Greenwich Child Endangerment Lawyer
Retaining a Greenwich child endangerment lawyer can put you in the strongest position possible to protect your best interests and secure a favorable outcome in your case. Let a top criminal domestic violence attorney represent you today.
What Constitutes Child Endangerment in Greenwich?
Connecticut state law does not define a specific action or actions as “child endangerment”—instead, it criminalizes various intentional and negligent actions that may endanger the health, safety, and/or morals of a minor child. For example, Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §53-20 makes it a class D felony for a parent or guardian to intentionally deprive their child of basic necessities, punish them in a cruel way, overwork them, or maltreat or torture them in any way.
Similarly, anyone who intentionally or inadvertently endangers the safety or morals of a child under 16, or who sells legal custody of such a child to another party, may be charged with a class C felony under C.G.S. §53-21. This same statute makes sexual contact with a minor under 16 a class C felony offense.
What Happens if the Child Is Under 12 Years of Age?
C.G.S. §53-21a criminalizes leaving a child under 12 unsupervised in a motor vehicle, or in a place of accommodation such as a restaurant or hotel. This offense is a class A misdemeanor if it occurs during the day, but it is upgraded to a class C felony if it occurs at night. A seasoned Greenwich child endangerment attorney could help someone accused of any of these offenses structure an effective defense strategy for their ensuing criminal case.
What Are the Potential Penalties for Child Endangerment Offenses?
Any child endangerment offense classified as a felony in Connecticut is punishable by a minimum sentence of at least one year in prison, and higher classes of felonies have higher maximum prison terms associated with them. However, there are certain circumstances under which punishments may differ from the guidelines prescribed under C.G.S. §§53a-35a and 53a-41.
For example, a class D felony conviction for intentional cruelty to a child as defined by C.G.S. §53-20(b) may be punished by a prison sentence of one to five years and a fine of $5,000. However, if a child is deprived of basic necessities due to negligence rather than intentional malice, the maximum possible penalties upon conviction are a $500 fine and a one-year jail sentence.
Further, the social consequences of having a felony record could sometimes be even harsher than the jail time or fines. A felony conviction can make securing employment or housing more difficult. An attorney can work with you to try and avoid a felony conviction at all costs.
What Penalties Exist for Alleged Sexual Contact?
Sexual contact with a minor as defined in C.G.S. §53-21 is a class C felony if the child is between 13 and 16 years of age, or a class B felony if the child is under 13. In practice, this distinction could mean the difference between a maximum prison sentence of ten years and a maximum sentence of 20 years. Retaining a skilled child endangerment lawyer can be essential for anyone in Greenwich seeking to minimize their potential penalties by differentiating between levels of offenses.
Discuss Legal Options with a Greenwich Child Endangerment Attorney
Defending yourself against allegations of child endangerment is not impossible, but you may struggle to do so effectively if you fail to seek qualified legal help at Mark Sherman Law. Talk to a Greenwich child endangerment lawyer today to discuss your case and start working towards a positive resolution. Check out our 5-star certified Avvo.com reviews here, and then give us a call to learn more about how we can help you.