New Canaan Child Endangerment Penalties
Depending on your charges, you may face different sanctions after being accused of criminally endangering your child than someone else in a similar situation. Below is a brief overview of what circumstances may lead to you facing penalties for allegations of child endangerment in New Canaan. Reach out to a qualified defense attorney to learn more during a confidential consultation.
What Are the Possible Sanctions of a Felony Child Endangerment Conviction?
Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 53-21 criminalizes causing or knowingly permitting any child in one’s care to be placed in a situation that endangers their life and limb or is likely to impair their health or morals. Rather than using the specific term “child endangerment,” Connecticut law enforcement authorities often charge people suspected of putting their children inadvertently or intentionally in harm’s way with risk of injury to a minor.
C.G.S. § 53-21 is intentionally written to give police significant leeway when deciding what types of behavior may or may not put a child at “risk of injury.” For example, someone who drives while intoxicated with a minor in the car may be charged with both DUI and risk of injury to a minor. Excessive and cruel discipline at home, failure to provide for a child’s basic needs, or other similar acts may also be prosecuted under this section of state law.
This offense is a Class C felony unless it involves inappropriate contact with a child’s genitals or a child having inappropriate contact with an adult’s genitals, in which case it becomes a Class B felony. This means maximum penalties following a conviction for this type of child endangerment in New Canaan would be ten years imprisonment and $10,000 in fines, and 20 years imprisonment and $15,000 in fines, respectively.
Is Child Endangerment Ever a Misdemeanor?
Endangering a child under 12 years old specifically by leaving them unsupervised inside a car or in a “place of public accommodation” may be prosecuted as a different criminal offense defined under C.G.S. § 53-21a. Unlike risk of injury, this offense can sometimes be considered a Class A misdemeanor punishable by at most one year of jail and/or $2,000 in fines, provided there are no aggravating conditions.
However, someone who knowingly leaves a child unsupervised in any place of public accommodation with a liquor license may have their charge classified as a Class D felony. This type of “child endangerment” in New Canaan could mean maximum sanctions of five years of imprisonment plus $5,000 in fines. Additionally, leaving a child unattended, as described in this statute, at any time between eight PM and six AM is considered a Class C felony.
The Possibility of a DCF Investigation
Either type of child endangerment charge listed above may serve as grounds for a Department of Children and Families (“DCF”) investigation into the defendant and their home life. While the charge by itself is generally not enough to justify further action from the DCF, substantiation of the DCF’s suspicions could potentially lead to severe sanctions separate from any criminal prosecution, including, but not limited to, loss of custody rights.
Talk to an Attorney About New Canaan Child Endangerment Penalties
Minimizing the severity of sanctions attached to child endangerment allegations is far from simple. Guidance from a seasoned legal professional can dramatically increase your chances of securing the best possible legal outcome.
Call the Law Offices of Mark Sherman today to discuss New Canaan child endangerment penalties and learn what options you may have for contesting them, and click here to visit our Avvo profile with over 300 certified reviews.