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Lapeer County Abuse and Neglect Attorney

Fighting Allegations of Harm to a Child in Tuscola County and Sanilac County

Child abuse and neglect are considered such serious offenses that they are felonies in most cases. The terms of imprisonment a judge can impose upon a conviction range from not more than one to a maximum of life. The stigma attached to a child abuse and neglect allegation is so severe that it can potentially upend a person’s life, affecting personal relationships and career. 

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Unfortunately, accusations can sometimes arise from malicious motivations, where someone might be trying to enact revenge for a perceived wrong. Thus, an accused person can be weighed down by something they have not been and may not be proven guilty of. If you have been charged with child abuse and neglect, get started protecting your rights and good name by consulting with a criminal defense attorney in Lapeer.

We Can Help Build Your Defense

At Bernard Anthony Jocuns & Associates, Lapeer County abuse and neglect lawyer Bernard Jocuns has what it takes to defend you. He dedicates the time and effort needed to build a compelling defense. Examining the details of your case with the help of an investigator, he can pinpoint weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case and identify strengths in the defense. Mr. Jocuns knows that you have a lot on the line, which is why he won’t settle for a plea with the prosecutor. He will be prepared to argue your case in court and seek a favorable outcome on your behalf.

Speak with Lapeer County abuse and neglect attorney Mr. Jocuns during a free consultation by calling (810) 255-4033 or submitting an online contact form.

What Are the Laws Concerning Child Abuse and Neglect in Michigan?

According to Michigan Compiled Laws 750.136b, child abuse and neglect involve acts resulting in, or that could result in, harm or injury to a person under 18 years of age. The statute applies to persons responsible for the care or supervision of a child or children.

These Individuals Can Include:

  • Parents,
  • Guardians, and
  • Persons with custody or authority over a child.

What Is Child Abuse? 

Abuse and neglect can consist of willful actions causing a child to suffer physical harm, serious physical harm, and/or mental harm. Physical harm includes injury to the child’s physical condition.

Serious Physical Harm Causes Impairment to the Child’s Health or Well-Being and Can Include:

  • Brain damage,
  • Skull or bone fracture,
  • Dislocated joints,
  • Sprains, and
  • Severe cuts.

Mental harm can cause adverse changes to the child’s thoughts, mood, judgment, or coping abilities. It can be temporary or permanent.

What Is Child Neglect?

Charges for abuse and neglect can also arise in Michigan if the person is alleged to have failed to do something that put the child at risk of harm or actually caused harm.

For Instance, Willfully Abandoning the Child or Not Providing Them With:

  • Food, 
  • Clothing, or 
  • Shelter.

If you want your side of the story to be heard, reach out to Lapeer County abuse and neglect lawyer Bernard Jocuns. To him, people come first. You will not be just a case number. You will be seen as an individual caught up in a difficult situation. Mr. Jocuns will be your advocate throughout your case.

What Are the Degrees of Abuse and Neglect in MI?

Michigan law enumerates four degrees of abuse and neglect. First-degree is the most serious charge a person can face, and fourth-degree is considered a less severe offense. First-degree neglect occurs when a person knowingly or intentionally causes serious physical or mental harm to a child.

Second-Degree Abuse and Neglect Charges Can Be Levied if a Person Engages in Any of the Following:

  • A willful omission or reckless act causing the child to suffer serious physical or mental harm;
  • An act that could result in the child suffering serious physical or mental harm, regardless of whether such happened;
  • A cruel act that is brutal, inhuman, sadistic, or torments the child, regardless of whether harm resulted; or
  • A licensed child care provider or representative of the facility violating a family or group home rule, and that violation results in the death of a child.

Third-Degree Abuse and Neglect Can Be Committed When a Person Knowingly or Intentionally:

  • Causes a child to suffer physical harm; or
  • Does something that puts the child at risk of harm or injury and the child suffers harm.

Fourth-Degree Abuse and Neglect Occurs When a Person:

  • Engages in an omission or reckless act causing a child to suffer physical harm, or
  • Engages in conduct that puts the child at risk of harm or injury, regardless of whether such resulted.

Abuse and neglect cases can be complicated. But, Lapeer criminal attorney, Mr. Jocuns, does not back down from a challenge. He will examine all aspects to determine a path forward.

What Are the Penalties for Abuse and Neglect in MI?

The potential punishments vary and are connected to the degree of the offense.

Below Are the Maximum Penalties a Michigan Judge Could Impose:

  • First-degree abuse and neglect: 
    • Life or any term of years in prison
  • Second-degree abuse and neglect: 
    • First offense: Not more than 10 years in prison
    • Subsequent offense: Not more than 20 years in prison
  • Third-degree abuse and neglect:
    • First offense: Not more than 2 years in prison
    • Subsequent offense: Not more than 4 years in prison
  • Fourth-degree abuse and neglect:
    • First offense (misdemeanor): Not more than 1 year in jail
    • Subsequent offense (felony): Not more than 2 years in prison

Learn about defenses that could be raised in your case by speaking with Lapeer County abuse and neglect attorney Mr. Jocuns.

Call Bernard Anthony Jocuns & Associates Today

Crafting a persuasive legal strategy takes time. After you hire Mr. Jocuns, he will get started on your case right away, analyzing the facts and reviewing the laws to determine how to fight your charge.

To schedule a free consultation with our defense lawyer in Lapeer, contact him at (810) 255-4033.


  • “I felt very confident with him representing me in court and he ultimately helped me win back not only my reputation, but also my freedom. I owe this man my life. Thank you, Bernard Jocuns.”

    - Jordan F.
  • “I would highly recommend Bernard is one of the candidates you discuss your legal needs with before hiring and be reassured from my perspective you won’t be disappointed.”

    - Kory B.
  • “Mr. Jocuns is truly a blessing.. This is the guy that will get the job done... feels good having him by ur side.

    - Pheng L.

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    The court system can be very complex and overwhelming to maneuver, therefore a good defense lawyer is imperative. Bernard Anthony Jocuns & Associates, PLLC will help you build the strategy your defense needs while intuitively guiding you through the process.

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