If you have recently been arrested for child endangerment in Riverside or the surrounding areas, then you need to get in touch with a defense attorney sooner rather than later. Child endangerment can be either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of the case. To fight these charges, you are going to need a child endangerment defense attorney.
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What Is Considered Child Endangerment?
While there are differences between the law in different states, all of them have the common areas that we’re going to look at. The first is injury, and this goes for potential as well as actual. Child endangerment laws do not require a child to have actually been injured, but rather for there to have been potential for this to have occurred. It is usually defined as any action placing a child in a situation that might endanger their life, health, welfare, or emotional well-being.
Actions or situations that endanger is another form of child endangerment. Because this topic is so broad, there are a number of things that could earn you a conviction for child endangerment. This could be anything from engaging in sexual activity in front of a child to driving with a child in the car while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Leaving a child alone without proper supervision could also get you in trouble, as could having an unsecured firearm in the same environment as the child. As you can see, the law is broad when it comes to child endangerment, and any number of things could earn you a conviction.
You do need to be aware that if you’re being accused of child endangerment, you have to have placed the child in a situation in which it was more likely than not they would be exposed to harm. As such, if you acted unwisely or made a mistake, then you won’t be charged for this. However, having said that. The prosecutor in the case does not have to show that you acted intentionally. As such, even if you didn’t realize that the situation was dangerous, there can always be the ‘reasonable person’ argument applied, and you still could end up with a conviction. This will be looked at on a case by case basis.
The Difference Between A Misdemeanor And A Felony Child Endangerment Charge
A felony is the most serious charge that you can be faced with, and if you’re charged with a felony, you’re going to need the best Riverside defense lawyer you can get. The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony will usually depend on whether the child was exposed to significant harm, or if they were placed in a particularly dangerous situation. In some states, the difference can also be whether the child suffered actual harm because of the actions of the parent. If you are in the Riverside, Temecula, Murrieta, or Branning area, then speak to your defense attorney about your arrest and which category it falls into.
Can The Charges Be Dropped?
Depending on the circumstances of your case and if you have the right defense lawyer on your side, the charges can be dropped. Ensuring to cover the case from all angles is important, and you’re going to need an experienced attorney on your side to give you the best possible chance of getting these charges dropped. However, it is important to note that if you committed the crime, then the best your lawyer will be able to do is get the sentence reduced as much as possible.
Penalties For Child Endangerment
You can face a number of charges for child endangerment depending on the severity of the situation. First, you could end up in jail or prison. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor, then you could be facing up to a year in jail. If it is more serious and you’re charged with a felony in this area, you’re looking at anywhere between one and ten years, possibly more. Your sentence will depend on the severity of your case, and what the judge thinks is a suitable punishment.
The court may offer you a fine instead. The fines that a court can impose in a child endangerment case are vast. If you’re charged with a misdemeanor, then your conviction could be up to 1,000. However, when it comes to a felony, you’re looking at up to 10,000 or more depending on the action and the judge.
Probation is another possibility. This usually lasts a year and ensures that the convicted person regularly reports to their probation officer. There are also usually other stipulations attached to this, such as family counseling and a promise to not commit any more criminal activity. If you violate your probation, this will earn you a jail or prison sentence. As such, if you are given probation, it is vital that you stick to the terms set out by the court to avoid a harsher sentence.
You could also be stripped of your parental rights. It doesn’t matter if you’re a parent or a legal guardian, you can lose all rights to the child if you’re convicted of child endangerment. In cases like this, the other parent will have sole parental rights, or the court will appoint a new guardian to care for the child. It might be the case that the child will end up with child services until a new guardian can be found.
Contact An Experienced Child Endangerment Attorney
To reduce the chance of you being convicted for this offense, get in touch with John L Michels. He and his team are experienced in handling cases such as these, and Michels is a very successful assault & battery defense attorney, domestic abuse defense attorney, and felony child endangerment defense lawyer. You can get in touch using the phone number (951 309-7500), or you can reach us online 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. All of your consultations will be free and confidential.