Fairfield Child Endangerment Lawyer
In Connecticut, laws designed to protect children by prohibiting potentially dangerous practices are written broadly to cover a wide range of circumstances. It can be easy to violate these laws without even realizing it. Law enforcement officials seeking to protect children can be quick to file child endangerment charges.
The risk of injury to minors statute governing child endangerment makes these offenses felonies with penalties that include lengthy prison terms and very heavy fines. If you have been charged with child endangerment, it is crucial to act right away to start working toward the best possible resolution of your case with the help of a skilled domestic violence defense attorney.
Contact an experienced Fairfield child endangerment lawyer who understands these laws and knows what to do to seek the best outcome for your situation.
Endangering a Minor
When an adult places or allows a minor under the age of 16 to be put into a situation likely to endanger the child’s health or morals, that adult violates Section 53-21(a)(1) of the Connecticut code. That broad prohibition is treated as a Class C felony punishable by as much as 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. This is generally referred to as “risk of injury.”
A wide range of conduct can run afoul of this statute. For instance, if a child is present (even asleep) while parents have a loud argument and the police charge the parents with disorderly conduct, they may also add a risk of injury or child endangerment charge. But while the disorderly conduct charge is a misdemeanor, the risk of injury charge is a very serious felony. The risk of injury charge may also be added if a parent is charged with a non-violent crime such as shoplifting or if a parent is driving in excess of the speed limit with a child in the car.
Child Endangerment Involving Sexual Contact
A more serious form of child endangerment in Fairfield is set forth in Section 53-21(a)(2) of the code. It is a Class B felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000 to have contact with the “intimate” body parts of a child under the age of 16 or to allow that child to have such contact with the body parts of an adult, if the contact is made in a sexual and indecent manner, and the contact is likely to damage the child’s health or morals.
Situations violating this statute may arise in a variety of ways. Under the statutes, how the circumstances are presented to the court make a tremendous difference making it imperative that a Fairfield child endangerment lawyer is consulted as soon as possible.
Offenses Involving Endangerment
Connecticut statutes also prohibit a variety of other conduct including:
- Child abuse and neglect
- Transferring custody in exchange for money
- Interfering with a report of child abuse
- Leaving a child unsupervised
Role of a Fairfield Child Endangerment Attorney
Child endangerment charges involve a complex area of law with serious consequences. In addition to incarceration and fines, there is also a risk that the Connecticut Department of Children and Families could remove children from your home.
Having a conviction or even a charge on record can make it difficult to find employment or housing. It is crucial to ensure that the facts of your case are investigated fully and fairly. A Fairfield child endangerment lawyer will understand how the different laws apply to the circumstances of your case and how to build the best defense. Contact an experienced attorney today to get started.