Those who are accused of causing shaken baby syndrome on their child or a child they were taking care of in Ohio typically face child endangerment charges. According to the Ohio Revised Code, child endangerment is defined as anyone who is a parent, guardian, or custodian of a minor who is under the age of 18 that creates or poses a significant risk to the health and safety of the child by violating their duty of care, protection, and support.
It is prohibited for anyone to engage in the following criminal actions:
- Engages in abuse of a child
- Abuses or tortures a child
- Inflicts any type of punishment or physical harm that deliberately causes pain for the purpose of discipline
- Physically restrains the child in a cruel way for a long period of time
- Consistently administers unwarranted disciplinary measures on a child
- Operates a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs while a child is a passenger
- Involved in a situation that is obscene to child or has sexual implications
The penalties for child abuse are wide-ranging, but they often quite severe with felony classifications for any child abuse convictions involving a large risk to the health or safety of a child and actual physical harm to the child. This means that an offender has the potential to receive a minimum prison of one year to 10 years. Due to the serious nature of child endangerment, this charge could potentially be on a person’s criminal background for the rest of his or her life, making it difficult to keep or find a job, further education, obtain loans, and maintain custody of children.