Child endangerment sounds like a loaded term. It is a serious offense that can lead to severe harm for minors. While each state is different in terms of its laws and punishments, each state has protections for children. If you are facing child endangerment charges, what do you need to do? This guide will help you through the process.
Examples of Child Endangerment
Child endangerment comes in many forms. These are a few examples of what you may be accused of doing:
- Abandoning or leaving a child somewhere unsafe, whether it is in a car alone or on the side of a highway
- Allowing an abuser to have access to a child on purpose
- Having a child in your care while under the influence of drugs or while intoxicated, especially while operating a vehicle
- Giving drugs or alcohol to a minor
- Allowing your child to have access to weapons
- Failing to report child abuse
- Driving with a child in unsafe restraints
This is by no means an exhaustive list. You may be charged with child endangerment if a variety of situations, and some may be related to actions or behaviors you do not believe to be criminal.
Charges That May Come With Child Endangerment
In some cases, you may be charged with multiple offenses, including child endangerment. These charges may add consequences to your sentence if you are found guilty. DUI charges are commonly paired with child endangerment when a child is a passenger in a vehicle. You could also be charged with separate crimes, like providing alcohol to a minor. Each state has different regulations.
Defenses To Child Endangerment Charges
You can rely on several defenses to child endangerment charges. Your attorney will help you figure out the best defense in your case. One common defense involves questioning the danger the child was allegedly in. The attorney might point out that the child was never in real, imminent danger.
The attorney will also suggest examining the relationship between the child and the adult. Was the adult negligent or did they ever take on the role of caregiver? In some states, this makes a difference. Finally, the attorney will also examine any possible proof. It could be that there is no proof the situation ever even happened.
Do You Need an Attorney?
When you are facing legal trouble, it is always wise to hire an attorney. Child endangerment is no joke, and you may need assistance. For more information, contact a criminal defense attorney in your local area.