Child endangerment is a serious charge that is difficult to define and can come with significant consequences. If you have been charged with or accused of child endangerment then it is important to know what the potential penalties are. Read on to learn about them and then contact Chambers Law Firm at 855-397-0210 for a free legal consultation.
Child Endangerment Can Be a Wobbler Offense
The prosecutor can decide to charge child endangerment as a misdemeanor or a felony, which makes it a wobbler offense. The difference generally depends on whether or not the child was harmed or put into a particularly dangerous situation. One option for your criminal defense attorney is to negotiate to have a felony charged reduced to a misdemeanor, which comes with a less serious penalty.
You Could Be Headed for Jail or Prison
If you are convicted of misdemeanor child endangerment then you could be facing up to a year in jail. However, if you are convicted of a felony then you could spend as much as ten years in prison. It depends on the extent of the child’s injury, your criminal background, and other factors.
You Could Have Court-Ordered Probation
You may be required to serve a probation sentence. Generally this will last around a year. It requires that you report to a probation officer and follow their instructions. You may be required to attend family counseling. You may be required to maintain gainful employment. If you do not follow the terms of your probation then you could end up being sent to jail or prison.
You Could Face Fines
As is true of jail time, the amount of your fines will depend largely on whether your conviction was for a misdemeanor or a felony. A felony conviction can lead to a fine of up to $10,000 but a misdemeanor fine will likely not top $1,000.
You Could Lose Parental Rights
For many people the worst part is losing their parental rights. This is likely to be the case if the child the defendant was convicted of endangering was their own child. The court will give custody to the other parent. If there is no suitable parent then the court will appoint a guardian or place the child with state child services. This can also happen if the parent goes to jail, even if the child who was endangered was not their own child.
Fight Your Charges with the Help of a Criminal Defense Attorney
As difficult as the road in front of you looks, there is light at the end of the tunnel: Chambers Law Firm. We have many years of experience dealing with cases just like yours. To find out how we can help you, and what your defense options are, contact us now at 855-397-0210 for a free legal consultation.