Child Endangerment Defenses in Wilton
Police and prosecutors take the well-being of all children very seriously. In so doing, they err on the side of caution and harshly penalize people who pose a threat. If you were arrested or are being investigated for endangering a minor, seeking legal advice from an experienced defense attorney should be your top priority when trying to build a strong child endangerment defense in Wilton.
What is Child Endangerment?
Connecticut General Statutes § 53-21(a)(1) defines the crime of Risk of Injury to a Minor, which most people call child endangerment. It forbids adults from putting a child under 16 in a situation where they face physical or emotional danger, or a situation which could otherwise impair their morals. The latter offense refers to sexual contact or placing the minor in a sexual situation, including sending or receiving explicit images or texts.
Under this broad definition, a person could face child endangerment charges for harshly disciplining their child, leaving the child alone in the home or a car, or speeding with the child in the vehicle. Committing a domestic violence offense against another person in front of a child could also lead to a risk of injury charge. While each case is different, most child endangerment defenses in Wilton seek to dispute allegations of harmful behavior.
What Are Some Defenses to Non-Sexual Risk of Injury Charges?
The range of scenarios that could lead to child endangerment charges is so varied that it is impossible to name every defense that might be effective in a particular case. The results often hinge on whether the child suffered an actual injury or was just potentially endangered. If the child endangerment charge is related to another criminal matter, such as shoplifting while a minor was present, arranging dismissal of the Risk of injury Charge is often possible when resolving the underlying charge.
For child endangerment charges that result from reports of spouses or partners trying to diminish a co-parent’s chances of gaining custody, an attorney can ensure the criminal court recognizes the bias and motivation of the reporting parent.
An accused parent could also request the appointment of a Guardian ad Litem (“GAL”). The GAL is an independent attorney who interviews the parent, the child, other involved parties, and anyone who might have credible information about the incident and an accused’s parenting skills. An independent opinion from a GAL could be influential in the disposition of the criminal case.
How Can I Defend “Moral Injury” Charges?
Allegations of improper sexual interactions with a minor often result in child endangerment charges. Depending on the facts that led to the risk of injury charge(s), a Wilton criminal attorney can offer several defenses. For example, if law enforcement’s monitoring of your electronic communications is what led to the arrest, reviewing the authorization for them to engage in such surveillance could be fruitful.
Charges resulting from a child’s report of improper contact can be challenging to defend, especially if the incident allegedly occurred months or years before the arrest. Here, finding inconsistencies in the child’s declarations could help the defense. An experienced attorney will look for evidence that shows the allegations are factually impossible or the result of undue influence.
Rely on a Wilton Attorney to Defend Risk of Injury Charges
Child endangerment charges could impact your job, family life, and reputation in the community for years to come. Engaging a skilled legal professional to defend the charges is critical.
Reach-out to a local attorney from the Law Offices of Mark Sherman to discuss aggressive child endangerment defenses in Wilton, and click here to read what our past clients have to say about working with us.