New Canaan Risk of Injury to Minor Lawyer

A violation of Connecticut laws making it illegal to put a minor at risk of injury can carry severe penalties. Even more problematic is that these laws are broadly written so that they cover a wide range of scenarios that can get you arrested in New Canaan for risk of injury to a minor under.

Because New Canaan police seek to protect minors, they often tack on risk of injury charges to a domestic violence arrest in New Canaan. As experienced domestic defense lawyers in New Canaan know all too well, a risk of injury arrest is usually more difficult to fight than the underlying domestic violence charge (such as Disorderly Conduct or assault third degree) that brought law enforcement into your home to begin with.

Anyone facing a New Canaan arrest for risk of injury or child endangerment should consult with a top New Canaan risk of injury lawyer to protect their parental rights and work toward the best and quickest resolution possible.

New Canaan Risk of Injury Arrests

The most frequently charged risk of injury arrest comes under CGS §53-21(a), which classifies four different types of illegal conduct.

The first offense defined in this statute is extremely broad in the types of situations that may be considered a violation. Section 53-21(a)(1) makes it a Class C felony to commit an act or cause or allow a minor under the age of 16 to be put into circumstances that:

  • Pose a danger to “life or limb” of the minor
  • Make it likely that the health of the child may be injured
  • Make it likely that the child’s morals will be impaired

A wide range of conduct could fall under these prohibitions, so the facts of the incident giving rise to any risk of injury charges must be carefully investigated by a New Canaan risk of injury to a minor attorney.

This subsection is classified as a Class C felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Scenarios Leading to an Arrest

While it can be imagined that an almost infinite number of situations could arise that might pose a risk to a child’s morals or health, some of the more common scenarios include the following:

  • An adult driving a vehicle is stopped for DUI / DWI or reckless driving while a child is in the car
  • A child is exposed to graphic sexual images
  • Parents are caught shoplifting or engaging in other criminal activities in the presence of children
  • Parents engage in a violent or heated argument while children are present in the home
  • Parents use excessive physical discipline (spanking) that leaves a mark or bruise

Prohibited Contact

The most serious offense defined in CGS § 53-21(a) is subsection (3) which prohibits the touching of a minor’s “intimate body parts in a sexual and indecent manner likely to impair the health or morals of such child.” The subsection also prohibits an adult from subjecting the minor to contact with the intimate body parts of the adult.

This offense is a Class B felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, public sex offender registration, and a fine of up to $15,000. It is a Class C felony to transfer legal or physical custody of a minor under the age of 16 in exchange for money or something else of value.

CGS 53-21(a)(4) prohibits preventing or interfering with the reporting of suspecting child abuse or neglect. This offense is a Class D felony with penalties that include up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

Contacting a New Canaan Risk of Injury Attorney

Charges involving risk of injury to minors must be taken very seriously. The potential penalties are enormous; moreover, these types of charges usually involve disruptive DCF investigations by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families.

To protect your rights and begin working toward the optimum outcome, it is imperative to seek guidance from an experienced New Canaan risk of injury to a minor lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney will explain the charges and procedures involved, guide you through the process, and serve as your advocate, presenting your case in the most favorable light and seeking every available avenue to secure the best result.

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