Being accused of putting your child in harm’s way can be a frightening and stressful experience for you and your family. Not only could you face felony-level consequences if you are convicted of criminal wrongdoing, but you could also have your rights restricted in family court regardless of whether you are found guilty or even formally charged with a crime.
You should not have to handle this situation alone. Having a defense lawyer from Ruane Attorneys on your side can be vital to protecting your rights and preserving your family’s best interests. By working with a Shelton child endangerment lawyer, you can seek a positive resolution to your case.
Types of Child Endangerment Offenses Under State Law
“Child endangerment” is a common phrase referring to someone putting their child in harm’s way to an unlawful degree. However, Connecticut Penal Code uses different terms for this type of offense. Law enforcement officers generally charge someone accused of endangering their child under one of two statutes depending on what they allegedly did.
Leaving a Child Unsupervised
The less severe option is Connecticut General Statutes §53-21a, which criminalizes leaving a child under 12 unsupervised in a motor vehicle or in a “place of public accommodation” for enough time to endanger the child’s health or safety. The basic version of this offense is a class A misdemeanor. However, the charge can be upgraded to a class D felony if the child is left in a public place with a license to sell and serve alcohol or a class C felony if the offense happens between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Risk of Injury to a Child
Risk of injury to a child is defined under C.G.S. §53-21 as willfully causing or permitting a child under 16 to be put in a situation likely to endanger them physically and/or morally impair them. This is always a class C felony. Given the broad definitions of child endangerment offenses, having help from a Shelton attorney can be vital to building an effective and comprehensive defense strategy.
Does Child Endangerment Qualify as Domestic Violence?
An allegation or even conviction for a child endangerment offense does not constitute de facto evidence that a child is being consistently neglected or abused. However, it will often serve as justification for the Department of Children and Families to open an investigation into the defendant’s home life and their relationship with their children. If DCF finds evidence to substantiate a suspicion of mistreatment, the Department may recommend action from the court that could include the loss of custody or visitation rights in extreme situations.
Like with criminal investigations, anything a person says or does during an ongoing investigation could be used against them later. Even a single poorly phrased statement or thoughtless act could have serious repercussions. Representation from a child endangerment lawyer in Shelton can be vital to effectively handle these kinds of proceedings and protect one’s rights.
Consider Working with a Shelton Child Endangerment Attorney
Law enforcement officers and court authorities take child endangerment extremely seriously in Connecticut. Getting in touch with legal counsel should be a priority for anyone who learns they are the subject of such an accusation or investigation.
A Shelton child endangerment lawyer could discuss your rights and possible defense options during a confidential consultation. Do not take any risks when your rights and family life are at stake. Call Ruane Attorneys today to get started.