In August 2020, the Jefferson County sheriff’s department arrested Kayla Crawn, a 21-year old woman, for child abuse after she admitted tying a child to a car seat for punishment on 20 occasions. Crawn is charged with 20 counts of criminal confinement, 1 count of criminal confinement causing bodily injury, 1 count of battery, and 1 count of neglect of a dependent.
Crawn is not the parent of the child she is alleged to have abused. But anyone who has a child or dependent even temporarily in their care can face similar charges–and consequences. Indiana child abuse and neglect charges come with harsh penalties, including substantial jail sentences, hefty fines, potential loss of parental rights, mandatory sex offender registration.
A skilled lawyer can help protect your rights and ensure that you receive a fair hearing. If you are facing a child abuse investigation or child neglect charges in Indiana, it is crucial to seek help from an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Neglect of a Dependent
Indiana law § 35-46-1-4 considers a person to have neglected a dependent under the age of 17 if they knowingly or intentionally put the dependent in a situation that endangers the child’s life, abandons or cruelly confines the dependent, or deprives the dependent of an education as prescribed by the law.
This charge is usually a level 6 felony and any defendant convicted of neglect will face up to two years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. However, the charge is a level 5 felony if the negligent act results in bodily injury or occurs in a location where a person is dealing cocaine or another narcotic drug. In such circumstances, a convicted defendant can face up to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Indiana law generally defines battery as knowingly or intentionally touching another person in a rude, insolent, or angry matter, or places bodily fluid or waste on another person in a rude, insolent or angry manner. Simple battery is a misdemeanor, but if the defendant is over 18 and the person subjected to the battery is under age 14, the charge becomes a level 5 felony, punishable by up to six years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Being convicted of a felony in Indiana carries substantial societal consequences. A felony conviction will prevent you from being eligible for certain jobs, such as working for the government or working with children. You may also lose your right to vote and right to own or possess a firearm. The conviction can also make it difficult to rent an apartment or receive certain federal benefits such as social security and Medicaid.
To protect your rights, if you’re facing child abuse charges, contact the child neglect defense lawyers of Razumich & Associates today.