Wilton Risk of Injury to a Minor Lawyer
No matter how hard parents try to protect their children, sometimes kids are put into dangerous situations. To try to protect some of the most vulnerable members of society, Connecticut lawmakers have passed statutes designed to minimize the risk of injury to children.
However, in spreading a net to catch dangerous behavior, law enforcement personnel often end up catching and charging those who pose little or no danger. As the best Wilton Connecticut criminal lawyers and attorneys understand, an arrest of Risk of Injury to a Minor under CGS 53-21 carries penalties that include ten or more years in prison.
Therefore, it is important for anyone arrested for Risk of Injury/Child Endangerment to consult with an experienced domestic violence attorney as soon as possible. A Wilton risk of injury to a minor lawyer can provide guidance and help fight this very serious criminal charge.
Understanding Risk of Injury Laws
Although offenses of this type are often referred to as child endangerment, the Connecticut statute involved in most cases uses the term “risk of injury,” and it includes minor children under the age of 16. Section 53-21(a) of the Connecticut penal code defines three different types of violations. The first prohibits generally placing a minor in a situation that is likely to harm the child’s health or morals.
Since it can be argued that many different types of conduct potentially pose a risk to the health or moral character of a child, law enforcement officials may take great latitude in bringing charges under this provision and it is essential to work with a lawyer who understands how to defend against such tactics.
What is Risk of Injury to a Minor in CT?
There are two distinct situations when an arrest for risk of injury to a minor may occur in Wilton, Connecticut. One incident may regard different forms of harm to a child and the other often concerns improper sexual conduct with a child. While the charge in either situation is serious, the corresponding penalties may vary depending on the circumstances.
Risk of Injury to a Minor – Situational Prong
Under Connecticut General Statutes § 53-21, it is unlawful to place a minor (a child under 16 years old) in a position where they are at risk of life endangerment, incurring an injury to health or moral impairment, or exposed to anything likely to cause impairment to their morals or health. This is most commonly referred to as “situational” risk of injury.
Often this charge can occur in instances where a parent leaves their child alone in a car, operates a vehicle while intoxicated with a child, or administers harsh physical discipline at home. This type of offense is generally considered a Class C felony and can result in a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and fine of up to $10,000.
Risk of Injury to a Minor – Intimate Parts
Additionally, Connecticut General Statutes §53-21 makes it unlawful to have contact with the “intimate parts” of a minor or subject the minor to having contact with the intimate parts of an adult, in any sexual or indecent manner. This is most commonly referred to as the “intimate parts” prong of the risk of injury statute, and is much more serious.
Violation of this section is often considered a Class B felony, which may carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, a fine of up to $15,000 and usually requires a person to register as a sex offender. If the child is younger than 13 years old, there is generally a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, which cannot be suspended or waived by a judge.
Will the Department of Children and Families Get Involved After my Risk of Injury Arrest in Wilton?
The answer to this question is almost always yes. If someone suspects or has reason to believe that a child is being abused, neglected, or endangered in any way, they can report a claim to the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF). In situations where someone is arrested for risk of injury to a minor, the police will almost always follow up with a call to DCF. A complaint about child welfare typically will lead to an investigation by DCF.
Contact a Wilton Risk of Injury Attorney
With consequences such as these, it is not worth taking any chances. If you have been arrested or charged with endangering a minor, you should seek experienced legal help as soon as possible. A Wilton risk of injury to a minor lawyer can help you craft a cost-effective defense strategy to help you reach a desirable outcome in your case.