Child Endangerment Defenses in Greenwich
If you need help with your child endangerment defense in Greenwich, contacting a seasoned criminal defense attorney should be your top priority as soon as you learn of an investigation or have charges filed against you.
How to Structure a Child Endangerment Defense
Law enforcement authorities in Connecticut take allegations of child abuse or mistreatment of any kind very seriously, and courts tend to impose substantial criminal sanctions on parents or guardians convicted of related criminal charges. Because of that, building a comprehensive and compelling defense against accusations of this nature can be a very complex task.
The two statutes under which state authorities prosecute most “child endangerment” offenses, Connecticut General Statutes §§53-21 and 53-21a, cover a wide swath of unlawful actions that may put children at risk of harm, from leaving a child unaccompanied in a public place or motor vehicle to systemic sexual abuse of minors. This means building a strong child endangerment defense in Greenwich or anywhere else in Connecticut can be a very different process from case to case.
That said, there is one key question that is at the heart of most child endangerment charges which should form the centerpiece of an effective defense strategy: was the child in question genuinely in danger of sustaining physical, emotional, or moral harm due to the defendant’s actions, and if so, did they actually sustain such harm? Depending on the situation, it may be possible to disprove the prosecution’s case on its merits by demonstrating that a parent’s behavior did not reasonably endanger their child.
In the same vein, showing as much evidence as possible that a parent or guardian’s actions did not put their child in harm’s way to any substantial degree can be key to mitigating the sanctions that may result from a Department of Children and Families investigation. These investigations will proceed separately from criminal proceedings and may result in substantiated findings and severe consequences, up to and including the removal of a child from the defendant’s custody, regardless of what verdict a criminal court passes down.
Alternatives to Criminal Sentencing for First Offenders
In some situations, people convicted on child endangerment charges stemming from relatively innocuous circumstances that did not lead to their child suffering any physical harm may be able to avoid criminal sanctions through participation in an accelerated rehabilitation program. Following successful completion of this program and certain other requirements at the court’s discretion, the defendant may have their charge dismissed.
Importantly, there are several conditions–which include having no prior criminal convictions on their record–that applicants must meet to be eligible for this program. During a confidential consultation with a Greenwich lawyer, he or she could discuss whether this might be worth factoring into a child endangerment defense strategy.
Call a Greenwich Attorney for Help Constructing a Child Endangerment Defense
Being accused of putting your child at risk of physical and/or moral harm can alter the course of your life in multiple ways. Between DCF investigations and potential felony-level charges in court, you may have slim odds of securing a favorable resolution without support from experienced legal counsel.
Our team at Mark Sherman Law could be an essential ally when it comes to building your child endangerment defense in Greenwich. Click here to read our over 300 certified client reviews on Avvo.com, and call today to learn more.