Spanking Your Kid. Child Abuse or Reasonable Discipline?

As parents, we are often challenged with disciplining our children. Sometimes things go too far and parents are accused of crossing the line. While child abuse is a serious crime it is also extremely devastating to be prosecuted for what you believed to be, and is, reasonable discipline.

If accused of child abuse, when a parent is claiming that they were disciplining their child, the facts of what happened will not be disputed. Instead the parent will have to be honest and admit to everything they did, and explain what it was that made them angry in the first place. The parent will have to show that there was some sort of justification for what they did.

The prosecutor then has the heavy burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that any force used was not reasonable.

It is important to understand that it is not a crime to punish a child. In fact, in Michigan a parent is allowed to use a reasonable amount of force to discipline their child. Courts have held that in some circumstances it was reasonable to use some amount of force against a child, such as: spanking, slapping, pushing, and restraining.

Because parental discipline is an affirmative defense, discussing the case with an experienced criminal defense lawyer is crucial because a child abuse conviction can mean up to life in prison, the inability to obtain certain types of employment, a referral to child protective services and the possibility of losing your parental rights.

Don’t let the police, prosecutor, your ex-spouse or your child make you feel guilty, and plead guilty, to something you know you didn’t do. Everyone knows that sometimes kids get out of hand, especially teenagers, and harsh parenting is occasionally necessary to protect them in the long run.

If you have been charged with child abuse and believe you have a parental discipline defense in the Oakland, Wayne, or Macomb county communities of Royal Oak, Bloomfield Hills, Detroit, Warren, Troy, Sterling Heights or any surrounding area and want the best criminal law defense attorneys, call the Law Office of Barton Morris today.