Whenever a person has a responsibility to care for the welfare of a child, failures to provide this protection may result in criminal accusations. Under the law, it is illegal to allow a child to enter a situation that poses a risk to that child’s life, body, or health. Even so, just because there are accusations that a child was in a dangerous situation does not mean that a parent or guardian is guilty of child endangerment.
A Manhattan child endangerment lawyer may be able to help you if you are facing charges of this nature. A dedicated attorney could help you understand what the prosecutor needs to prove and work with you to develop a robust defense strategy that protects your present and future.
While it is a fact of life that many children will face dangerous circumstances at some point in their lives, not every perilous situation constitutes a criminal offense. Kansas Statute § 21-5601 provides the definition of criminal child endangerment. It is a class A person misdemeanor for a person to knowingly and unreasonably allow a child under the age of 18 to be in a situation that poses a danger to a child’s health, body, or life. A conviction for child endangerment could result in a jail sentence of up to one year.
It is also feasible for an individual to face charges that allege aggravated child endangerment. This applies when a defendant allegedly places a child under the age of 18 in danger through reckless or intentional actions. A knowledgeable Manhattan attorney could help someone better understand the nature of the child endangerment charges they are facing as well as the potential consequences.
Child endangerment is a complex concept under the law because there are few situations where a violation is a black and white matter. Child endangerment laws ask police officers, prosecutors, and members of juries to evaluate whether a child was in a position that may be dangerous. In other words, child endangerment is open to interpretation. As a consequence, it is possible to mount defenses against these charges that dispute whether a child was at risk of harm to the extent that the law should impose punishment.
Other defenses revolve around the defendant’s intent at the time of the alleged offense. For a core-level child endangerment charge, a prosecutor must prove that the defendant knowingly or unreasonably allowed a child to be placed in a dangerous situation. It could be possible to argue that a child was in a dangerous position by mistake or even necessity. A Manhattan child endangerment attorney could construct a defense that accounts for the unique factors of an individual’s case.
Allegations of child endangerment are serious matters with the potential for jail time upon conviction. You could also be facing the involvement of Child Protective Services (CPS) or even the imposition of restraining orders.
It is essential to provide a robust defense in court in order to potentially mitigate these consequences. A Manhattan child endangerment lawyer could work with you to build a defense and present it on your behalf in court. Call today to get started.