Ridgefield Child Endangerment Lawyer
Child endangerment and Risk of Injury laws are liberally charged in Ridgefield, Connecticut. The crimes can refer to a number of scenarios where a child is put at risk, either intentionally or accidentally, of physical, emotional or moral harm. If you have been charged with risk of injury to a minor or a similar offense, contact a Ridgefield child endangerment lawyer soon as possible to start working right away toward the best possible resolution of your case.
Experienced domestic violence attorneys have seen Risk of Injury charges are often tacked on to domestic violence arrests. This is when minor children are in the house during a domestic dispute or argument. Note that the Risk of Injury charge will almost always trigger a Ridgefield DCF investigation (that is conducted in addition to your court case).
Causes of Child Endangerment Charges
The “situational” Risk of Injury arrest is considered a felony offense to do any act or place a minor under the age of 16 in a situation that could endanger the life of the child, could injure the health of a child or is likely to impair their morals.
These terms are quite broad and have been interpreted to include such situations as leaving a child unattended in a car, driving drunk with a child in the vehicle, or permitting a child to view pornography. This offense is often treated as a Class C felony under Connecticut law, which means it is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Commonality of Risk of Injury
A more serious Risk of Injury offense occurs if an individual either touches the intimate body parts of a child under the age of 16 or allows that child to contact the individual’s intimate body parts in a “sexual and indecent manner” that is liable to damage the child’s health or morals. Ridgefield child endangerment lawyers have seen such contact constitute a Class B felony and is therefore punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
Connecticut law sets forth a number of other criminal offenses that can be considered child endangerment. Parents and guardians are legally prohibited from leaving a child under the age of 12 unsupervised in a motor vehicle or place of public accommodation.
Although this offense is generally a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year of imprisonment and a fine of no more than $2,000, certain circumstances can increase the penalties. If the child is left in a place that serves alcohol, the offense escalates to a Class D felony with a maximum prison sentence of up to 5 years and if the child is left unsupervised at night, the offense becomes a Class C felony.
Contacting an Attorney
Although Risk of Injury charges may be added on almost as an afterthought in many Ridgefield arrests, you need to understand that these charges are major offenses with penalties that are often more severe than those alleged the underlying offense.
A Ridgefield child endangerment lawyer will know how the courts have applied Risk of Injury laws to circumstances similar to yours and can start right away to craft the best defense possible and work toward the optimum outcome based on your situation.