Greenwich Child Endangerment Lawyer

In Greenwich, Connecticut, when a minor under the age of 16 is placed in certain dangerous situations, law enforcement officials can be quick to make an arrest in Greenwich for child endangerment. Often, when police are called to a Greenwich domestic violence assault arrest or another charge based on violent actions that occurred between adults, Greenwich Police will tack on a felony risk of injury charge.

Greenwich domestic defense lawyers understand that these charges are often more serious than other charges associated with the dispute. Risk of injury to minors is a felony offense punishable by up to ten or more years in prison. If you have been arrested for putting a minor at risk, you will want a Greenwich child endangerment lawyer working to defend your rights and helping you reach the best possible resolution.

What Constitutes Child Endangerment?

Because the statutes defining child endangerment cover a broad range of circumstances, the charge can arise from a number of different situations. Some of the more common include:

  • A minor exposed to obscene or pornographic material
  • A car involved in a Greenwich DUI which as a child in the back seat
  • A child who observed a domestic violence dispute
  • A child left unsupervised in a car
  • A parent using excessive discipline methods
  • An adult is arrested for shoplifting while accompanied by a child

Many child endangerment arrests are brought under Section 53-21(a) which outlines the varying offenses. The first, and probably the most common, makes it a Class C felony to place or allow a minor under the age of 16 to be in a situation that poses a danger to “life and limb,” health, or morals of the child.

Our Greenwich attorneys understand that the child endangerment laws are so broad that it encompasses a variety of conditions and the way the facts of the case appear can make a tremendous difference as to whether a situation is viewed as posing a risk of injury to moral or physical health. An experienced attorney will work to ensure that the facts are presented in the most favorable light.

Another Class C felony is described in Section 53-21(a)(3), which prohibits the permanent transfer of legal custody of a child in exchange for money or other valuable consideration. These Class C felonies are punishable by up to ten years imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.

Sexual Contact of a Minor Offenses

Section 53-21(a)(2) defines the most serious offense under the child endangerment statute, one that can arise while an adult is giving a child a bath. It is a Class B felony for an adult to make contact with the intimate body part of a child under sixteen or to permit that child to make contact with contact with the adult’s intimate body parts if that contact is made in a “sexual or indecent manner” that is likely to harm the health or morals of the child. The penalty for this child endangerment offense includes up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

The final offense defined under the statute prohibits interfering with the reporting of suspected child abuse. This offense is classified as a Class D felony with penalties that include up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Leaving a Child Unsupervised

A child endangerment offense that is slightly less serious under Connecticut law is “leaving a child unsupervised in a place of public accommodation.” Section 53-21a(a) of the Connecticut code prohibits an adult with control over a child under the age of 12 from leaving the child without supervision in a vehicle or place of public accommodation for “a period of time that presents a substantial risk to the child’s health or safety.”

This offense is classified as a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. However, the offense becomes a felony if the child is left in a place that serves alcoholic beverages or during overnight hours.

This statute also requires those with custody of a minor under the age of 12 to make a report to authorities if the child has been missing for more than 24 hours. Failure to report the disappearance is also a Class A misdemeanor. A lawyer in Greenwich could help someone accused of this child endangerment crime.

Role of a Greenwich Child Endangerment Attorney

If you have been charged with child endangerment, it is crucial to work with an attorney who knows how the risk of injury laws apply to the facts of your case and how to advocate on your behalf. Your Greenwich child endangerment lawyer will provide guidance and help you work toward the best resolution. Contact a skilled attorney today.

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