As a mother, nothing is more important to you than the safety and well-being of your child. Unfortunately, drug addiction is rampant in our society, and it can, unfortunately, make some people do things they normally wouldn’t do under any other circumstance. In recent times, we’ve seen an uptick in mothers facing criminal charges, such as child abuse, for using drugs while pregnant. That said, mothers have rights, and if you are currently accused of child abuse due to drug use during pregnancy, you should read on and reach out to a knowledgeable and compassionate OKC criminal defense lawyer who can fight for your future. Here are some of the questions you may have:
What law gives prosecutors a right to charge mothers with abuse for drug use while pregnant?
As of recently, prosecutors have been leaning heavily on a 2020 Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals ruling that states women can, in fact, be charged with child abuse for drug use during pregnancy. In fact, since 2017, several women in Oklahoma have been charged with felony child abuse, child neglect, or manslaughter as a result of their drug use during pregnancy. Many of these women’s children tested positive for “hard” drugs, such as methamphetamine, but some women faced felony charges even when their children tested positive for marijuana (in some cases, even when the mother had a medical marijuana license).
Rather obviously, there is a significant difference between the two drugs, but this appears to be virtually irrelevant to prosecutors in Oklahoma. It’s important to also note that women can face criminal charges even if their child is born healthy. As long as the child tests positive for an illicit drug, it can warrant felony charges.
What are the penalties for child abuse in Oklahoma?
Unfortunately, the penalties for child abuse in Oklahoma are severe. In many cases, a conviction can warrant anywhere between one year in jail and life imprisonment, as well as a potential $5,000 fine. In some cases, a child abuse conviction will also entail separating the mother from her baby, a tragic event that no mother ever wants to imagine happening to them.
If you are a mother who is being accused of child abuse due to drug use during pregnancy, it is paramount that you hire a competent attorney who can help fight your charges at every turn. Here at Jones Law Firm, we believe that mothers have rights, and just because a mother allegedly made a mistake doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve a second chance at raising her child. Contact us today so we can get started working on your case.