Child Endangerment Penalties in Stamford
Understanding what child endangerment penalties in Stamford you could face after accusations can be crucial to proactively contesting a case made against you. A knowledgeable child endangerment defense attorney could provide the custom-tailored guidance, support, and tenacious advocacy that may be necessary to protect your rights and your whole family’s best interests in a situation like this.
Criminal Consequences for a Risk of Injury Conviction
The sanctions which a court may impose upon someone convicted under Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §53-21 for risk of injury to a minor vary somewhat depending on the defendant’s exact actions. Broadly speaking, child endangerment charges can be divided into non-sexual offenses and sexual offenses, the latter punished much more severely.
Under C.G.S. §53-21(a)(1), it is a class C felony offense for someone to “willfully or unlawfully” put any child under 16 years old in a situation that endangers their life, is likely to cause them serious physical injury, or is likely to impair their morals or overall psychological wellbeing. Examples of behaviors that might fall under this category of child endangerment include:
- Domestic violence between a child’s parents in the child’s presence
- Excessive use of alcohol or drugs in a child’s presence, as well as driving under the influence with a child in the car
- Committing any crime in a child’s presence, including purchasing or possessing controlled substances
- Excessively cruel corporal punishment
- Failing to provide a child with necessary and appropriate medical care
- Leaving children unattended for unreasonably long periods
- Engaging in any “immoral” conduct in a child’s presence, like exposing them to pornographic materials
- Selling or attempting to sell a child into someone else’s custody
Someone convicted of child endangerment would face one year minimum to ten years’ maximum in Connecticut state prison and/or a $10,000 fine. However, the potential penalties that could come from endangering a child in Stamford by engaging in sexual contact with them are commensurate with a class B felony, which means a court could impose prison term upon conviction within a range of one to 20 years as well as a maximum $15,000 fine.
Possible Outcomes from a DCF Investigation
Completely separate from any related criminal proceedings, any allegation of criminal child endangerment will result in the state Department of Children and Families undertaking an investigation into the defendant’s home life and their relationship with their children. Depending on what DCF investigators find, they may formally substantiate a suspicion of more widespread child abuse spurred by a risk of injury charge and recommend additional sanctions. To learn more about the DCF investigation process, click here.
Even if a person accused of child endangerment in Stamford is not convicted of any criminal wrongdoing, the consequences they could face in family court may range from the imposition of safety plans to the loss of visitation rights. In extreme situations, the child could be removed from the defendant’s custody altogether.
A Stamford Attorney Could Help Mitigate Child Endangerment Penalties
Even if you have no history of any other criminal convictions or charges in your past, a single allegation of child endangerment could have irreversible repercussions for you and your family. Between criminal prosecution and DCF investigation, preserving your rights in this kind of case is far from a simple task.
Fortunately, you have help available from knowledgeable legal counsel with the skills and experience necessary to advocate effectively on your behalf. Call today and click here to learn more about child endangerment penalties in Stamford.