CR 4-37 NEGLECT OF CHILD - ELEMENTS

No person may be convicted of neglect of a child unless the State has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each element of the crime. These elements are:

First, a person responsible for the child's health, safety, or welfare;

Second, willfully/maliciously;

[Third, failed/omitted to provide;

Fourth, (adequate (nurturance and affection)/food/clothing/shelter/sanitation/hygiene)/(appropriate education)/(medical/dental/(behavioral health) care/supervision/(appropriate caretakers)/(special care made necessary by the physical/mental condition of the child);

Fifth, for a child under the age of eighteen.]

OR

[Third, failed/omitted to protect;

Fourth, a child under the age of eighteen from exposure to;

Fifth, (the use/possession/sale/manufacture of illegal drugs)/(illegal activities)/(sexual acts or materials that are not age-appropriate).]

OR

[Third, abandoned;;

Fourth, a child under the age of eighteen.]


Child neglect is a very serious charge. Anyone facing child neglect needs to take the case seriously. If you or a loved one is facing a charge of child neglect you need think carefully before you hire a lawyer. If you or a loved one is charged with child neglect it may also help you to understand probable cause and how experienced criminal attorneys analyze criminal cases.


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