People can lose their objectivity when someone is accused of hurting or endangering a child. If you face charges for a crime involving children, you need skilled representation to overcome that bias and protect your rights. These offenses often carry mandatory minimum sentences, and a conviction could damage your reputation and limit your prospects for employment and housing.
A Bridgeport risk of injury to a child lawyer recognizes that prosecutors often bring these charges out of an excess of caution. Everyday situations can lead to misunderstandings and criminal accusations that might not paint the full picture. If police accuse you of putting a child in danger, contact the legal team at Ruane Attorneys to help resolve the situation.
Charges for Risking Injury to a Minor
Connecticut General Statute §53-21 describes the crime of risking injury to a minor. This crime is always a felony. The statute makes it illegal to knowingly and intentionally place a child in a situation that is dangerous to their physical or emotional well-being. The law also bars any action that could harm a child’s health and morals. This statute also covers the offense of an adult having intimate contact with a minor’s private parts or allowing or encouraging a child to have intimate contact with someone else’s private parts.
A child is generally anyone under 16. However, the penalties for violating the statute often increase if the child is younger. Our Bridgeport attorneys could explain the penalties an accused might face in a particular risk of injury to a child case.
Common Scenarios for Charges
The law for risk of injury to a child is written broadly, allowing police and prosecutors to apply it to many situations. In many cases, a child’s physical and emotional health or safety might not have been at risk.
For example, leaving a child unattended at home or in a car could be considered an offense, even if a responsible adult was available to look in on the child. Other situations that could lead to a risk of injury to a child charge include the following:
- Having an unsafe home due to hoarding or poor housekeeping
- Not seeking prompt medical attention for a child when warranted
- Exposing a child to domestic violence
- Spanking, physical punishment, or depriving a child of food, water, shelter, clothing, or other essentials
- Driving recklessly or while under the influence with a child in the vehicle
- Shoplifting, selling drugs, or engaging in prostitution when a child is present
- Sending suggestive texts to a minor
- Committing sexual abuse of a child under 16
Risk of injury to a child is often added to other criminal charges but could be prosecuted as a stand-alone crime.
When a parent is charged with endangering their own child, the state’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) gets involved. In some cases, the agency might temporarily remove the child from the parent’s home and could work to terminate the accused’s parental rights. A Bridgeport risk of injury to a child attorney can help defend a person’s fitness as a parent to preserve their relationship with their children.
Defending Risk of Injury Charges in Bridgeport
A defense must be tailored to the specific circumstances and allegations. However, some defenses apply in many situations.
If the risk of injury to a child charge is an add-on to another criminal offense, getting the underlying charge dismissed or reduced could resolve the allegations. For example, suppose the basis of the risk of injury charge was exposing the child to shoplifting. If a Bridgeport attorney achieves dismissal of the shoplifting charge, there is no longer a basis for asserting the child was endangered.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for parents to raise risk of injury charges against each other in a divorce or custody proceeding. The police must report suspected child endangerment to DCF. Challenging the reporter’s motives is sometimes an effective defense in these cases.
Call a Bridgeport Attorney for Risk of Injury to a Child Charges
A conviction on these charges can have dire consequences. When your family life and reputation are at stake, do not face these charges without a legal professional by your side.
A Bridgeport risk of injury to a child lawyer could mount a tailored defense to preserve your relationship with your children and avoid a felony conviction. Speak with a lawyer by calling Ruane Attorneys today.