No parent wants to be accused of putting their kid in harm’s way, especially if that accusation leads to them being arrested and charged with a felony offense. If you have been accused of risking a kid’s safety, take advantage of your right to legal representation.
Representation from a compassionate domestic violence attorney could make a huge difference in how your case progresses and ultimately concludes. A NoVa child endangerment lawyer could offer you support and legal guidance through an investigation and criminal trial.
If state authorities accuse a parent of putting their kid in danger, they generally do so based on the definition of this offense established under Code of Virginia § 18.2-371.1. According to this statute, it is unlawful for any parent, guardian, or other adult who is responsible for a minor to be reckless through a “gross, wanton, and culpable” failure to protect that kid’s well-being.
Charges like this generally stem from a minor sustaining catastrophic or fatal injuries due to their guardian’s willful act, willful omission, or inadvertent neglect. Law enforcement may pursue charges if an adult engages in grossly irresponsible care that illustrates a reckless disregard for the child’s life. A qualified NoVa child endangerment attorney could help determine if a defendant’s actions were considered risking the safety of a minor.
The severity of an offense for jeopardizing a minor’s safety could vary depending on the nature of the defendant’s conduct.
If the defendant engaged in wantonly careless or reckless conduct constituting a reckless disregard for a minor’s life, they may face penalties commensurate with a Class 6 felony upon conviction. This may include a one-to-five-year prison sentence or a 12-month jail sentence plus a $2,500 fine at the court’s discretion.
If an adult’s willful act or omission leads directly to their child suffering a serious injury with long-term or life-threatening consequences, they might face Class 4 felony charges, which are more severe than Class 6 felony charges. This allows for a prison sentence of two to 10 years on top of a maximum $100,000 fine upon conviction. A NoVa attorney familiar with child endangerment cases could offer more clarification about what sanctions could result from a defendant’s particular situation.
There are two affirmative defenses to charges about risking a child’s safety that may apply under very specific circumstances. The first defense is that a parent or guardian may not be convicted of underage endangerment for leaving a minor under 14 days old in the care of a hospital or medical facility that provides 24-hour emergency services.
The second defense is that a parent or guardian opting to treat a minor’s medical condition exclusively through spiritual means in accordance with a recognized church or religious organization’s tenets is not enough by itself to justify a charge of jeopardizing a child’s well-being.
A NoVa child safety violation attorney could aid someone in determining if these rebuttals apply to their case.
Even if you are confident that your charges stem from a misunderstanding, it is likely that the state authorities seeking your conviction will not see things in the same way. To achieve a positive resolution to this type of claim, you may need help from an accomplished defense counsel with experience handling cases like these.
With a seasoned NoVa child endangerment lawyer by your side, you could significantly boost your chances of a favorable case result despite the severe nature of this offense. Call our office today to learn more.
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