It is the legal duty of an adult to ensure that the child he is caring for is safe and is not put in a situation that may be potentially harmful. When he fails to protect the child adequately, it is considered a crime by the state and is termed as “child endangerment”. Any act that renders a child to physical, psychological or emotional abuse comes under the crime of child endangerment.
While some states consider child endangerment as a kind of child abuse, others consider child endangerment as a different offense. If you have been charged with child endangerment, you will need to contact a skilled defense attorney like Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP to help you with your case.
Examples of Child Endangerment
Laws, with respect to how child endangerment is categorized and punished, may vary from state to state but in general, the following behaviors can have you charged with child endangerment all across the country.
- Leaving the child in an unsafe area or neighborhood
- Failing to look after a child due to intoxication
- Leaving the child unattended in a vehicle, especially in hot weather
- Leaving the child under the supervision of a known pedophile
- Driving with a child while intoxicated
- Leaving a child without proper supervision
- Leaving a loaded pistol within easy reach of a child
- Failing to seek necessary medical care for a sick child
Reckless, Careless and Negligent behavior
If you are found involved in any crime involving reckless, negligent or careless behavior and a child is present or involved, it is highly likely that you will be charged with child endangerment. Depending on how severe the crime was, you could face felony or misdemeanor charges. Even if the child involved wasn’t actually injured or appeared to be in danger, it is possible that you will be slapped with a child endangerment charge. Since every case is unique, it is wise to discuss your case with a skilled lawyer.
Child Endangerment And DUI Charges
A person may be prosecuted for drunk driving if the blood alcohol content is found to be 0.08 % or higher. If convicted, the consequences may include huge fines and jail time as well. However, in case there was a child in the car, you will be slapped with additional penalties of reckless behavior and child endangerment. Driving under the influence (DUI) is a crime that tends to be paired with the crime of child endangerment. It does not matter if the driver was involved in a car crash or if the child in the car was injured. The law deems a child with a drunk driver to be in immediate danger. If the driver was a parent, she or he may lose custody of the child. If she or he happens to be a single parent, the child may be transferred to a foster home or to the extended family until the matter is resolved.
When To Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney
Being charged with child endangerment is a serious matter. If you have been charged with child endangerment, you must contact an experienced criminal defense attorney without any delay. If convicted of child endangerment, the implications can last much longer than the initial penalties. Therefore, fighting the charge must be your topmost priority.