Child endangerment refers to intentionally putting a child, of age 18 years or under, at risk. The danger may involve physical or psychological harm. Child endangerment is classified among serious felonies. Crimes that can be classified as child endangerment can include a number of different behaviors. Depending upon the severity of the offense, the related charges can be felony or misdemeanor.
Behaviors That Can be Considered as Child Endangerment
There are a wide variety of behaviors that can be classified as the crime of child endangerment. A list of these behaviors is given as under:
- Beating a child severely
- Abandoning a child in a locked car at a hot place
- Not properly feeding the child
- Keeping illegal drugs within the reach of the child
- Harming a child psychologically through any way
Child endangerment can result from a variety of different ways. Mostly, child endangerment is considered to occur only through physical endangerment. Failure of a parent to provide his or her child with some of the basic life necessities is also considered as acts of child endangerment. For instance, the refusal of a parent to provide his or her child with medication in times of sickness will be classified as child endangerment. Placing a child in an environment where he or she will be at potential risk is also considered child endangerment.
Possible Consequences of Child Endangerment
The charges that will be faced by someone accused of child endangerment will either be misdemeanor or felony. In cases where the child did not face any risk of bodily harm or death, the offender will be charged with a misdemeanor and he or she will have to face penalties such as
- Imprisonment of up to a year
- Probation of about four years
- A fine of $1000
In cases where child endangerment involved a risk of great bodily harm or death of the child, the offender will be charged with a felony. He or she will have to face penalties that are a lot more severe. The penalties are mentioned as under:
- Imprisonment of up to six years
- Probation of at least four years
- A fine of up to $10,000
Someone charged with child endangerment should contact an attorney experienced in criminal defense to make sure that their rights are protected.
Possible Legal Defenses Against Child Endangerment
If someone is accused of child endangerment, he or she should contact an attorney experienced in criminal defense because an experienced family law attorney would have an idea of how child endangerment cases are investigated and put on trial. Having knowledge about the defense of child endangerment cases can help someone get out of the charges. Some legal defenses that can prove helpful against child endangerment charges include:
- The individual accused of child endangerment did not do it with intent of harming the child
- The parent accused of child endangerment was acting within the rights to discipline his or her child
- The individual was accused deceptively
- The accused person was not the one responsible for the child or his/her endangerment
If you or a loved one are facing charges for a misdemeanor, felony, or DUI offense contact Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney Darren Levitt today.