Darien Risk of Injury to a Minor Lawyer
It is not surprising that lawmakers want to protect children from harm. What can be surprising, however, is the severity of the laws enacted that try to enforce that protection. As Darien defense attorneys know, a Connecticut “risk of injury” or “child endangerment” arrest under CGS 53-21 is often added on to a Darien domestic violence arrest. Unfortunately, a risk of injury to minors charge is a serious felony that may be much more serious than the underlying crimes charged in the initial domestic violence dispute.
If you have been arrested for child endangerment or risk of injury, then it is essential to take careful and considerate action. When you contact a Darien risk of injury to a minor lawyer, they can explain the implications and advise you how to proceed to work toward the optimum outcome.
Situations Resulting in Risk of Injury Charges
Connecticut laws governing the safety of children are written very broadly and can cover a wide range of scenarios. While endangerment or risk of injury arrests in Darien often arise in the course of domestic violence situations, there are a variety of other circumstances that can give rise to a risk of injury charge.
Examples include situations when:
- A minor is determined to be left with inadequate supervision
- An adult is charged with committing a crime while in the presence of a child
- A child gains access to pornographic images
- A minor is a passenger in a vehicle stopped for DUI or excessive speed
- Parents have used excessive physical discipline which leaves marks or bruising
- A parent engages in dangerous horseplay
Risk of Injury Statute
Although Connecticut lawmakers have enacted numerous provisions to ensure the safety of children and teens, one statute commonly invoked is Section 53-21(a) of the Connecticut code which is entitled “Injury or risk of injury to, or impairing morals of, children.” The statute describes four separate offenses, all of which are considered felonies.
Darien risk of injury to minors lawyers know the first provision is the broadest. It prohibits placing a minor under the age of 16 in any situation likely to injure the child’s health or impair the child’s morals. Because this prohibition is not specific about which conduct is and is not permitted, it is crucial in court to ensure that the facts of the situation are presented fully and accurately and that the right arguments are brought forth to show those facts in the most advantageous light.
The second provision is the most serious. Section 53-21(a)(2) prohibits an adult from touching the intimate body parts of a minor under the age of 16 (or allowing the minor to touch the intimate parts of an adult) in an indecent and sexual manner likely to impair the minor’s health or morals.
The third provision makes it a felony offense to permanently transfer custody of a minor in exchange for money or anything else of value.
The fourth provision prohibits interfering with or preventing the filing of a report of suspected child abuse or neglect.
These offenses are felonies punishable by imprisonment and large fines, but they are classified differently. The fourth provision, interfering with a report of child abuse, is also serious. It is a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in a prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Sections 53-21(a)(1) and (3), the provisions prohibiting endangerment and the “sale” of minors, classify these offenses as Class C felonies. Those convicted face up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Risk of injury involving sexual conduct is a Class B felony punishable by a fine of up to $15,000, sex offender registration, sex offender probation, and imprisonment for up to 20 years. Darien does not have its own criminal courthouse, so all risk of injury arrests report to Stamford Superior Court, located at 123 Hoyt Street in Stamford.
Contacting a Darien Risk of Injury to a Minor Attorney
Arrests for risk of injury in Darien must not be taken lightly. For the best chance of success, it is vital to start speaking with a Darien risk of injury to a minor attorney who understands these charges and can build the best possible defense.