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"Brian Joslyn is an Award-Winning Criminal and DUI Defense attorney who, along with his team at The Joslyn Law Firm, have handled hundreds of criminal cases and helping their clients obtain the best results possible."

Child Abuse / Neglect

When a parent or legal guardian is accused of abusing or neglecting a child in Ohio, prosecutors take the charges very seriously and seek maximum punishments. Several alleged offenders face criminal charges merely for attempts to discipline children.

In some domestic violence cases, alleged offenders can even be charged as the result of false allegations by spouses or partners who may be seeking leverage in divorce or child custody proceedings. Regardless of the specific circumstances surrounding an accusation of child abuse or neglect, the person suspected of the crime should not say anything to authorities until he or she has legal counsel.

Lawyer for Child Abuse or Neglect Crimes in Cincinnati, OH

If you were arrested or think that you could be under investigation for alleged child abuse or neglect in Hamilton County, it is in your best interest to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Joslyn Law Firm helps clients all over the greater Cincinnati area, including Reading, Harrison, Miamitown, Colerain, Green, Miami, Symmes, Norwood, Blue Ash, and many other nearby communities in southwestern Ohio.

Cincinnati criminal defense attorney Brian Joslyn can conduct a thorough investigation and fight to possibly get your domestic violence charges reduced or dismissed. You can have him review your case and discuss your legal options as soon as you call (513) 399-6289 to schedule a free consultation.


Ohio Child Abuse and Neglect Information Center


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Child Abuse Definitions in Hamilton County

State law in Ohio has specific definitions relating to abused and neglected children. Under Ohio Revised Code § 2151.03, a neglected child is defined as any child:

  • Who is abandoned by the child's parents, guardian, or custodian;
  • Who lacks adequate parental care because of the faults or habits of the child's parents, guardian, or custodian;
  • Whose parents, guardian, or custodian neglects the child or refuses to provide proper or necessary subsistence, education, medical or surgical care or treatment, or other care necessary for the child's health, morals, or well-being;
  • Whose parents, guardian, or custodian neglects the child or refuses to provide the special care made necessary by the child's mental condition;
  • Whose parents, legal guardian, or custodian have placed or attempted to place the child in violation of Ohio Revised Code §$ 5103.16 or 5103.17;
  • Who, because of the omission of the child's parents, guardian, or custodian, suffers physical or mental injury that harms or threatens to harm the child's health or welfare; or
  • Who is subjected to out-of-home care child neglect.

Division (B) of this chapter of the Ohio Revised Code establishes that a parent, guardian, or custodian of a child cannot be criminally liable when, solely in the practice of religious beliefs, he or she fails to provide adequate medical or surgical care or treatment for the child.

An abused child, however, is defined under Ohio Revised Code § 2151.031 as any child who:

  • Is the victim of "sexual activity," meaning sexual conduct or sexual contact, or both, where such activity would constitute a criminal offense under Chapter 2907 of the Ohio Revised Code (NOTE: An alleged offender does not need to be convicted of the sexual activity criminal offense in order for a child to be considered an abused child);
  • Is endangered as defined in Ohio Revised Code § 2919.22 (NOTE: An alleged offender does not need to be convicted of the endangerment criminal offense in order for a child to be considered an abused child);
  • Exhibits evidence of any physical or mental injury or death, inflicted other than by accidental means, or an injury or death which is at variance with the history given of it;
  • Because of the acts of his parents, guardian, or custodian, suffers physical or mental injury that harms or threatens to harm the child's health or welfare; or
  • Is subjected to out-of-home care child abuse.

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Child Abuse Penalties in Cincinnati

Ohio Revised Code § 2919.22(A) makes it a criminal offense for any person who is the parent, guardian, custodian, person having custody or control, or person in loco parentis of a child under 18 years of age or a mentally or physically handicapped child under 21 years of age, to create a substantial risk to the health or safety of the child by violating a duty of care, protection, or support. State law does provide an exception for the treatment of a physical or mental illness or defect of the child by spiritual means through prayer alone, in accordance with the tenets of a recognized religious body.

Any violation of this statute is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. If an alleged offender has been previously convicted of endangering children or any offense involving neglect, abandonment, contributing to the delinquency of, or physical abuse of a child, the crime becomes a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000. If an alleged offense results in serious physical harm to the child involved, the alleged offense is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Under Ohio Revised Code § 2919.22(B), an alleged offender can also face criminal charges for doing any of the following to a child under 18 years of age or a mentally or physically handicapped child under 21 years of age:

  • Abusing the child;
  • Torturing or cruelly abusing the child;
  • Administering corporal punishment or other physical disciplinary measure, or physically restraining the child in a cruel manner or for a prolonged period, which punishment, discipline, or restraint was excessive under the circumstances and created a substantial risk of serious physical harm to the child;
  • Repeatedly administering unwarranted disciplinary measures to the child, when there is a substantial risk that such conduct, if continued, will seriously impair or retard the child's mental health or development;
  • Enticing, coercing, permitting, encouraging, compelling, hiring, employing, using, or allowing the child to act, model, or in any other way participate in, or be photographed for, the production, presentation, dissemination, or advertisement of any material or performance that the offender knows or reasonably should know is obscene, is sexually oriented matter, or is nudity-oriented matter; or
  • Allowing the child to be on the same parcel of real property and within 100 feet of, or, in the case of more than one housing unit on the same parcel of real property, in the same housing unit and within 100 feet of any act of drug manufacturing when the alleged offender knows that the act is occurring, whether or not any person is prosecuted for or convicted for drug manufacturing.

First offenses for any of the violations listed above are classified as first-degree misdemeanors and subsequent offenses are fourth-degree felony offenses, but violations that result in serious physical harm to the child involved become second-degree felony offenses punishable by up to eight years in prison and/or a fine of up to $15,000.


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Ohio Child Abuse Arrest Resources

COCA | Council on Child Abuse / Prevention. Education. Awareness. — COCA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to and focused on the prevention of child abuse. On this website, you can learn more about COCA, its programs, and people the organization helped. You can also find information about past and upcoming events as well as some of COCA’s programs.

Council on Child Abuse of Southern Ohio, Inc. (COCA)
4531 Reading Road
Cincinnati, Ohio 45229
(513) 684-7976

Family Nurturing Center — Family Nurturing Center is a nonprofit social service agency that has services and programs focused on the education, prevention, and treatment of all forms of child abuse and neglect. On this website, you can learn more about the center’s mission, vision, and guiding principles. You can also find information about Family Nurturing Center’s programs, including Nurturing Parenting Programs and Child Abuse Treatment Services as well as many others.

Family Nurturing Center
801 A West Eighth Street
Suite 200
Cincinnati, OH 45203
(513) 381-1555


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Joslyn Law Firm | Cincinnati Child Abuse Defense Lawyer

Do you believe that you might be under investigation or were you already arrested in southwest Ohio for alleged child abuse or neglect? You should not make any kind of statement to authorities until you have contacted Joslyn Law Firm.

Brian Joslyn is a skilled criminal defense attorney in Cincinnati who represents clients in Montgomery, Bridgetown, Anderson, Delhi, Harrison, Springfield, Sycamore, Forest Park, Springdale, and surrounding areas in Hamilton County. Call (513) 399-6289 or complete an online contact form to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation that will let our lawyers review your case.


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